Today we kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrating under the theme of "Renewing the American Dream." The Energy Department joins the rest of the Administration in participating in a series of events that reflect various factors of the Hispanic community, including jobs and the economy, healthy communities and healthy families, an education for the 21stcentury, and celebrating the heritage and contributions of Hispanics to the fabric of America.
As the Obama Administration says, "the largest and fastest growing minority group in America, the Hispanic community’s ability to thrive is vital to the future of our nation and is critical to our out-educating, out-innovating, and out-building the rest of the world." We take that to heart here at the Department, and as the Hispanic Employment Program Manger, I have worked with Hispanic employees and Hispanic organizations to further support the recruitment, development, and mentorship of Hispanics at the Department. We're working to ensure that Hispanics are represented in the Department's leadership, including the Senior Executive Service levels, and throughout the Department. We've financially supported development conferences including the Hispanic Career Advancement Summit, National Organization for Mexican American Rights, the Hispanic Women's Executive Leadership Forum, and the National Hispanic Environmental Consortium Minority Youth Training Institute.
We value the contributions that Hispanics have made at the Department of Energy and for the clean energy economy. Our Nation's Hispanic Serving Institutions are training young men and women to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers, and Hispanic small businesses are contracting with the Department to provide critical goods and services in support of our mission. Florida International University, a Hispanic Serving Institution, currently has a team of talented students who are constructing a solar-powered home on the National Mall for competition in the Department's Solar Decathlon.
At http://www.whitehouse.gov/hispanic the White House will be featuring the stories and contributions of Hispanics throughout the Administration, and posting a schedule of events to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. You can also download and read through a recent report on the ways the President's agenda has impacted the Hispanic community.
We believe it is mission-critical to bring everyone to the table at the Department of Energy, and ensure equal access and equal employment opportunity for all. We look forward to celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with you.