By Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media

In an effort to increase Black representation in its workforce and the tech industry beyond it, Edison International (EI), a Los Angeles County-based utility company, has developed a four-year, $1 million program to provide scholarships of up to $25,000 to eligible students.

The scholarship program is initially focused on Black men and women in California, but military veterans are highly encouraged to apply, according to the company.

“We believe a diverse applicant pool and workforce that reflect the communities we serve to make for better business,” said representatives of the company that also invests in energy services and technologies in a statement.

EI provides renewable energy and distributes electric power through its main holding company Southern California Edison.

The scholarship award is an annual program and will include tuition and targeted support services while students are enrolled at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for the Powerline Mechanic Certificate and Class A license programs.

Eligible applicants must enroll at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for the Fall 2021 semester, enroll in the Powerline Mechanic Certificate program, and have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) equivalent.

In addition, the applicant must be eligible to work in the United States, possess a valid driver’s license, and be eligible to obtain a Class A license.

Applications must be fully completed as a requirement and they will be accepted through May 17.

The scholarship will cover tuition and needed tools. It will also provide support services, such as transportation and childcare, for the scholarship winners through an agreement with Brotherhood Crusade, a charitable nonprofit.

According to EI, the program’s graduates may qualify for a job at Southern California Edison (SCE), and those who pass new employee assessments will be eligible to start as “groundsmen,” employees who maintain and service equipment and facilities.

EI administrators say the scholarship is being offered in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 47, which also distributes funding for the program.

For more information, visit https://www.edison.com/home/edison-international-lineworker-scholarship.html?