Duke Energy Invests Over $3.6 Million to Build Diverse Workforce of the Future

Duke Energy has announced it is awarding over $3.6 million in grants to support 54 innovative workforce development programs across the communities served by the company.

“Our goal is to build a diverse workforce equipped to help the energy industry transform the grid and innovate to meet customers’ needs,” said Cari Boyce, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “The energy sector generates an abundance of well-paid, dynamic jobs, and we want to ensure nontraditional students have access to these opportunities.”

The 2019 Powerful Communities grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation with support from Piedmont Natural Gas, aim to bolster programs serving under-represented, low-income or diverse audiences, including women and minorities.

“Duke Energy Foundation’s investment in our HOME program allows us to continue the College’s tradition of exposing a distinctive cohort of incoming engineering and computer science freshmen to tailored educational and professional development,” said Dr. Robin N. Coger, dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. “On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of the College of Engineering, I thank the Duke Energy Foundation for their support.”

“The University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, among the largest colleges of its kind in the nation, is known for its diverse student body and excellence in producing engineers who are fully-prepared for the energy industry and beyond,” said Michael Georgiopoulos, dean. “The innovative, industry-relevant opportunities that we provide our students integrate technical skills with project management and soft skills and are made possible through generous support from the Duke Energy Foundation, which benefits more than 200 students annually.” UCF’s peer and industry mentoring programs for women have helped increase graduation rates of female engineering and computer science students by approximately 40 percent.

The grants are part of Duke Energy’s Powerful Communities philanthropic program, which awards strategic charitable grants to nonprofit organizations working to build powerful communities by bolstering education, developing the future workforce of the energy sector and conserving and protecting our environment.

In 2018, Duke Energy Foundation invested more than $31 million to support communities throughout Duke Energy’s seven-state service area.

A complete list of the 54 grant recipients and summaries by state can be found here:

  • Florida – $715,000 to support 18 projects
  • Indiana – More than $100,000 to support six projects

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