The Clean Energy Leadership Institute and Elemental Accelerator are launching the Clean Energy Summer Internship Program, designed to equip young people with the skills and connections they need to succeed in the fast-paced clean tech industry.

Clean Energy Leadership

The Clean Energy Leadership Institute and Elemental Accelerator launch paid summer internship program for underrepresented students in the climate tech sector

Oakland, Calif., June 15, 2021 — In an effort to promote greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the clean energy ecosystem, the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) and Elemental Excelerator, today announced the launch of the EDICT (Empowering Diversity in Clean Tech) Summer Internship Program. The 10-week program provides paid, full-time, internship opportunities to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and historically underrepresented students.

The 25 companies that are leading the initiative will provide internships to 30 individuals across the U.S. and are among a larger cohort of companies that have taken the EDICT Pledge, which cements their commitment to equity outcomes. They join a community of practice guided by Elemental Excelerator’s program, “Equity Is Dynamic.” This business-workforce partnership, that centers the voices and experiences of students from diverse communities, works toward three main goals:

  1. Increased support and demand for equity programs in the clean energy ecosystem;

  2. Increased action that host companies take towards transforming their organizations to be more inclusive and diverse; and

  3. Increased student clean energy literacy, access to career pathways and networks, and deepened self-awareness of interests and talents.

“We know that diversity is good for business. Right now, we’re not doing a good enough job building the diverse teams that we need, so we’re coming together to amplify the demand for diverse voices in this industry,” said Devin Hampton, co-founder of EDICT and CEO of UtilityAPI, one of the companies hosting a summer intern. Jason Michaels, co-founder of EDICT and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Leap, a California-based clean energy company, added, “I’m thrilled that our industry is responding to this call to action and recognizing the truth that bringing together different lived experiences, both professionally and personally, leads to a company making smarter decisions.”

“Equity, much like the innovation being done in the clean energy space, is a dynamic, community practice,” said Dawn Lippert, CEO of Elemental Excelerator. “EDICT interns represent the enormous potential of the next generation of workers, entrepreneurs, and community builders that will guide us toward climate solutions that are designed with equity at their core.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are already three million people working in the clean energy economy. With President Biden’s recently proposed “Build Back Better” program, 10 million more well-paying jobs could be added to the United States’ clean energy workforce. However, a recent report from the Brookings Institute points out an unsettling reality: fewer than 20 percent of workers in clean energy production and energy efficiency sectors are women, and Black workers fill less than 10 percent of these sectors’ jobs.

“Patterns of inequity cut across every aspect of the energy ecosystem – from environmental harms, to energy insecurity, to energy burden, and to the lack of access to clean economy programs, infrastructure, and jobs,” said Esther Morales, CELI Executive Director. “EDICT is a plan of action for change. Now, more than ever before, it’s crucial that we ensure the clean tech workforce of today, which is solving tomorrow’s challenges, is representative of the communities most impacted by climate change.”

To learn more about the initiative visit https://elementalexcelerator.com/edict/.

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About the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI)
With programs operating in Washington, D.C., California’s Bay Area, Chicago, New York, the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing a new kind of energy leadership. With a mission to create a diverse community of change-makers across sectors and disciplines that will drive an equitable, decarbonized, and resilient energy ecosystem, CELI equips emerging leaders with the skills and expertise to lead the transition to a clean energy economy. Over the last seven years, CELI has trained over 600 professionals from 450+ organizations through their signature Fellowship program and an additional 6,000+ students and professionals through their clean energy educational and community programming. For inquiries, please contact celi@cleanenergyleaders.org.

About Elemental Excelerator 

Elemental Excelerator is on a mission to redesign the systems at the root of climate change. In 2009, the non-profit launched a new model for funding climate tech deployment. Breaking down barriers to innovation alongside entrepreneurs provides Elemental unique insight into the policy, market, and technology innovation needed to build systems to uplift people and communities around the world. Elemental has invested in over 100 growth-stage companies and celebrated more than a dozen exits, funded more than 70 technology projects, and built a platform for scaling equitable, market-driven solutions to climate change. For more information, please visit elementalexcelerator.com.

JUNE 15, 2021

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About Tracey Woods 48 Articles
Vice President, Operations, American Association of Blacks in Energy AABE national programs, member services.