CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Preparing tomorrow's workforce requires action today, particularly in North Carolina's rapidly evolving, global economy. Duke Energy is investing nearly $1.4 million to jumpstart job readiness through grants to 26 education and nonprofit organizations focused on developing a highly qualified workforce and connecting job seekers with North Carolina employers.
"Now more than ever before, employers are looking for workers with industry-specific training and real-world knowledge," said David Fountain, Duke Energy president - North Carolina. "We're proud to support programs across North Carolina that produce skilled workers who bring new ideas and innovations to our lives."
The grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will enhance programs and initiatives that address regional skills gaps, expand economic opportunities and improve workforce development.
Economic and workforce development is one of the Duke Energy Foundation's four investment priorities.
"Duke Energy Foundation's support of disabled veterans continues to make a positive difference in the lives of many," said Richard Salem, chairman of the board and CEO for Enable America. "We are grateful for Duke Energy's continued investments to improve employment opportunities for those we serve through the Enable America employment assistance programs."
Funding Duke Energy provides to Enable America in 2016 will continue the VETCONNECT Job Seeker Workshops at North Carolina military bases, which provides job search instruction and career coaching by leading employers in the state.
Surveys indicate that 70 percent of the job seekers who attended VETCONNECT workshops have attained employment.
This will be its fourth year serving hundreds of veterans and their families in North Carolina.
Economic and workforce development grant recipients
Duke Energy is partnering with the following organizations to strengthen workers' skills in existing industries and expand opportunities to promote economic development across the state:
Bull City Forward – $10,000 for the Accelerating Durham's Enterprising and Innovative Ideas program that provides workshops for entrepreneurs who lack resources and training (Durham)
Central Carolina Community College Foundation – $49,650 for Central Carolina Works, an effort to help more students to earn up to one year of college credit from tuition-free courses taken during high school (Sanford)
East Carolina University Foundation – $170,000 for Tools for Advanced Manufacturing for Veterans and Supporting STEM in Eastern North Carolina (Greenville)
Enable America – $65,000 for VETCONNECT Job Seekers Workshop for Transitioning Military, Veterans and Spouses (Raleigh)
Forsyth Technical Community College Foundation – $49,000 for Industrial Systems Technology Program to enhance training capacity in automation and robotics, key elements of a modern, computer-controlled production line (Winston-Salem)
Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte – $140,000 for the Duke Energy Distinguished Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) Student Fellow Scholarship program for students focused on energy engineering and electrical and mechanical engineering (Charlotte)
Foundation for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte – $35,000 for the College of Computing and Informatics Business Partners Program and Scholarships to provide educational and career readiness programs, including in the areas of cyber security and computer visualization (Charlotte)
Habitat Charlotte – $32,000 for Renewable Energy Workforce Development Programs to engage and educate students who are preparing for careers in the regional green industry and energy workforce by involving them in the installation of solar panels on Habitat homes (Charlotte)
Institute for Emerging Issues at N.C. State University – $25,000 for Addressing the Future Workforce in NC, a collaborative process to better link students and retrained workers to the evolving needs of employers (Raleigh)
Livingstone College – $50,000 for STEM-focused Bridge Program giving high-school graduates with academic deficiencies an intensive, six-week program that teaches reading, writing, mathematics and other college skills (Salisbury)
Made in Durham – $30,000 to provide curriculum development, training and support services for students who have reengaged in school after dropping out (Durham)
MeckEd – $20,000 for its Career Pathways program to provide work-based learning experiences for high school students coupled with exposure to post-secondary opportunities (Charlotte)
Meredith College – $50,000 for Women in the Workforce: Stronger U, a new development series that helps participants learn how to enhance their productivity, job satisfaction, energy and resulting workplace value by learning their strengths and how to apply them at work (Raleigh)
Moore County Partners in Progress – $12,500 for Moore Alive, a talent recruitment initiative that promotes Moore County and its communities (Moore County)
Moore Forward – $50,000 to strengthen strategic partnerships with local schools, regional businesses and community organizations to facilitate entrepreneurship (Moore County)
N.C. A&T State University – $60,000 for Duke Energy 2016-17 Helping Orient Minority Engineers (HOME) Scholars and College of Engineering Outreach Programs (Greensboro)
North Carolina Central University – $135,000 to support a dual-degree Bachelor of Science program in physics and electrical engineering with N.C. State University to increase access, diversity and enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines at both institutions (Durham/Raleigh)
North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals – $15,000 for the North Carolina Hispanic College Fund to provide academic scholarships for Hispanic students pursuing the fields of electrical, mechanical, nuclear, chemical and civil engineering (Cary)
North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities – $80,500 for scholarships for students pursuing degrees in STEM-related fields (Raleigh)
North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development – $35,000 for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Leadership Workforce Development Exchange program to strengthen relationships between higher education and corporate leaders (Durham)
Phoenix Hometown Hires – $25,000 for an incentive-driven, stepped process designed to move participants into employment and measured stability (Wilmington)
Richmond Community College Foundation – $50,000 for the Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program (Hamlet)
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation – $50,000 for equipment enhancements for Engineering Technologies programs (Salisbury)
Surry Community College Foundation – $50,000 for Industrial Training Center – Yadkin County Campus (Yadkinville)
Tri-County Community College Foundation – $40,000 for the Workforce Advancement and Training Initiative, which will boost local workforce skills, training 50 students in TCCC's machinist training program (Murphy)
Urban League of Central Carolinas – $45,000 for Continuum of Opportunity: CAST Preparation and Fiber Optic Training Program to train approximately 90 participants for construction and skilled trades (CAST) exam and two nationally recognized fiber optic certifications (Charlotte)
Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. Duke Energy has long been committed to supporting the communities where its customers and employees live and work, and will continue to build on this legacy. For more information, visit www.duke-energy.com/foundation.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
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Contact: Meredith Archie
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SOURCE Duke Energy