Advisory Council on Utility Supplier and Workforce Diversity

Local utilities to report on supplier diversity at upcoming hearing
Join Pepco, Washington Gas, Verizon, and DCPSC staff at the first Supplier Diversity Hearing and Meeting on July 27, 2022,
at 3:00 pm. Representatives from the utility companies will share their progress on providing increased opportunities for diverse businesses. Other industry experts, District government officials, and members of the community will also join the conversation.

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The Advisory Council on Utility Supplier and Workforce Diversity was established in 2019 by the DCPSC to identify best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion in contracting and employment related to the public utility sector. To achieve its goals, the Advisory Council is organized into three workgroups:
  1. Business Development and Outreach
  2. Job Training and Retention
  3. Supplier Diversity
The Advisory Council is an independent, executive level composed of representatives from public utilities, contractors, trade associations, local colleges and universities, and industry stakeholders. The council also serves as a communications link between the utility workforce and the DCPSC, providing recommendations on best practices and driving results on supplier and workforce diversity issues.

Memoranda of Understanding
The DCPSC has signed revised Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Pepco, Washington Gas and Verizon DC to renew their commitment to increased opportunities for diverse businesses. The utilities are expected to provide diverse suppliers with the maximum opportunity to participate in and compete for contracts and subcontracts in the utility’s supply chain for goods and services that support the utility. Each utility has designated an aspirational goal of 25% diverse spending with District-based businesses. Also, the definition of diverse suppliers was expanded by designating veterans, service-disabled veterans, and LGBTQ owned enterprises as diverse suppliers.
Suggested Best Practices Guide
The Advisory Council’s working groups have collaborated to create a
Suggested Best Practices guide recommending revisions to the memorandums of understanding with the regulated utilities.

Download the guide: Advisory Council on Utility Supplier and Workforce Diversity Suggested Best Practices (December 2020)

This guide incorporates insights from working group meetings, presentations from external experts, survey responses from the council, and a review of online resources from the District Department of Employment Services, the Department of Small and Local Business Development, the District of Columbia Workforce Investment Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights.
The guide’s recommended revisions to the memorandums of understanding with the utilities were developed after several meetings with representatives from the utilities and with input from the three working groups. The recommendations are currently under review by the DCPSC. Suggested changes to the memorandums of understanding include:
  • Expanding the definition of “diverse suppliers” to include LGBTQ-owned business and veteran-owned business to the service-disabled owned business
  • Committing to an annual legislative-style hearing by utilities, as designated by the DCPSC
  • Designating an aspirational goal of 25% diverse spend for all utilities
  • Incorporating best practices related to identifying and recruiting diverse suppliers
  • Including a dedication to workforce diversity and development from utilities
Meetings  Working Group Meetings
Business Development and Outreach Working Group  Supplier Diversity Working Group  Job Training & Retention Working Group