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North Carolina Workforce Grants to Community Colleges

Duke Energy has awarded $615,000 in grants to 19 workforce development and education programs in North Carolina to help job seekers and students prepare for employment, particularly in the energy sector. The grants support innovative workforce education and training initiatives at community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and nonprofits across the state.

These grants are part of Duke Energy’s ongoing commitment to workforce development, which totals $6.3 million over the last five years. As North Carolina continues its clean energy transformation, the Duke Energy Foundation is investing in programs that will build the next generation workforce as well as create access to training and job skills that fit current community needs.

“At Duke Energy, we are helping build a diverse workforce for North Carolina by expanding access to training opportunities across the state, particularly in minority and underserved communities,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “Our state is enjoying robust growth, and if employers and employees are going to benefit from that together, we must ensure that workers have the skills required by the industries looking to relocate here.”

The College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University received a grant to support its five-week bridge program known as HOME – Helping Orient Minorities to Engineering. For nearly a decade, the Duke Energy Foundation has helped fund this nationwide recruitment/retention initiative that seeks to attract and retain high-achieving minority students in engineering and computer science.

“North Carolina A&T appreciates the investment of corporate partners like Duke Energy, since the support assists us in addressing the critical need in the nation of educating and graduating diverse engineers and computer scientists prepared to address the global challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Dr. Robin N. Coger, dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T.

The following organizations received 2021 workforce grants; quotes from individual grant recipients can be found here.

Grant Recipients, Programs and Awards

  • Catawba Valley Community College Foundation – Alternative Combustion Program Expansion ($20,000)
  • Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Foundation – Substation Relay Technician Program ($40,000)
  • FSIC American Innovation and Opportunity Fund – AIOF Dream Creators Work Force Development Program ($25,000)
  • Gardhouse Limited – Career Journey Mapping for College Students of Color ($10,000)
  • Gaston Innovation Group – TechWorks Academy ($20,000)
  • Isothermal Community College – Protective Relay Education Enhancement Project ($30,000)
  • Johnson C. Smith University – JCSU Career Pathways Experiential Initiative ($25,000)
  • MeckEd – STEM Career Exposure ($15,000)
  • myFutureNC – myFutureNC Workforce and Education ($100,000)
  • Nash Community College Foundation – NCC Electric Lineworker Recruitment and Equipment Upgrade ($30,000)
  • North Carolina A&T Foundation – Helping Orient Minorities to Engineering (H.O.M.E.) ($75,000)
  • North Carolina Central University Foundation – Duke Energy EDGE Program – Project Based Learning ($50,000)
  • Richmond Community College Foundation – Electric Utility Relay and Substation Technology ($40,000)
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation – Modernizing welding equipment to improve student learning ($25,000)
  • She Built This City – Women in Trades ($10,000)
  • USO of North Carolina – Service Member and Spouse Transitions in North Carolina ($20,000)
  • Veterans Bridge Home – Veterans to Work ($15,000)
  • Wake Technical Community College Foundation – Applied Engineering & Technologies Opportunity Grant ($40,000)
  • Young Black Leadership Alliance – YBLA Career Development Program ($25,000)

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to operate or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

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