Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas Community College Grant Program

Program Requirements

Proposals made to this grant program need to:

  • Focus on the need for a skill pipeline for existing and potential industry in the community college’s area of service, with a preference (not a restriction) for training that supports the manufacturing industry
  • Fund adult registered apprenticeship* and pre-apprenticeship programs for incumbent and new employees who are not currently enrolled in high school, to include those employees receiving a youth tuition waiver, per legislation.
  • Include a maximum request of $200,000, with no more than $75,000 of that allotted for equipment
  • Demonstrate a substantial commitment from specific industry partners
  • Deliver outcomes data within a four-year grant term, including:
    • Wage increases for participants
    • Number of participants enrolled and retained in the program
    • Job retention/promotion of participants
Applicants selected to advance beyond the LOI stage and are invited to submit a full application will be required, at the time of application, to provide approved Training Program Request forms for each industry sponsor identified in their proposal, verifying the sponsor's status as a registered apprenticeship program.  Once a registered apprenticeship is approved by the appropriate state agency, an approved TPR form is issued to the industry sponsor by the appropriate state agency, currently the NC Community College System.  Note that TPR forms issued by past issuing agencies (i.e., the NC Department of Labor and NC Department of Commerce) will be honored if they are directly relevant to this proposal.  If you have additional questions about this requirement, please contact us at the NC Community Foundation.

Grant Terms

  • The maximum amount for an individual grant is $200,000 for this program, with no more than $75,000 allotted for equipment.
  • Funds may not be used for staff training and development or for college personnel salaries or other administrative/operating costs.
  • The funds must be spent and outcomes realized within four years of the award date.
  • Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report at the conclusion of the project, as well as interim reports upon request throughout the grant term.
  • Currently, there is no restriction placed on the number of times that any community college can apply for and receive funding; however, preference will be shown for community colleges that have not yet received funding from this program.  Previous grantees are advised to apply with that in mind and must wait 24 months before reapplying after a successful grant.  (Note: This rule only applies to grantees who have received funding from this grant program, not other Duke Energy Foundation grant programs.)


The process begins with applicants submitting a letter of inquiry (LOI). Letters are reviewed twice a year by the grant committee, once in the summer and once in the winter, with deadlines of July 1 and January 1, respectively.    Everyone who submits a letter of inquiry will be notified of the outcome of the committee review.  The grant committee will invite selected applicants to submit a full application, based on their LOI.  The entire process - from LOI to grant award - takes approximately 6 months.

  • For example, all applicants who submit an LOI by July 1 will be notified of the outcome in mid-late August.  Those applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will have an application deadline of mid-late September, with notifications in late November.
  • Similarly, all applicants who submit an LOI by January 1 will be notified of the outcome in mid-late February.  Those applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will have an application deadline of mid-late March, with awards released in late May.

Some proposals may be postponed for future consideration. If the grant committee has elected to postpone the review of a letter, the applicant will be notified. The grant committee reserves the right to establish more frequent review and approval of applications should emerging needs arise.

How to Apply

Instructions are provided below, and when you are ready, you can Click Here to enter the online system.

All letters of inquiry and full proposals must be submitted electronically, using the NC Community Foundation's online grant system.  Below you will find instructions for how to do so, and a link to our online system.  Be sure to read these instructions carefully before you begin.

First, you must create an account profile.  For assistance with creating your account, please click here to view the training slides.

Once your profile is created, you will be directed to your dashboard.  Click on the word "Apply" in the upper left-hand corner.

You will arrive at a page with information about applying for a grant from NCCF.  In the upper right-hand corner, you will see an "Access Code" box.  In that box, type the word: apprentice.  Then, click on the Enter Code button.  NOTE: The Access Code is case-sensitive.

The page will refresh, and a link to the online portal, titled "Duke Energy/PNG Community College Grant Program", will appear.  Click on that link to access the LOI form.  

This program is using a structured LOI format that is much like a brief version of the full application.  You will know you are in the right place if you see LOI in the upper left-hand corner.  Follow the instructions to complete the form and submit it.  

A printer-friendly version of the questions is available to you once you have set up an account and entered the portal for this program.

Ready to Apply? 

Leslie Ann Jackson

For questions about the program
Christopher Fipps

For questions about the program
NCCF Tech Support

For technical questions regarding accessing and using the system