NYPA joins campaign to increase representation of African Americans

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) in late July announced that it is the first energy company in the nation to join the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) Energy Equity campaign to increase the representation of African Americans in employment, leadership, business contracting, and workforce development in the energy industry.

The collaboration was announced at NYPA’s July 28 board meeting, where NYPA leadership also shared it will double its investment in diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental justice and minority/women-owned business enterprises from $5 million to $10 million. Details will be submitted to the Board for its approval in September.

NYPA said it has crafted a comprehensive action plan to move it forward toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. The partnership will be launched with specific deliverables and desired outcomes, outlined in a 10-point plan. The results of this initiative will be measured and reported to the NYPA Board of Trustees on a regular basis.

“We are embracing an opportunity today to lead -- to lead our industry and our sector – by pursuing a multi-faceted, action plan to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace at NYPA,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO. “By partnering with the American Association of Blacks in Energy to achieve its essential campaign’s far-reaching goals, we will together achieve greater African American representation at NYPA, and in the broader energy, renewable energy and electrification fields.”

“With its 10-point plan, NYPA is the first energy company to join our Energy Equity Initiative,” said Paula Glover, President and CEO of AABE.

“NYPA has long demonstrated support for communities during times of great need. We are thrilled to work with NYPA and are pleased with the Authority's commitment and investment,” she said. “AABE is committed to addressing the issues of equity and bias, and we invite others to join with us. We look forward to working with NYPA and other partners to make a difference in our business for African Americans."  

NYPA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, in close collaboration with NYPA’s executive management team, crafted a 10-point plan with actionable strategies to adhere to AABE’s campaign goals and to address racism, biases, inequities and exclusion.

The plan’s items include both internal and external measures.

Internal commitments are:

  • Reaffirming NYPA’s commitment to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture;
  • Ensuring that NYPA processes, policies and procedures are transparent and free from bias;
  • Expanding ongoing training to NYPA employees on antiracism, unconscious bias, microaggression, and cultural competency;
  • Creating a Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer position, reporting to the President and CEO and to the Chief Human Resources and Administration Officer and increasing investment in the office of Civil Rights and Inclusion;
  • Investing in NYPA’s black employees and creating pathways for career development and upward mobility;
  • Casting a wider net and securing a diverse slate of applicants for vacancies by partnering with professional organizations such as the American Association of Blacks in Energy, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and local and national colleges and universities; and
  • Partnering and supporting employee unions at the national, regional and local levels and invest in their diversity, equity and inclusion programs and initiatives.

External commitments are:

  • Leveraging NYPA’s experience, resources and purchasing power to build capacity and access to Minority/Women-owned business enterprises;
  • Broadening NYPA’s community-based STEM, student internship and mentorship programs to increase the pipeline of utility and clean energy workers of tomorrow including the creation of a targeted college scholarship program; and
  • Creating an enterprise wide employee service program dedicated to understanding racial justice through NYPA’s clean energy business, such as community solar for example, and energy sustainability work in environmental justice communities