I am the daughter of a sailor.  My father was born with a tiller in one hand, a line in the other and his eyes fixed on the horizon. Weekends during my childhood were spent learning how to trim the sail, to tack and certainly to look out for the boom. Some months ago, my father announced that he was charting a new course for adventure -- a puppy.  Naturally, the puppy needed a nautical name. After a family version of the “Name That Puppy” game show, with suggestions from Schooner to Rudder to Salty, we landed on Skipper. He arrives to his new home today, and when I visited there last weekend, I left him a little welcome gift. I knew I had found just the right thing when I saw the rope toy shaped like an anchor. Perfect! I can’t wait to meet him! 

At NCCF, we’re setting sail on a new voyage of our own.  On Monday, after months of planning and preparation, we met with representatives from Duke Energy, the NC Community College System and the NC Department of Commerce to launch the Duke Energy Community College Grant Program. The waters are not completely uncharted.  The program was established in 2004, and with the support of Foundation for the Carolinas, it has provided 72 grants totaling $15 million to community colleges in the Duke Energy territory. As a result of Duke Energy’s merger with Progress Energy, the program is expanding its course to include the community colleges in the (former) Progress Energy territory. That’s where we come in! 

The crew here at NCCF is honored to have been asked to partner with Foundation for the Carolinas to administer this program, with $6.7 million available for community colleges across our state.  Grants will be awarded to community colleges within the Duke Energy service area for training programs and capacity-building projects aligned with Duke Energy’s economic development focus areas. This will result in new jobs, retention of existing jobs or increases in wages for existing employees. To find out more about the program and how to apply, click here.

With new waters to explore, hear our excited call, "Anchor’s Aweigh!"

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