RALEIGH — With $2.4 million awarded in 2016, Duke Energy’s investment in North Carolina Community Colleges has hit the $30 million mark. This investment came to life through grants to 49 community colleges that have equipped students with industry-specific training.
The grant initiative has developed programs such as robotics, welding and mechatronics, as well as other high-skilled areas that are in demand in North Carolina.
In 2004, Duke Energy created its Community College Grant Program to partner with local industry by strengthening programs that address regional skills gaps, expand economic opportunities and improve workforce development.
“Duke Energy’s investment in our community colleges continues to have a tremendous impact on their ability to respond to talent demands from businesses, both locally and statewide,” said George Fouts, interim president of the NC Community College System. “The Duke program has supported equipment and programmatic needs and has resulted in more North Carolinians receiving the high-quality training necessary to successfully enter the workforce.”
“Our state’s community colleges are key to creating a skilled workforce and thriving business climate in North Carolina,” said David Fountain, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “Economic development is critical to our state’s future and, at Duke Energy, we’re committed to developing a workforce that attracts new employers, while expanding the capabilities of existing businesses.”
A committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce reviewed applications for more than 100 individual grants to community colleges in Duke Energy’s North Carolina service territory.
Duke Energy Community College Program investments locally include Forsyth Technical Community College, $1,490,787; Surry Community College, $ 250,000; and Wilkes Community College, $ 250,000.
Economic and workforce development is one of the Duke Energy Foundation’s investment priorities. Individual community colleges can continue to apply for Duke Energy Foundation grants within the Foundation’s annual Education grant cycle. For more information, visit www.duke-energy.com/foundation.