- Grants presented to eight initiatives that aim to increase training opportunities for students who want to become electric line technicians or pursue other energy industry careers.
- Announcement comes on the heels of nearly $265,000 in education grants awarded in April for initiatives in southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Duke Energy announced $203,315 in grants to eight organizations focused on workforce development across Greater Cincinnati. The primary objective of the funding is to support new and expanded education and training programs to prepare the next generation of energy workers across the region.
"Even though the U.S. and local job markets are strong, America's energy needs continue to grow and evolve, requiring a future workforce with new skills and abilities," said Amy Spiller, Duke Energy's president in Ohio and Kentucky. "We're preparing Greater Cincinnati residents for this new energy economy by equipping them with the knowledge and abilities needed to have successful careers in the energy sector."
Recent studies from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Labor show that 25%-50% of utility employees will retire within the next five to 10 years. Among Duke Energy's nearly 30,000 employees nationwide, 42% will be eligible to retire in five years and 54% will be eligible to retire in 10 years. "Eligible to retire" is defined as 55 years of age or older with at least five years of service.
"Funding these workforce initiatives is just one way Duke Energy is building a talent pipeline that will power our regional economy for years to come," said Spiller. "We also provide significant financial support annually for Greater Cincinnati programs that prevent summer reading loss while also advancing energy, engineering and environmental education among K-12 students."
RELATED: Duke Energy commits nearly $265,000 to support dynamic education initiatives across Greater Cincinnati.
Here are details about the eight workforce development grants announced earlier today during an event at Gateway Community and Technical College in Florence, Ky.
Workforce development growth via GROW NKY – $50,000
The Growing Regional Outcomes through Workforce for Northern Kentucky (GROW NKY) initiative will apply its $50,000 grant to support comprehensive, holistic workforce development and talent strategy, which is focused on leveraging the community's full complement of assets to grow, attract and retain a globally competitive workforce. Led by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with a variety of workforce partners, the initiative focuses on ensuring Northern Kentucky can attract future businesses and retain current businesses as a result of a strategic workforce effort.
Power Lineman Academy at Grant Career Center – $50,000
Grant Career Center in Bethel, Ohio, will use its Duke Energy workforce development grant to launch a training program for men and women who aim to become utility line technicians. Through the Power Lineman Academy, individuals will receive hands-on education related to the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses. Training will focus on electrical and construction safety, the erection of power lines, components of power grid equipment, and the general maintenance and operation of the electric grid.
Lineworker certificate at Gateway Community and Technical College – $32,315
The Duke Energy grant will allow Gateway Community and Technical College in Northern Kentucky to create an accelerated utility lineworker certificate program designed to train individuals who desire to become utility lineworkers. The 16-credit-hour program will incorporate the college's energy technology curriculum with expansive training and equipment. Upon completion of the accelerated certificate, students will have an understanding of the skills, knowledge, safe work practices and physical ability required to become line technician apprentices.
Upgraded electrical engineering labs at University of Cincinnati – $25,000
University of Cincinnati's department of electrical engineering and computer science will use its Duke Energy grant to purchase new equipment for the school's electric power and power electronics laboratories. The equipment will allow students to gain hands-on education and experience using state-of-the-art electricity delivery equipment. In addition, the upgraded labs will enable the school to accept 20 additional students per year into its three core electrical engineering and lab courses, support the development and recruitment for a new Master of Engineering in Sustainability degree program, and offer one-day advanced training sessions for current utility workers.
Energy career discovery with NaviGo – $15,000
Students often don't have real experience in their selected career path until they've completed additional training or accepted a position. With the help of NaviGo Scholars, students can explore and investigate career paths while they're still in high school, informing their decisions for the future. Through its partnership with Duke Energy, NaviGo will expose students to career opportunities in the energy industry – and help staff the next generation of careers in the energy industry.
Expand hands-on career experiences via Greater Cincinnati Construction Foundation – $11,000
The Greater Cincinnati Construction Foundation's "Constructing a Pathway Out of Poverty" initiative aims to increase access to and participation in hands-on career experiences for Cincinnati Public Schools students in grades 10 through 12. The Duke Energy workforce development grant will enable the foundation to expand the project-based learning program to additional schools and students, and provide support of school employability initiatives and students' transitions to technical jobs.
New enhanced operator training program for the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission – $10,000
The Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission's YouthBuild program works with young adults to create a place where they can complete their secondary education, prepare for post-secondary education, and gain valuable life and career skills. While enrolled with the program, participants are encouraged to grow and develop to their full potential and find their true value. YouthBuild will apply its $10,000 grant from Duke Energy to add an enhanced operator certificate training program in cooperation with Gateway Community and Technical College. The program will enable up to 32 participants to earn certification and 14 college credit hours toward an associate's degree in manufacturing engineering technology, electrical technology or industrial maintenance technology. On completing the program, participants will qualify for entry-level manufacturing jobs or paid apprenticeship programs, helping themselves and their families advance toward financial self-sufficiency.
Pre-apprenticeship program at Warren County Educational Service Center – $10,000
A $10,000 Duke Energy grant will enable Warren County Educational Service Center in Ohio, in collaboration with the NaviGo Scholars program, to expand its career exploration opportunities for at-risk students. Participants will engage in innovative programming designed to increase awareness of in-demand jobs via weekly tours of local businesses and career coaching. The goals for the program are for students to increase their knowledge of career opportunities and increase their interest in pursuing careers in high-demand technical fields.
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electric service to about 860,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 538,000 customers.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
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