Elemental Excelerator celebrates matching 176 individuals within its internship program, most recently having placed 76 interns with 52 employers in the climate workforce for summer 2023.
To help build a diverse pipeline of talent for the climate sector, Elemental’s internship program Empowering Diverse Climate Talent (EDICT) works with employers to create inclusive cultures, and with early career professionals to develop skills and join a powerful network of rising leaders. The program now has placed interns at 87 different organizations across the country, ranging from Fortune 500 companies and climate tech startups to community-based nonprofits.
“EDICT is a cornerstone of our commitment to a sustainable, equitable future and its mission extends beyond the creation of internships for traditionally excluded talent. Our work cultivates a community of next generation climate leaders while also equipping employers with the tools needed to foster inclusive and intentional workplaces for talent of all backgrounds,” Elemental Excelerator Career Pathways Senior Manager Antoinette West said.
The program continues to make strides in creating a diverse and inclusive climate workforce, with a majority of this year’s EDICT intern cohort identifying as BIPOC and women or non-binary individuals. In addition, more than a third identify as LGBTQ+, more than a quarter are first generation college students and almost one in five represent people with disabilities. The 76 interns placed this year were selected from 671 applications, a record response in the program’s three-year history. EDICT now has a pipeline of almost 1,400 aspiring climate professionals.
“EDICT connects you with an incredible network of climate and energy professionals in the field and on top of that, a DIVERSE group of peers. Sometimes it’s so lonely or exhausting being the ~one~ to talk about race, or equity when discussing climate change, especially as a Hispanic man who has experienced environmental injustices,” 2023 EDICT intern Osvaldo Garcia said. “But, it’s great to be in community with people who care about these issues and who understand the importance of diversity in the climate industry. Additionally, the internship selection is incredible and there are so many people doing incredible things!”
The impact of the program continues to deepen, with almost half (44%) of the interns from the 2021 and 2022 classes pursuing careers in climate-related fields. One in five had their internship extended and 10% were offered full-time employment with their EDICT employers. Notably, three EDICT internship alumni are currently managing interns in the 2023 class.
“We deeply value Elemental’s EDICT program collaboration and support, driving inclusion and diversity in clean energy. Since joining in 2021, we’re thrilled to witness remarkable industry growth,” Encore Renewable Energy Vice President of People & Talent Ginie Olson said. “Our EDICT interns excel and have been excellent employees. One standout is Cameron Reaves who transitioned to full-time employee. He’s been pivotal in our Business Development team’s triumphs, showcasing leadership in developing a Young Professional ERG along with many other initiatives at Encore. He also managed our 2023 EDICT intern Savannah Doty this summer, who thrived under his mentorship.”
Support from EDICT employers remains strong, with 96% expressing interest in recruiting from the program’s talent pool.
About Elemental Excelerator
Elemental is a nonprofit investor in climate technologies with deep community impact. It brings more than a decade of experience across the climate sector, with an active and maturing portfolio of 150+ companies. Elemental fills two gaps fundamental to addressing climate change: funding projects for climate technologies in communities, and embedding equity and access into climate solutions. The nonprofit invests in transformative technologies to create a systems change for a more resilient, equitable future.