The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has issued a progress update on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative as the organization continues to prioritize an inclusive work culture. The update was shared on Oct.19 at NYPA’s Board of Trustees meeting. The many DEI efforts underway at NYPA are meant to help build an inclusive, diverse workforce that is poised to expand customer energy products and services in underserved and environmental justice communities, help customers lower utility costs, and meet environmental and sustainability goals. These efforts are in alignment with goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (the Climate Act), the most ambitious clean energy legislation in the nation.
NYPA’s Ten-Point DEI plan—which was approved by the NYPA Board of Trustees in 2020—is a comprehensive set of external and internal commitments to build and maintain a diverse and equitable workforce at NYPA. Under the plan, NYPA has reached contract agreements with 25 new diverse suppliers—22 of which are minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs). Additionally, NYPA is allocating $12 million over the next five years to assist in further strengthening MWBEs in the energy industry. NYPA has also committed to investing in programs that advance energy equity in underserved communities, support the participation of MWBEs in the supply chain, and expand efforts to develop, retain, and recruit a workforce of dynamic and diverse contributors.
“In 2020, NYPA became the first energy organization in the nation to establish a comprehensive action plan to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across all phases of our operations," said Justin E. Driscoll, NYPA interim president and CEO.
As part of its DEI community investment strategy, NYPA has partnered with Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) Early College High Schools to bring educational resources to high school students looking to build careers in STEM. The inaugural year of the program had 15 participating high school students from across the state. NYPA also launched the Future Energy Leaders Scholarship, a program to support students from economically disadvantaged communities across New York State.
This fall, NYPA will be launching Pathways—a six-month training program that aims to support historically underrepresented groups by providing professional and career development opportunities for employees within the organization. Participants will engage in cohort learning sessions, peer coaching, skill application assignments, and attend monthly mentor meetings to share progress on their development.
Additionally, to support an inclusive workplace, all NYPA employees are encouraged to participate in an array of trainings, through which they learn how to address potential harassment, discrimination, or other forms of unacceptable behavior in the workplace.
Ongoing efforts continue to strengthen NYPA’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)—voluntary, employee-led groups aimed at fostering and encouraging employee engagement. ERGs help NYPA employees develop internal and external partnerships, offer leadership and visibility opportunities, and host employee engagement events. ERGs gather feedback from participating employees and help inform NYPA’s DEI strategy.
NYPA has been recognized for its exemplary achievement in utilizing diverse companies with the 2020 Local Corporation of the Year Award and has been named to Forbes Best Mid-Sized Employers List in 2018, 2019, and 2021. For more information visit NYPA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web pages on the NYPA website.