Dominion Energy today announced a partnership with The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), supporting seven higher education institutions in Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Utah, and Puerto Rico.
Dominion Energy and HACU will support the colleges and universities in the four states in the company footprint and Puerto Rico through a three-year, $2 million-dollar initiative aimed at promoting higher education equity. Each school will develop a Summer Bridge Program providing outreach to high school students and establish a source of STEM-oriented students to support the energy industry. The funds will also provide for the school’s membership in HACU, allowing students to access additional resources.
“All students should have access to a quality education and be provided with the skills to achieve exciting new career opportunities,” said Carter Reid, executive vice president and chief of staff for Dominion Energy. “This is a step toward improving equity for Hispanic students and increasing diversity in STEM careers.”
Modeled on Utah Valley University’s Latino Scientists of Tomorrow Summer Bridge Program, each of the seven pilot institutions will customize a seven-week summer program for high school students. The program introduces students to STEM careers and the energy industry, as well as acclimating them to a university campus and the rigors of academic life. Each student will participate and receive college credit in college-level courses in engineering, business, cybertechnology and biotechnology.
Support services including mentoring and tutoring are provided, as well as career awareness and exploration seminars. Through this program, each institution will have the capacity to impact 60 students and their families each year; over the course of the project, that means 180 families per institution and more than 1,250 students will enter the career path from high school to college and into the energy industry.
“Our new partnership with Dominion Energy is a substantial investment in the success of our Hispanic students in the vital field of energy development and services, an undeniable necessity in ensuring the prosperity of our nation,” said Antonio R. Flores, HACU President and CEO. “We are excited to launch this new initiative at seven higher education institutions to foster skilled professionals able to meet the needs of the energy industry.”
Dominion Energy will support HACU membership costs for the participating institutions for the duration of the project. HACU membership provides all college students at these institutions access to HACU programs and services such as corporate internship programs, academic scholarships, and leadership development opportunities.
The seven schools selected to participate in this program are:
- George Mason University
- Northern Virginia Community College
- Sampson Community College
- University of Connecticut at Stamford
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
- Utah Valley University
The Summer Bridge Program will take place in the summer of 2022. Information on how to apply will be announced in the spring.
Dominion Energy strives to lead on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This partnership builds on the company’s HBCU Promise HBCU Promise initiative, which committed $25 million to support 11 HBCUs in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina over six years. The company recently issued its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report on the subject, which highlights company workforce data from 2016 through 2020 and lays out clear and specific commitments for further progress.
Read the full press release here.