The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded over $2.8 million in support of workforce development programs with a focus on the energy sector this year.
The funds include more than $1.4 million in grants to 22 community college programs across its service areas working to create a pipeline of skilled line workers that will help meet the energy industry's future workforce needs.
The line worker training program funds will be primarily used by grantees for diversity recruitment, instructor stipends, equipment, materials, and program marketing.
The newest giving includes a $500,000 grant to Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and $25,000 awards to 10 community colleges across North Carolina, among other investments.
"Duke Energy's support will allow Durham Tech to deepen its recruitment efforts to build a diverse talent pipeline for electric line technician jobs and make the needed repairs and replacements of critical equipment as we enroll our 12th cohort of students," said JB Buxton, president, Durham Technical Community College.
"With Duke Energy's continued partnership, we are able to connect people to good jobs and true economic opportunity."
"Duke Energy is committed to creating access to education and workforce development for people in the communities where we live and work," said Amy Strecker, Duke Energy Foundation president.
"Skilled lineworkers maintain our infrastructure, allowing our communities to thrive. Equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge required to perform utility line work prepares them for this rewarding career."
As Duke Energy executes its ambitious clean energy transition, the need for a skilled workforce is rapidly growing. Lineworkers play an integral role in a more efficient, more reliable digital grid. The company's investment into lineworker training programs and coordination with community colleges will result in a more diverse talent pipeline for the utility industry.
Duke Energy Providing Assistance
The Duke Energy Foundation provides more than $30 million annually in philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation is funded by Duke Energy shareholders.
Other contributions include contributing $600,000 to assistance programs in Florida to help customers pay for bills, housing, and food.
Duke Energy also helped first responders during the hurricane season. It donated more than $500,000 in microgrants to help residents prepare and recover from hurricanes and other severe weather occurrences.
To top it off, Duke Energy has its sights on a green future.
It is executing a clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050.
One of the ways it’s doing this is by launching four electric vehicle pilot programs in Indiana for residential and commercial residents.