On a mission to diversify the engineering sector, $5 million has been pledged towards 15 accredited Historically Black College and Universities’ (HBCUs’) Schools of Engineering.

Los Angeles Sentinel reports LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners has signed a five-year agreement with Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering to house technical and scientific research at HBCUs.

“As LADWP attracts top scientific talent for our next generation, we must also keep equity in mind to ensure we are reaching potential candidates who may not have been traditionally represented in our ranks and in the utility industry,” said Monique Earl, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, according to Los Angeles Sentinel. “Refocusing our recruitment programs to engage with HBCUs and other educational institutions championing diversity is key to creating robust pathways to employment for underrepresented groups and ultimately transforming our workplace to a more inclusive one.”

Collaboration To Establish Long Term Relationships With HBCUs

The commitment will spearhead ongoing relationships with HBCUs and research projects to support city and state mandates. In addition, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will work alongside research teams and curriculum developers at the institutions. The gesture will provide training for various fields to manage the Los Angeles water and power systems.

The institutions are: Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the District of Columbia and Virginia State University.

“This initiative is an example of what the Department’s development of a Racial Equity Action Plan and the creation of an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are meant to do—to create opportunities where there may not have been before,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer, according to Los Angeles Sentinel. “This partnership with AMIE to engage HBCUs at the research level will also further strengthen our ability at LADWP to attract top talent from the nationally recognized programs for future employment at LADWP.”