Duke Energy awards more than $103,000 in grants for workforce education, training in Indiana

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  • Grants presented to six organizations in Hancock, Shelby, Cass, Whitley, Tippecanoe, Vigo, Howard counties

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Duke Energy has awarded grants totaling $103,397 to six Indiana organizations to promote workforce development and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education opportunities.

“The energy industry is changing rapidly and we need highly skilled and trained workers to tackle these new challenges head-on,” said Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana. “We have an obligation to help train and educate these workers to meet our customers’ expectations in the months and years ahead.”

Recent studies from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Labor show that 25 to 50 percent of utility employees will retire within the next five to 10 years. Among Duke Energy’s nearly 30,000 employees nationwide, 42 percent will be eligible to retire in five years and 54 percent will be eligible to retire in 10 years. “Eligible to retire” is defined as 55 years of age or older with at least five years of service.

Here are details about the six workforce development grants:

  • Easterseals Crossroads in Hancock and Shelby counties  - $30,000 – Easterseals Crossroads, through its workforce development program, will provide  education and training to individuals with disabilities seeking potential careers in the energy industry.

  • IU Kokomo in Cass and Whitley counties - $10,000 – The Kokomo Experience and You program provides all undergraduate students with opportunities to participate in learning experiences by immersing them in businesses and nonprofit enterprises.

  • Tippecanoe School Corporation in Tippecanoe County - $19,500 – The Greater Lafayette Career Academy’s engineering students will gain industry experience through placements with partner organizations and  earn college credits through early college and/or dual credit agreements. The engineering curriculum requires students to use advanced hardware and software, which the project will also provide.

  • Indiana State University in Vigo County - $12,500 – This grant will help  build a vocational training certificate program for North Vigo High School. It will provide hands-on training in electronics and energy to improve job readiness for skilled workers in the community.

  • Workforce Network Inc. in Vigo County - $21,347 – The Duke Energy Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) challenge invites teams from nine high schools to participate in energy sector work-based learning experiences through a STEM summer camp, classroom speakers, field trips and work experiences.

  • TechnoKats robotics team in Kokomo - $10,000 – TechnoKats, which inspires and motivates high schoolers to become interested in science and technology,  had been housed at the Duke Energy operations office in Kokomo. Due to renovations at the center, the team will need to relocate. This grant will help the robotics team find a new location for building its 2019 robot.

Duke Energy Indiana

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.    

Contact: Lew Middleton
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