FortisTCI hosted its third annual Youth Energy Roundtable on Thursday, August 17, 2023, showcasing the brilliance and critical thinking skills of seven college and university students enrolled in the company's Student Summer Employment Program (SSEP).
The event marked another milestone in FortisTCI's unwavering commitment to empowering the youth to participate in discussions about the future of energy and championing innovative thinking within the energy sector.
This year's roundtable was held at the Company's headquarters in Providenciales under the theme, "Youth as Change Agents." The seven student panelists presented well-researched findings and eloquently articulated perspectives on topics related to the energy transition.
In the first segment of the program, student panelists Evadne Gardiner, Abi-Gaye Miller, Giovanni Astwood, and Jonathan Robinson led the conversation on 'The Energy Workforce of the Future,' with insightful support from FortisTCI energy experts. The company's Senior Vice President of Operations, Devon Cox, Director of People and Culture, Environment, Health, and Safety, Marcus Francis, Vice President of Finance, Corporate Services and CFO, Aisha Laporte, and Manager of Learning and Development, Robyn Forbes served on the panel discussions. The topics focused on 'Future-proof skills for the Energy Sector' and also highlighted the importance of generational diversity within the industry.
The second segment featured SSEP panelists Danyielle Worgs, Avri Forbes, and Saphina Blaise, whose contributions delved into sustainable solutions to modernize the grid,' with a particular focus on 'Battery Energy Storage Technology,' and 'The Role of Youth in a Just Energy Transition'. These student panelists shared the stage with FortisTCI Vice President of Innovation, Technology, and Strategic Planning, Rachell Roullet, Manager of Engineering and Substation Operations Maintenance, Hortnel Johnson, Director of Legal Services, Compliance and Assistant Company Secretary, Alexandria Missick, and Director of Energy Production, Alvejes Desir.
Her Excellency, Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, was also in attendance, along with Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, and Minister of Home Affairs, Public Utilities and Transportation, Hon. Otis Morris. Commenting on the students' performance at the event, Hon. Morris stated: "The future of Turks and Caicos is surely bright. It is refreshing to see so many young students showcasing their talent and capability to be part of the energy conversation. These students are indeed change agents, and we look forward to the change they will bring about for the sustainable energy future of the TCI for generations to come." Hon. Morris also commended FortisTCI for investing in the country's youth and providing them with opportunities through the FortisTCI SSEP program and the roundtable event.
FortisTCI President and CEO Ruth Forbes reinforced the purpose of the event, which was developed in 2021 as a capstone project to enhance the Company's summer employment program and get students involved in discussions about the future of energy in the TCI. During her remarks, she stated: "We believe in the value these young people bring to the table. We know they are keen to make meaningful contributions, with the right opportunities. We believe in their capacity to challenge the status quo, speak up, and stand out when it matters. We believe in their power to effect change. We believe that the time is always right to do right by our youth and give them the opportunities to shine. That is what the roundtable is about."
The third annual Youth Energy Roundtable builds upon the success of previous years and reaffirms FortisTCI's reputation as a leader in nurturing innovation, empowerment, and collaboration with the youth.