Duke Energy signs on to congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge

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  • First energy company to join bipartisan effort to promote corporate engagement with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy today became the first energy company to sign up for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge created by the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.

Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (D-NC) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), co-chairs of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, launched the HBCU Partnership Challenge to promote greater engagement and support from private companies with HBCUs. Duke Energy is among 13 other companies, including Intel, Lyft, Amazon and GM Financial, to take the challenge.

"Duke Energy has a long track record of investing in HBCUs because they are cultivating today's students to be tomorrow's leaders," said Melissa Anderson, Duke Energy's executive vice president, administration and chief human resources officer. "We look forward to working with Congresswoman Adams and the Caucus to deepen our engagement with HBCUs and enhance diversity in the energy industry."

"I am proud to announce the addition of Duke Energy to the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge. Duke Energy is the second North Carolina based entity to accept the challenge," said Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC).  "I created this challenge because our District and state are home to thousands of HBCU graduates and it is vital that government and industry work together to ensure that these schools and their graduates have equal access to 21st century opportunities.  I look forward to working with each participating entity to craft the best practices for recruiting and retaining diverse talent from HBCUs.  This will have a major impact on addressing Charlotte's opportunity divide. I welcome Duke Energy to the challenge and I look forward to working with them."

"I applaud Duke Energy for accepting the HBCU Partnership Challenge and for their commitment to supporting our nation's HBCUs," said Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL). "Diversity of opinions and backgrounds is critical for the success of any business in the 21st Century economy, and HBCUs are a key part of the puzzle."

North Carolina, where Duke Energy is headquartered, has more HBCUs than any state in the country, and more than a third of African-Americans who earn a degree in STEM graduate from HBCUs. Duke Energy's wide-ranging support of HBCUs underscores the company's commitment to attract and retain the diverse talent the business needs to successfully serve its customers:

  • Through the Duke Energy Foundation, the company has provided more than $1.5 million to nine HBCUs to support scholarships, academic programs and other initiatives, with a focus on programs aligned with the energy industry's future workforce needs. For example, the company invested in a five-week bridge program at North Carolina A&T State University to attract and retain high achieving students in engineering and computer science disciplines.
  • The company participates in career fairs and information sessions and conducts on-campus interviews at several HBCUs across our service footprint, including North Carolina A&T State University, Florida A&M University and South Carolina State University.
  • Duke Energy participates in the North Carolina Governor's HBCU Internship Program and partners with student chapters of the National Association of Black Engineers (NSBE).
  • Duke Energy recently participated in the HBCU Diversity in Tech Summit at North Carolina A&T State University.

Companies that sign on to the HBCU Partnership Challenge commit to developing and following best practices to build and deepen strategic relationships with the nation's HBCUs. Following the issuance of the Challenge, the Caucus conducted a survey to learn more about current HBCU engagement with corporate America, which informed the creation of best practices for the recruitment and retention of diverse talent. More information can be found at adams.house.gov.

Duke Energy

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) 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.

The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

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: Candice Knezevic 
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