Duke Energy is continuing its commitment to students and the workforce of the future by investing $2.7 million in more than 70 education and training initiatives across North Carolina.
The 2017 grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will enhance educational programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), childhood reading proficiency and workforce development.
"Our goal is to build a brighter future for the communities we're fortunate to serve," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "That begins with smart investments in the people who will successfully move our industry, workforce and state forward."
Examples of this year's grant recipients include:
Richmond Community College Foundation, Richmond and Scotland County: To expand the curriculum for the Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program and help build a skilled workforce for the energy industry.
"When Richmond Community College recognized the power industry's need to train the next generation of utility workers to replace those approaching retirement age, Duke Energy was on board to help us establish a program that would meet a demand and offer our students an opportunity for high skill, high wage jobs," said Dr. Dale McInnis, Richmond Community College president. "Duke Energy has been a key partner in the establishment, growth and success of our Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program, which is unlike any other two-year associate degree program in the country."
Enable America VetConnect, Eastern NC: To provide disabled veterans, wounded warriors and spouses with job-seeking training and support.
"Duke Energy's steadfast support of our transitioning military families and disabled veterans continues to make our mission a reality in the lives of many," said Richard Salem, chairman and CEO of Enable America's VetConnect program. "We are proud to be a Duke Energy partner, working side by side in providing 'hands on' employment assistance programs; truly, 'good things happen when people have jobs.'"
Winston Salem Foundation – Project Impact, Forsyth County: To help accelerate the reading performance of at-risk first graders.
"Thanks to Duke Energy's support of Project Impact and Early Steps, we will significantly expand our reach next year – multiplying the impact of a program that builds reading skills in our district's highest-need first graders," said Cynthia Barber, reading interventionist coordinator.
NC Agricultural and Technical State University, Guilford County: To support the Helping Orient Minorities to Engineering (HOME) program that attracts and retains minority students in engineering and computer science.
"Duke Energy's support of the HOME Program enables us to attract, retain and educate more high-achieving students in Engineering and Computer Science and to develop the engineering leaders of tomorrow," said North Carolina A&T College of Engineering Dean Robin Coger. "We're very grateful to have Duke Energy as a partner in this work, which is not only important for our students, but critical for the future of our state and nation."
Read and Feed, Wake County: To support a mobile, after-school literacy program for low-income elementary school children in Raleigh's highest needs communities.
"We are grateful to Duke Energy for their support of Read and Feed and our mission to build children's confidence and competence with individualized tutoring," said Kati Mullan, executive director, Read and Feed. "Their grant will allow us to implement tablets and digital learning into our program curriculum this Fall, which will be an exciting and interactive tool for our children and volunteers."