News | Dec. 6, 2021

DLA Energy signs agreement with historically black college

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

A first-of-its-kind memorandum of understanding with a historically black college and university was signed virtually between Defense Logistics Agency Energy and Benedict College at the McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Nov. 15.

At DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas’ request, DLA Energy Deputy Commander David Kless and Benedict College President Dr. Roslyn Artis signed the groundbreaking agreement that will foster employment opportunities for Benedict students under the DLA Pathways to Career Excellence Program, Pathways Intern Programs, or other DLA employment programs.

“DLA Energy is committed to outreach and education which can foster employment opportunities for future Benedict applicants,” Kless said. “I’m glad to be able to solidify our partnership with an institution that can boast being one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge learning and research.”

As part of the MOU, Benedict College will provide the DLA Energy recruitment team with qualified candidates and an on-campus location to provide information regarding employment opportunities under DLA employment programs.

“We share a common commitment, which is to train and develop a diverse talent pool of individuals to meet the growing workforce demands of our respective sectors, Kless said. “Building relationships with schools like Benedict gives us the opportunity to conduct targeted recruitment and employment efforts, allowing us to utilize the suite of recruitment services beyond the traditional use of job opportunity announcements.” 

Gabby Earhardt is the director of DLA Energy Supplier Operations and a former PaCE intern. As Head of the Contracting Activity, one of her most important responsibilities is to ensure DLA Energy has an acquisition workforce that can support the Warfighter, no matter what challenges arise.

“Building a strong and capable bench of acquisition and business professionals is one of the most important things we can do, and I am committed to continuing that effort,” Earhardt said. “This MOU represents our commitment to recruiting new and diverse talent and our willingness to develop solutions that will mutually benefit DLA Energy and Benedict College. I feel incredibly fortunate that we are able to rely on Benedict College to help provide us that much needed bench strength.”

Benedict College is a private historically black, liberal arts college in Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in 1870 by northern Baptists, it was originally a teachers' college. It has since expanded to offer majors in many disciplines across the liberal arts.

“This MOU is a commitment to improving career opportunities for Benedict students,” Artis said. 

DLA Energy is committed to building a diverse workforce that encompasses members from the armed services, industry, other civilian organizations, and schools. A similar MOU was signed between DLA Energy and George Mason University in January 2020.

“I trust Benedict College will send us their best and brightest and I hope Benedict trusts DLA Energy will provide qualified students an opportunity to serve the nation as federal civilian employees,” Earhardt said. “Signing this MOU is a great way to begin building that trust and I look forward to the beginning of what I am sure will be a meaningful partnership with Benedict College.”