How one utility cultivated a culture of diversity and inclusion
In 1969, former Tuskegee Airman Clarence “Lucky” Lester co-founded the Inner City Fund to finance minority-owned businesses in Washington, D.C.
A lot has changed in 50 years. But the heart of the company that is today known as “ICF” remains untouched. Which is why, just as we capped our 50-year anniversary celebration, one ICF team took home honors for helping utility client Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) grow minority- and women-owned businesses in the greater Baltimore area.
It takes a community
The increased outreach—focusing on BGE’s Commercial and Industrial programs as well as their Residential programs—involved more outside engineering and outreach services, magnifying the spread and depth of the program’s reach within the marketplace. It also caught the attention of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), the region’s premier organization dedicated to improving the business climate in Greater Baltimore. And so, in late 2019, the GBC presented ICF and MD Energy Advisors, one of our DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) partners, with the ‘Bridging The Gap Achievement Award’ for fostering relationships between majority, minority, and women-owned businesses.
Remaining true to our legacy
ICF’s commitment to helping utilities cultivate diversity doesn’t end there. We’ve helped California utilities employ a more diverse population, to better reflect their customers. We’re doing the same for other utilities along the West Coast.
And back to BGE...our partner, MD Energy Advisors, is committed to making an impact in the local community. Since 2016, it has provided scholarships to local minority students who pursue STEM majors in college. Last year, MD Energy Advisors was recognized as GBC’s 2019 Company of the Year for its summer “Conversations in the City Series” which brought business leaders, elected officials, and residents together to discuss solutions to Baltimore’s most pressing challenges. “Our goal is to add value and provide solutions for our customers, partners, and community,” says CEO Phil Croskey.
What’s next? More of the same, actually. “It benefits the entire community when utility and program representatives match the demographics of the neighborhoods they serve,” ICF's Kevin Young adds.
Read more about ICF’s energy services.