Gulf Power hosts BEAM forum for high school students Oct. 27

PENSACOLA, Florida – As part of the celebration for Black Energy Awareness Month, the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy will sponsor a daylong forum on October 27 at Gulf Power’s McCrary Training & Storm Center for more than 65 local students from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

BEAM provides students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of emerging technologies, educational opportunities and careers in energy.

“This event benefits Gulf Power and local students because it allows us the opportunity to change the misperceptions of working in the energy industry,” said Eric Pickett, special projects engineer at Gulf Power and president of the AABE Gulf Coast Chapter. “The students have the chance to familiarize themselves with the industry and this will hopefully encourage them to consider Gulf Power for future employment.”

During the BEAM event, students will be introduced to the Distribution Control Center, monitor distribution power systems, lineman training, interactive engineering games, careers in energy and the AABE scholarship.

Each year the Gulf Coast Chapter AABE awards up to six $1,500 scholarships to students in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. High school seniors who qualify are encouraged to apply for the scholarship.

The American Association of Blacks in Energy was founded in the late 1970s and dedicated to ensure the input of African-Americans and other minorities into the discussions and developments of energy policies and regulations, research and development, technologies and environmental issues.

Today, AABE has 37 active chapters in six geographical regions across the United States, including representatives from Northwest Florida. AABE’s mission is to encourage students to pursue careers in energy-related fields. The Gulf Coast Chapter of AABE has awarded 60 scholarships, in the past 11 years, totaling $90,000.

The 2016 scholarship applications will be available in January and scholarships will be awarded in May. To find more information, visit


Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at