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As Rockwell Automation began its Culture of Inclusion (COI) Journey in 2007, Ernest was already busy diversifying his global teams and providing opportunities for people of colour. Following the company receiving the prestigious 2017 Catalyst Award, Ernest was asked to provide his unique perspective in a Bloomberg article entitled, ‘White Men Can Change at Rockwell Automation: A common sense approach has diversified the workforce.’ Ernest also leveraged his influence and established the Black Executive Leadership Council for director and vice president level leaders at Rockwell and serves as the first executive advisor for the African American Professionals Network. As the first Rockwell Automation executive invited to join the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent membership global organization for the development of Black leaders, Ernest, in turn, introduced the ELC to the company to help continue to develop leaders whose impact would permeate throughout the company. Additionally, he leads Rockwell Automation’s recruiting efforts at key national diversity engineering and tech conferences, such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Ernest is regularly called upon by external organizations to help address diversity issues and consult on initiatives to help increase opportunities for people of colour. He is an advocate of building sustainable change on a local level, he served on the board of directors for the Milwaukee Chapter of Habitat for Humanity and is currently serving on board of directors for the Milwaukee Urban League as they usher in their centennial year of existence. A continual advocate for students of colour graduating from college, he regularly contributes to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) through his financial and volunteer efforts.

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