CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In response to the need for skilled employees, Duke Energy is helping community college students train for energy-related jobs.
Statistics predict an aging workforce and other factors will create the demand for a significant number of craft jobs at Duke Energy over the next 10 years.
"We are in a unique time when our workforce is aging; there are workers looking to retire within five to 10 years," said Sally Varner, a prior Power Careers student and current electrical technician at Duke Energy. "There is an opportunity for new talent to join Duke Energy."
In its 11th year, Duke Energy's Power Careers Program offers high school graduates and first-year community college students the opportunity to gain experience in power plant operations.
The program supports students' completion of targeted two-year associate degrees by enhancing existing community and technical college programs, and offering new curriculums that prepare students for careers in the energy industry.
"Hands-on education is the most effective," said Marcus Thornton, another prior Power Careers student and current fossil technician at Duke Energy's Mayo Plant. "When knowledge from field experience is added to knowledge in the classroom, a high-performing employee will become available for the company that's what Power Careers is about."
Selected students are eligible for educational scholarships, along with full-time paid summer employment and part-time paid work during the semester at designated power plants across the Carolinas.
More than 150 students have graduated from the program, with 113 of those (75 percent) gaining full-time employment with Duke Energy.
High school students eligible for the program must be nominated by school faculty and have a 3.0 GPA minimum. Participants must enroll in specialized two-year associate programs relevant to a career in power plant operations.
Duke Energy is interviewing students to join this year's class of young professionals in the Power Careers Program. For more information, visit the Power Careers website.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at www.duke-energy.com.