Duke Energy spotlights work of Florida economic development team in bringing new jobs, capital investment to the state during National Economic Development Week

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  • National Economic Development Week, May 8-12, recognizes the contributions made by local economic development programs

  • Since 2001, the economic development team has helped expand or attract 331 companies to Florida, drawing more than 48,000 jobs and over $5 billion in capital investment to the state

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In honor of National Economic Development Week, May 8-12, Duke Energy is highlighting the importance of its economic development program and the contributions made to Florida’s local economy throughout the years.

“Duke Energy is committed to creating economically vibrant communities for years to come in Florida,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Our economic development team has the local knowledge of and strong ties to the communities we serve. Both are critical elements to bringing new jobs and capital investment to the state, and we look forward to exploring new innovative programs that will benefit all of Florida.”

Since 2001, the Duke Energy economic development team has helped expand or attract 331 companies to Florida, drawing more than 48,000 jobs and over $5 billion in capital investment to the state.

For 18 consecutive years, Duke Energy’s economic development efforts and programs have been recognized by Site Selection magazine in the publication’s annual list of “Top Utilities in Economic Development.”

Some of the programs include:

Site Readiness Program

Through the Site Readiness Program, Duke Energy identifies high-potential sites and partners with county officials, local economic development professionals and landowners to develop a strategy for getting sites fully ready to market to industrial prospects. In Florida, the Site Readiness Program has resulted in 680 new jobs and $183 million in capital investment in Florida since 2013.

Last year, Duke Energy Florida invested in and evaluated four new sites in Apalachicola, Ocala, Avon Park and Sebring. The team is working with these communities to develop the sites as job centers.

Economic Development Grants

In 2022, Duke Energy Florida provided more than $545,000 in economic development grants to 26 organizations in support of marketing, research, strategic planning, lead generation, product development and other initiatives.

The funding was provided by the Duke Energy Foundation, with help from Duke Energy Florida’s economic development group, which supports organizations that increase awareness of a community or region’s economic development strategies and product availability.

Rural Communities Focus

In 2022, the team expanded its support and presence in rural Florida by dedicating resources and investments in specific communities in north Florida. The team allotted more than $140,000 in Foundation grants to seven rural communities, while also providing a dedicated economic development team member to serve the identified areas.

Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative

The Innovation and Competitiveness initiative focuses on developing an ecosystem supporting the growth and development of business at all stages. These programs that will elevate Florida communities and make them more attractive for business and industry growth by offering the following:

  • Next Level series of educational and networking opportunities for partners.
  • Sponsorships and scholarships for innovation and entrepreneurship programs.
  • Familiarization tours to showcase Duke Energy Florida’s service territory and visit local economic development organizations, government officials and business leaders.

“We are very fortunate in the state of Florida to have so many professionals, leaders and businesses that are dedicated to supporting and growing Florida’s economy,” said Beth Cicchetti, executive director of the Florida Economic Development Council. “Duke Energy is one of those key players and we are proud to work alongside their economic development team to drive the state forward into being a more competitive place to open and grow a business.”

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,500 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

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 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 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 27,600 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear. 

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’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 TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Audrey Stasko
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_AudreyS