Duke Energy advances local workforce in Ohio, Kentucky with $300,000 in grants to help job seekers, students prepare for employment

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  • 14 workforce development programs receive grants.

  • Grants support access to training, job skill programs for future workforce.

CINCINNATI – Duke Energy is awarding $300,000 in grants to 14 workforce development and education programs in Ohio and Kentucky to help job seekers and students prepare for employment, primarily in the energy sector.

The grants will be used to support education and training programs to prepare future employees with the necessary skills to enter the workforce.

“The committed organizations receiving these grants are helping to both develop our future workforce and position those currently employed to advance to stable, solid-earning jobs,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “Equipping individuals with the skills that many employers need enables sustained employment, which is vital for our region to thrive.”

As the energy industry continues its exciting transformation, the Duke Energy Foundation is investing in workforce programs in the energy sector to help build the next generation workforce as well as create access to training and job skills programs the community needs today.

One of this year’s recipients is Butler Technology and Career Development Center, which is receiving a $100,000 grant to begin a utility pipeline installer program to train 24 students the first year.

“The Duke Energy Foundation has previously supported our efforts in creating a mobile learning lab and have been a long-standing partner of Butler Tech and our Associate School Districts throughout the region on various STEM projects,” shared Jon Graft, Butler Tech Superintendent/CEO. “We look forward to developing a program to meet the needs of Duke Energy and our business community in technology and the energy field.” 

In Kentucky, Gateway Community College will receive a grant to expand its Utility Lineworker Certificate Program.

“At Gateway, we are grateful to partner with Duke Energy on our lineman apprentice program,” said Dr. Fernando Figueroa, Gateway president. “As our economy shifts to recovery, this training program plays a pivotal role in meeting the workforce development needs of our region.”

To see what the lineworker certificate training program at Gateway looks like, click here.

Grant recipients, programs, awards


  • ArtWorks, Art Opportunities Youth Apprentice Employment Program, will create jobs for at least 150 diverse and underserved Youth Apprentices who will work on 30 public art projects across the Greater Cincinnati Region ($10,000).
  • Butler Technology and Career Development Center, using grant to launch the Utility Pipeline Installer Training Program ($100,000).
  • Chatfield College Career Coaching Program, funds will assist in implementing new digital tools to showcase student skills plus access to internships and employment ($5,000).
  • Cincinnati Recreation Foundation, Youth to Work Program, grant will help to provide life skills to students ($10,000).
  • College@Elm Workforce Development & Innovation Center, funds will help establish the center that is being created in conjunction with Miami University and the city of Oxford ($10,000).
  • CityLink Center Cornerstone Construction Training Program, hands-on training that equips individuals to safely and confidently enter the construction workforce and accelerate their advancement ($10,000).
  • Easterseals TriState LLC ESGC Military & Veteran Services, using grant to support the growing needs of local veterans with emergency intervention, employment and education services ($20,000).
  • Freestore Foodbank LIFT the TriState, grant will be used to match unemployed and under-employed individuals with promising careers in the logistics industry ($10,000).
  • The Christ Hospital Health Network NEST Program, Nourishing Employee Strengths & Talents, a program developed to address and minimize the economic and career disadvantages of Cincinnati workers ($10,000).
  • Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, grant to be used for the Accelerated Customer Service & Call Center Education (ACE) program, to help train workers with customer call center skills ($10,000).


  • Gateway Community and Technical College, grant will be used to increase the career readiness of students enrolled in the Utility Lineworker Program by incorporating more hands-on learning experiences ($25,000).
  • Learning Grove AKA Children’s Inc., NaviGo Scholars Program and NKY College & Career Connector Program, providing hands-on training, networking, and soft skills to high school students ($35,000).
  • Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Credential Literacy and Resource Access for Workforce Development, will assist GROW NKY Program ($30,000).
  • Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, Pathways Out of Poverty program, prepares youth with skills for entry-level or manufacturing jobs, as well as adults to sustain meaningful employment through skills training ($15,000).

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electric service to about 860,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 538,000 customers.

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.com/foundation.

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% 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 is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Sally Thelen
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