Expanding Opportunities for African Americans in the Energy Sector


The oldest civil rights organization in the country, The National Urban League (NUL), hosted a press conference, releasing the White Paper Report regarding the expansion of opportunities for people of color specifically, African Americans, in the energy sector.

African Americans in the Energy Sector

During the hour-long phone conference on October 11, President and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc H. Morial, Senior Vice President of Policy/Executive Director of Washington Bureau American Association of Blacks in Energy, Don Cravins Jr, and other leaders of the National Urban League, discussed the 21st Century Innovations in Energy: An Equality Framework. This plan highlights the importance of preparing and training people of color in careers in Energy.  Prior to this call I really didn’t know much about the Energy Sector or how African Americans fit in.  I learned a lot.

The Energy sector is one of the fastest growing industries here in the United States. With great pay, benefits and job opportunities that cannot be outsourced, yet have little diversity represented among its workers and key decision makers. Many jobs in Electricity, Solar, Oil, and Natural Gas Industries begin on the high school level through STEM Programs. In at least 9 States, where there is a significant population of African-American students, there is no offering for courses in STEM like, Calculus, Computer Science, or (AP Classes) Advance Placement.

Why is this important?

It is estimated that overall 38% of the employees in the electric and gas utility sector may retire in the next decade, along with nearly half of the oil and natural gas industry employees. At the same time both the direct and indirect employment in the electric and gas utility, and oil and natural gas industries are expected to grow by approximately 1.9 million jobs by 2035. Many of these jobs are skilled craft trade jobs…  African Americans do not constitute at least 12% of the workforce in any of the utilities sectors, there is definitely room for improvement.

~NUL Energy White Paper


Again, that’s 1.9 million job opportunities available through 2035 in ALL regions of the country.  The releasing of the White Papers Report is the beginning of strategic planning of economic inclusion. The National Urban League, their 88 private workforce development affiliates (including companies such as Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable) are seeking to build meaningful partnerships with Energy Industry Leaders and government.

This paper is intended to serve as the starting place for an action plan around creating more equitable policies in how energy is used and greater participation in how our community can help shape those policies and greater participation – NUL Energy White Paper

I was pleased to be a part of this conference call as a correspondent for TheSistahCafe.com and to learn so much about the role we play in this industry.

What do you know about Energy Sector and how do you feel about the future of African American involvement in that sector?

Keianna Johnson aka “KeeKeeAllNatural” is a certified Natural Hair Care, Braiding and Lock Technician. She was certified through Madam Walker’s Braids, Lockery & School. She is also the owner of Chi Chi Sophistication Natural Hair Care Studio which specializing in natural hair care and braiding for children. She currently holds the position as Local Coordinator for the DMV Area for Ebraiding.net an organization geared towards uplifting the standards and professionalism of certified professionals in the braiding & natural hair Industry. KeeKee is a TRUE natural hair care advocate and she is also a blogger. You can find her beautiful work with children’s hairstyles featured in SANATA International Hair Braiding Magazine, MidWest Black Hair Magazine and Encore HD Hair Magazine.