Duke Energy Foundation boosts South Carolina students, teachers and workforce through $660,000 in grants

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  • 2018 education and workforce development grants to benefit 16 organizations

  • Funding will support innovative programs across Palmetto State

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

Emphasizing the importance of workforce development, literacy  and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Duke Energy recently awarded more than $660,000 in grants to 16 programs across the Palmetto State.

The grants are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation, which provides philanthropic support to communities served by Duke Energy, with a focus on "K to Career" educational and workforce development initiatives, the environment and community impact.

"Our 'K to Career' grants go to a diverse group of organizations across our state that are dedicated to training the workforce of the future and giving our young people the skills they will need to lead our state in the years to come," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, South Carolina state president for Duke Energy.

Recipients 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.
  • 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.
  • Francis Marion University: To support the expansion of the university's engineering program to include mechanical engineering.

    "Duke Energy continues to be one of our strongest industry partners, and we're delighted that they've chosen to support the development of our mechanical engineering program," said Francis Marion University President Fred Carter. "This type of donation enhances the opportunity for students throughout this region to receive an incomparable education in a dynamic field, at a reasonable cost."
  • Northeastern Technical College: To help ramp up the college's electrical technician program to help meet the need for electrical technicians in Chesterfield, Marlboro and Dillon counties.

  • Public Education Partners: To continue and expand an innovative program that provides a pathway into the teaching profession for people with bachelor's degrees in math and science.

  • Roper Mountain Science Center: To expand STEM-based learning labs to students in Anderson, Pickens and Spartanburg counties.

  • South Carolina Robotics Education Foundation: To help students develop STEM skills by expanding FIRST Tech Challenge robotics teams to Title 1 schools throughout Duke Energy's service territory.

  • South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities: To provide scholarships for STEM majors at independent colleges and universities in Duke Energy service areas.

  • South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind: To support the Really Cool for My School Book Club, a literacy initiative that helps to foster the love of reading for students by supplying large print and braille books to take home.

    "The Duke Energy Foundation's support of our Really Cool for My School Book Club enables us to continue to provide a critical component of our literacy initiative here at the school," said Ann Akerman, the CEO for the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. "Ensuring that children have accessible reading materials including large print and braille is imperative to a child's ability to learn to read. Together we are providing important resources to ensure a solid foundation for tomorrow's leaders."

  • Spartanburg Community College: To address regional workforce development issues in Cherokee County for individuals who have barriers to employment.

  • Tri-County Technical College: To support hands-on training in partnership with School District of Oconee County for students in engineering and mechatronics.

  • United Way of Pickens County: To continue and expand the successful "Camp iRock" summer literacy program.

  • Upcountry History Museum: To support hands-on literacy adventures that will take visitors on a journey around the world as they explore faraway places and cultures through beloved classic stories.

  • 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.

The Foundation annually funds more than $33 million to communities throughout Duke Energy's seven-state service area. In 2017, the company donated more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina.

About Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $33 million annually in charitable gifts.

The Foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career – particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – as well as early childhood literacy and workforce development. The Foundation also supports environmental projects and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit duke-energy.com/foundation.

The Duke Energy Foundation is part of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes 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: Ryan Mosier 
24-Hour: 800.559.3853