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Louisiana Groups Highlight Diversity in Energy
BATON ROUGE, LA (April 15, 2019) -- Together, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus (LLBC), Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association (LMOGA), and the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) united as one voice to host the first Diversity in Energy on April 15 at the Louisiana State Capitol.
The free event was held to educate Louisiana students on the vast career opportunities available for minorities and women in the oil and natural gas industry and to highlight industry partnerships with the education institutions that provide the training needed for these well-paying careers.
“The goal of the LLBC is to improve the quality of life for all citizens through access to education and economic advancement opportunities, and I am extremely proud to have been part of a proactive event that put our words to action,” said Representative Randal Gaines, Chairman of the LLBC. “Louisiana’s youth were able to see up close how one of our state’s major industries can provide options for a bright future.”
Over 250 students from area high schools and colleges attended the event. Participants engaged with industry representatives to learn about job opportunities and interacted with employees through hands-on activities. Local community and technical colleges were also on hand to discuss education and training programs for industry-related career paths.
“The energy industry is an inclusive business with a diverse range of opportunities for everyone,” said LMOGA President Tyler Gray. “Through this event, LMOGA wants to highlight diversity in oil and gas and provide a path of inclusion and opportunity for Louisiana’s minority communities. Oil and gas salaries are more than double the state average with annual wages of nearly $100,000 and it’s important to educate students about industry’s promising career options as they plan for their future. Hopefully, this event builds connections, opens doors, and provides new opportunities for participants to explore a career in oil and gas.”
Minorities represent critically vital and available talent pools to help meet the industry’s future workforce demands An IHS report on industry and minority employment projects nearly 1.9 million direct job opportunities through 2035 in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries, and the share of minorities employed is rising. African American and Hispanic workers account for 38% of the projected job opportunities, and women in the industry are projected to account for more than 16%. Fifty-seven percent of the opportunities through 2035 are projected to be in blue collar occupations, suggesting tremendous opportunity for workers with a high school diploma and some post-secondary training.
“Our Louisiana industry needs a diverse workforce to ensure collective success,” said Gloria Moncada, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery Manger and LMOGA Board of Directors Chair. “Together, we are investing in this event to promote the inclusion of thought, skill, knowledge and culture across all of our operations. As the demand for skilled workers increases, we must work together to attract diverse individuals to ensure an innovative, sustainable approach to meeting worldwide energy needs.”
In conjunction with the event at the Capitol, the groups also hosted an industry breakfast in the morning for minority and women-owned businesses wanting to learn more about gaining contracts with local industry facilities to help grow their business. Nearly 200 minority business owners attended the breakfast to network with industry and hear presentations from company representatives.