Advisory Council on Utility Supplier and Workforce Diversity


The DCPSC Advisory Council on Utility Supplier and Workforce Diversity, established in 2019, identifies 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 group 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.

Supplier Diversity Hearing
Senior representatives from Pepco, Washington Gas, and Verizon appear before the Commission annually to detail their utility’s practices related to the use of diverse suppliers in the District of Columbia.
Memoranda of Understanding
The DCPSC has signed revised Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with PepcoWashington 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.


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