NCCF proud to help administer portion of grants program

(from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas news release)

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas announced an additional $5 million investment to connect community college students with career development opportunities, bringing the company's total investment to $35 million over the last 13 years. These funds support the company's philanthropic focus on economic and workforce development.

The grants will be open to community colleges throughout the state for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, giving students hands-on experience and businesses access to a pipeline of skilled workers. In June 2016, Duke Energy announced that it hit its $30 million investment milestone with 49 N.C. community colleges receiving grants to equip students with industry-specific training, and to develop programs such as robotics, welding, mechatronics, and other high-skilled areas with growing demand in North Carolina.

"The NC Community College System is appreciative of the investment Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are making in our students," said system President James Williamson, Ph.D. "The apprenticeship experience can be incredibly valuable to our students and we look forward to working with industry and business partners to put our students to work."

"Duke Energy is committed to building a smarter energy future to benefit all North Carolinians, which requires making smart investments in our workforce," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "As we continue to add jobs in North Carolina, our state's community colleges are key to developing the skilled workers that our company – and others across the state – rely on."

"Apprenticeships in North Carolina are training people for high-quality jobs, helping businesses find qualified workers, and setting the stage for long-term economic prosperity," said N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland. "This grant reinforces the Department of Commerce's commitment to helping businesses develop a pipeline of talent through strong partnerships with NCWorks Apprenticeship and their local community colleges."

The application process will open on June 1 with a letter of intent, and specific directions will be available then at the Foundation For The Carolinas website (Duke Energy Carolinas customers and Piedmont Natural Gas customers in western NC) and North Carolina Community Foundation website (Duke Energy Progress customers and Piedmont Natural Gas customers in eastern NC). Applications will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce.

More information on the program is available here.

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