NYPA Press Release

NYPA Board of Trustees Approves Ten-Point Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan

For Immediate Release: 12/10/20

Contact: Susan Craig | susan.craig@nypa.gov | (914) 287-3691


Targeted Energy Solutions Programs to Benefit Underserved Communities, Reduce Emissions and Stimulate Clean Energy Jobs


New Efforts Focus on Increased Participation and Expansion of Minority and Women-owned Businesses in NYPA Supply Chain


Five-year Organization-wide Investment Supports Career Leadership

Programs and Clean Energy Scholarships for Students of Color


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees, at its Wednesday, Dec. 9 meeting, approved an industry leading, organization-wide, holistic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan that will expand customer energy products and services in underserved and environmental justice communities to help customers lower utility costs and meet their environmental and sustainability goals in alignment with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the most ambitious clean energy legislation in the nation.


John R. Koelmel, Chair, NYPA Board of Trustees, said, “NYPA has always challenged itself to build an inclusive and diverse workforce. Hence, the social unrest of this past year caused us to redouble our focus and resolve to ensure that not only our organization better reflects the demographics and interests of the communities we serve, but that we also make a much stronger commitment to our business partners in achieving racial justice and equity. Therefore, the Board is very proud of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan the team has developed. We look forward to seeing the plan put into action and monitoring our efforts to ensure we are working with internal and external stakeholders to provide innovative solutions to the energy and environmental challenges before us in a more equitable fashion.”


Today’s approvals support development, retention, promotion and engagement of staff through training, career and leadership programs, and support hiring of a workforce that reflects the diverse communities NYPA serves. NYPA, through this plan, also will ensure that students of color have more opportunities to join and advance in the clean energy sector. To further meet Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal for procuring at least 30% of products and services from minority and women owned businesses (MWBEs), NYPA will increase funding to its Supplier Diversity programs – through mentoring, outreach and education initiatives – to drive up participation of MWBEs in the organization’s supply chain.


In June of this year, shortly after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, NYPA and its president and CEO Gil C. Quiniones took a hard look at its own potential racial biases and its diversity, equity and inclusion programming and tasked a new working group—comprised of members of the Authority’s Office of Civil Rights and Inclusion, Environmental Justice & Sustainability, Human Resources and Talent Development, Labor Relations, and his Chief of Staff—with developing recommendations for concrete steps that NYPA could take to further racial justice and equity, establishing NYPA as a leader in the public utility industry.


“As the largest state-owned electric utility in the U.S., NYPA leads by example and serves as a model for the energy industry,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “With our comprehensive Racial Justice and Equity Plan, we are igniting and rejuvenating our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and will once again set the standard for our industry colleagues to follow. We have an enormous responsibility as New York’s utility to embrace the diversity of our great state and nation and take every step we can to ensure that people from all races, creeds, and backgrounds have an opportunity to participate in and benefit from our clean energy economy.”


NYPA’s DE&I workgroup developed the approved comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ten-Point Plan with external and internal commitments, which include:


External Commitments


  • Broaden NYPA’s community-based STEM, student internship and mentorship programs to increase the pipeline of diverse utility and clean energy workers for tomorrow – including the creation of a targeted college scholarship program through 100 paid internships sourced from ten Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) education institutions as well as 20 annual scholarships with industry and community partners. The plan will build a pipeline and develop Black, Latinx, Asian and other indigenous and people of color students as employees for tomorrow.


  • Leverage NYPA’s experience, resources and purchasing power to build capacity and access for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). The plan use NYPA’s diverse supply chain to provide greater opportunities for MWBEs through supplier training, mentorship programs, reducing procedural barriers for suppliers and boosting the ability of diverse firms to qualify for secure bonding/capital access to work as prime contractors on NYPA and Canals projects.


  • Create an enterprise-wide employee service program dedicated to volunteer activities in environmental justice communities. The plan will provide NYPA employees with experience in, and exposure to diverse communities by providing firsthand knowledge for better understanding of racial justice through NYPA’s clean energy business, such as community solar, and energy sustainability work.


Internal Commitments


  • Expand ongoing training to NYPA employees on antiracism, unconscious bias, microaggression, and cultural competency. Training will help to create psychological safety among staff who can engage in courageous conversations about racism and other difficult topics, as well as build a culture of upstanders against racism and bias. The program will help build management and leadership capabilities and cross-functional knowledge amongst employees to help them lead successfully.


  • Invest in NYPA’s Black, Latinx, Asian and other underrepresented employees and create pathways for career development and upward mobility. The Authority’s career-pathing and development program will provide transparency and support career growth. The plan also will facilitate new hiring and selection processes and training.


  • Reaffirm NYPA’s commitment to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. The plan will establish diversity, equity and inclusion as one of NYPA’s top priorities and values and will embed DE&I into NYPA’s recently approved VISION2030 Strategy.


Nancy Harvey, appointed as NYPA’s newly created Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the September 23 board meeting, will lead implementation of this aggressive new action plan. She will continue to provide leadership and strategic direction in creating and supporting an environment at NYPA that is inclusive, respectful and free from discrimination, intolerance, harassment and retaliation. 


Dennis G. Trainor, NYPA trustee, and the board’s governance chair, said, “NYPA is putting the strength of its already diverse culture to work on one of the most pressing priorities of our day: building a more inclusive, clean energy focused workforce and an enlightened racial justice culture to deliver against our customer and community-focused priorities. With this game-changing comprehensive plan, NYPA is strengthening its environmental justice ties in neighborhoods throughout the state, growing its minority and women-owned business relationships, expanding its efforts to achieve greater minority representation within its ranks and throughout the utility industry, and educating its staff and employees on racial justice. Together, through this enterprise-wide program, we will build a better NYPA and, ultimately, a better New York.”


Julissa Gutierrez, NYS Chief Diversity Officer, said, “Governor Cuomo is committed to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion while bolstering New York's economy and protecting the environment. Today's announcement shows that once again New York is taking swift, innovative action to meet those goals. Through these historic investments, NYPA's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan will support environmental justice in underserved communities, increase participation of MWBEs throughout the supply chain, and build a pipeline of diverse clean energy workers. I applaud NYPA's DE&I team and look forward to working together on this comprehensive plan.” 


“P-TECH offer a seamless pathway from high school to college completion and career readiness, helping to bridge the gap between schools and work in ways that promote education equity,” said Joel Mangan, IBM Executive Director. “P-TECH specifically targets pathways that are in high demand in the new economy such as Technology, Energy, Healthcare and Advanced Manufacturing. By expanding access to academic achievement and career opportunity in these areas through P-TECH to historically underserved students, we can create a long-term socioeconomic shift and build a more inclusive and innovative society.”


Paula Glover, president and CEO, American Association of Blacks in Energy, said, “We are proud to support NYPA in its efforts. They are leading by example in their commitment to address inequity in our communities. Their holistic approach is an example of what is possible when companies fully commit and take a strategic approach to addressing the needs of their employees and the communities they serve.” 


For more information please visit NYPA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web pages on the NYPA website.



About NYPA
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no state tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.


New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while working towards a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtus.