Duke Energy helps build South Carolina workforce with nearly $200,000 in grants with focus on veterans, underserved communities

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  • 10 organizations in the Palmetto State receive funding from the Duke Energy Foundation

  • Grants strengthen programs that serve underrepresented audiences, including minorities and military veterans

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to 10 South Carolina organizations focused on building and enhancing strategic engineering initiatives that will help grow the energy industry’s workforce of tomorrow.

“We have a long history of targeting investments to have the greatest impact for our communities,” said Mike Callahan, South Carolina state president for Duke Energy. “Part of that tradition has been a focus on helping to build a diverse workforce for the Palmetto State. These grants build on that by helping expand access to training opportunities for our nation’s military veterans as well as minority and underserved communities. It is critical to continue that tradition and help strengthen the workforce pipeline needed to fuel the state’s economic engine now and in the years to come.” 

These grants are part of Duke Energy’s ongoing commitment to workforce development, which totals $1.6 million over the past five years. As South Carolina continues its clean energy transformation, the Duke Energy Foundation is investing in programs that will build the next generation workforce as well as create access to training and job skills that fit current community needs.

The USO has been helping service members and their families transition from their service to civilian life for 80 years. The organization continues that history of service through programs like the USO Pathfinder Scouts, where they work directly with transitioning service members and their families to identify personal and professional goals and connect them with the resources needed to accomplish those goals. Funds from the Duke Energy Foundation will expand an energy specific track of the transition workshop offerings in South Carolina.

“Because of committed and trusted partners like the Duke Energy Foundation, the USO Southeast Region can continue to impact transitioning service members and their spouses in South Carolina with networking opportunities and educational transition programming, helping military families create a plan for success now – and for the future” said Raymond Whitaker, director of operations for the USO Southeast Region.

Grant recipients

  • Upstate Fatherhood Coalition – Pathways to Employment & Presence Program ($5,000)
  • Brothers Restoring Urban Hope – Interactive program for underserved students ($10,000)
  • South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind – Training for future careers in 3-D printing ($5,000)
  • American Association of Blacks in Energy – Scholarships for students majoring in STEM fields ($15,000)
  • University of South Carolina – Washington, D.C., internship program for minority students with focus on energy policy ($56,000)
  • Joseph’s Outreach – Energy Industry Second Chance Pilot Program ($25,000)
  • USO – Employment readiness support to transitioning servicemembers ($10,000)
  • Upstate Warrior Solution – Program provides workforce training and assistance for justice-involved veterans in the Upstate ($20,000)
  • SC Future Makers – Program matches job seekers to employment opportunities, with a focus on military veterans ($15,000)
  • South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities – Provides $2,500 scholarships to 12 minority students majoring in engineering ($30,000)

Duke Energy Foundation

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 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 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own 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.

Contact: Ryan Mosier
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