Duke Energy Boosts Workforce Development in South Carolina

June 1, 2017
Through the Duke Energy Foundation, more than $900,000 in grants will go to initiatives across the state.

Duke Energy has been powering South Carolina for more than a century, and continues to power the minds of its students and the workforce of the future by investing in innovative education programs and initiatives.

Through the Duke Energy Foundation, more than $900,000 in grants will go to initiatives across the state that emphasize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), increasing childhood reading proficiency and workforce development.

"Supporting effective education programs that improve childhood literacy and focus on fields related to science and technology are a critical focus for our company," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's South Carolina president. "Along with high-impact workforce development initiatives, these programs can help create the next generation workforce South Carolina businesses and industries need to be successful."

Duke Energy's education and workforce development grants this year include:

  • AIM: To support workforce training programs that help equip individuals with the necessary skills to earn a livable wage and develop self-sufficiency.
  • Anderson Districts 1 & 2 Career and Technology Center: To support programs designed to educate students in robotics design, programming and use in industry.
  • Chapman Cultural Center: To support a comprehensive educational program connecting professional artists and students and helping teachers better integrate the arts and STEM into their classrooms and after-school programs.
  • Children's Museum of the Upstate: To create a mobile version of the museum, bringing engaging, hands-on, STEM programming wherever it is needed in the Upstate.
  • Clemson University Women in Science/Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER): To provide continued support to programs that provide camps for minority engineering majors, and to provide camps, encouragement and support to women pursuing careers in science and math.
  • EdVenture: To support the creation of a STEM-focused exhibit at a satellite museum in Hartsville, S.C.
  • Florence-Darlington Technical College: To provide under-served students an education that is highly valued by the medical community, one of the biggest employers in the Pee Dee region.
  • Francis Marion University: To help provide a pipeline of teaching professionals in critical areas for the Pee Dee region of the state.
  • Lancaster Literacy Council: To support education programs for adults seeking employment to strengthen their basic skills for employment, career advancement, and lifelong learning skills.
  • Piedmont Technical College: To support programs that introduce manufacturing in a high school setting and encourage participants to pursue careers in the manufacturing sector through youth apprenticeship.
  • Public Education Partners: To support expansion of an innovative program that provides a pathway into the teaching profession for people with bachelor's degrees in math and science.
  • School District of Oconee County: To expand a district-wide initiative of accelerated professional development for the implementation of STEM curriculum.
  • S.C. Governor's School for Science and Mathematics: To expand the successful virtual engineering program across the state and the summer camps that focus on STEM topics that prepare students for the program.
  • South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities: To provide scholarships for STEM majors at independent colleges and universities in Duke Energy service areas.
  • Tri-County Technical College: To support a program designed to offer under-resourced adults the ability to earn college credit, national certifications and credentials leading to good jobs with a future in local manufacturing companies.
  • United Way of Pickens County: To fully expand the successful "Camp iRock" summer literacy program countywide.
  • Upcountry History Museum: To support hands-on discovery zones that will take visitors on a journey around the world as they explore faraway places and cultures through literature.
  • Upstate Warrior Solution: To support workforce development for Upstate veterans by teaching them skills that will allow them to enter the civilian workforce at a livable wage.
  • Youthlink: To support afterschool programs with an explicit goal to provide students with project-based STEM experiences for economically disadvantaged and underrepresented elementary and middle school students.

"As we've done since our inception in 1985, Public Education Partners seeks to partner with our school district and rally our community to incubate innovative programs that focus on excellent teaching and ultimately result in improved student achievement and success," said Dr. Ansel Sanders, president and CEO of Public Education Partners. "Duke Energy understands this as well. We are deeply appreciative of Duke Energy's transformative commitment to supporting teachers, particularly teachers in the STEM fields, and setting up our program for ongoing success."

"We are so excited to partner with Duke Energy to develop an exhibit to help children and families understand the science behind electricity generation," said Karen Coltrane, president and CEO of EdVenture Children's Museum. "Discovery through doing is how EdVenture inspires a life-long, internally motivated love of learning, and we suspected from seeing other great projects that Duke Energy has made possible that we were on the right track with this. Thousands of children in South Carolina will have a better understanding of this important topic because of this grant."

The grants are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation. Last year, the foundation donated more than $2.8 million to nonprofit organizations throughout South Carolina.

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