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Clean energy job creation and growth are crucial for building a reliable and resilient renewable energy system. There are opportunities such as internships, fellowships, and other programs to work with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the 17 national laboratories.

These opportunities are designed to prepare students who are interested in contributing to America’s clean energy future.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Justice and Equity’s Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program offers paid summer internships for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students at accredited minority-serving institutions with DOE and the national labs. The internship program involves a 10-week scientific research, policy, business, or government relations assignment. These programs aim at including and increasing the number of students from underrepresented communities in STEM and clean energy careers.

There are also numerous other DOE and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) internships, fellowships, and graduate and postdoctoral opportunities available for students to apply to.

Furthermore, Dominion Energy Foundation has recently made a significant investment in historically Black colleges and universities to enhance student preparedness for careers in power and energy, including a $10 million scholarship fund for minority students in Dominion Energy’s service area.

Prairie View A&M University‘s Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability has secured a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to research biofuels, energy, environment, and wind energy.

Additionally, Southern University‘s DMR Spikes Honors College has received grants from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Consortium for Materials and Energies Security, aiming to train students in STEM and conduct cutting-edge research on materials and energy. Southern University has also made significant progress in predicting the electronic properties of semiconductors, which could have an impact on the solar energy sector.

Howard University is known for producing professionals, entrepreneurs, and educators with a global outlook, and it is actively addressing the deterioration of the nation’s infrastructure. The Department of Energy’s Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) partnership program has awarded grants to Howard University researchers, establishing a connection between DOE sites and MSIs.

Howard University houses several centers dedicated to preparing graduates for environmental careers, including the Transportation Research Center, Environmental and Water Resources Engineering group, and the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT).

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Justice and Equity (EJE) has released a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks public input intended to assist DOE in establishing its vision, goals, priority actions, and metrics to address environmental justice. In accordance with carrying out its responsibilities under Executive Order (E.O.) 14096, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, DOE will create an Environmental Justice Strategic Plan and update it every four years.

The E.O., issued on April 21, 2023, directs federal agencies to address and advance environmental justice. This order also supplements the foundational efforts of E.O. 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations released on February 11, 1994 to address environmental justice.

The DOE aims to understand the potential environmental justice impact of its Strategic Plan and encourages the public to provide input. This RFI focuses on collecting feedback on the proposed strategic goals using specific questions to gauge how equity intersects with the energy system and to further develop the concept of energy justice. Written comments are requested on or before July 31, 2024.

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