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Member Perspective: Nancy Mifflin

Posted Friday, October 6th, 2017

Member News, Member Submitted, Energy

Guest Commentator: Nancy Mifflin, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, American Association of Blacks in Energy, @_AABE

In honor of Blacks in Energy Awareness Month, how can Philadelphia better engage minority students to expose career opportunities within the energy field?

As a member of the Chamber’s Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team, AABE National and Regional leadership have been working to make our region a top energy hub. With our region’s proximity to the Marcellus and Utica shales, and being home to a number of refineries and Fortune 500 Utilities, it seems as if we have all of the tools and resources needed to succeed. Despite this, we are missing one important aspect: diversity in our workforce.

The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), programmatically focuses on introducing youth and the community at large on opportunities for training and employment in Energy.  Building a pipeline of minority energy professionals to enter the corridors of companies that produce power, products and services to ‘energize’ the world,  is a goal of AABE. Diversity in the workplace, especially in the energy industry, is not just a commendable effort – it is an imperative action.  Inviting students to learn via internships, shadowing programs, mentoring initiatives, are creative ways that companies can begin to foster relationships with more diverse future

Philadelphia business community should begin to invest in our future workforce – offering opportunities for minority students to learn more about unique industries.

At AABE, we encourage African American students to pursue careers in energy-related fields and provide scholarships and other financial aid for those students who plan to major in one of the STEM disciplines. Our members will then volunteer as mentors to our scholarship recipients, preparing them for the workforce.

Each year, in communities around the country, our national chapters celebrate the great contributions of minorities, students and professionals and discuss the important role energy plays in our daily lives. We offer various programs to enlighten high school students of the opportunities that are available in the energy industry, that they may not be aware of otherwise. Local chapters of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) are bustling to finalize October plans to host this year’s Black Energy Awareness Month (BEAM) events.

AABE Philadelphia Chapter and AABE South Jersey will be having STEM oriented Youth ‘Careers in Energy’ programs to alert students to the many opportunities awaiting them post high school in the Energy sector (electric, gas, oil, water, renewables). Below are a few upcoming events offered by our local chapters – be sure to share with the minority students in your life. A diverse workforce is a better workforce.

The Philadelphia business community should begin to make deliberate efforts to engage and invest a more diverse future &  workforce.  Create opportunities for minority students to learn more about the energy and utilities sector.  For a primer on how to successfully reach youth and surround them with amazing energy professionals and union apprentices save the date and visit an upcoming AABE BEAM Event.

» Phila Chapter will have a BEAM Event on Sat., Oct. 28, from 9–3:00 at PECO Energy Hall. Students in grades 9 – 12 invited to attend. More information »

» South Jersey Chapter will be participating in the Dreams of Tomorrow – It’s All About You program which will be held at Camden County Community College on Sat., Oct. 21 from 8:00 – noon, at the Blackwood Campus.  More information »


For more information on the American Association of Blacks in Energy, visit: www.aabe.org or contact: Nancy Mifflin, GPEAT Member & AABE Mid-Atlantic Regional Director or Tracey Woods, AABE National – VP Operations; AABE Phila. Chapter – Sherri Pennington.

The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) is a member of the Chamber’s Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT)a consortium of leaders working together to establish a natural gas hub in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware.

Upcoming GPEAT event:

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