Duke Energy Invests More Than $150,000 in South Carolina Programs That Will Build Diverse, Talented Workforce

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded more than $150,000 in grants to four South Carolina organizations to fund strategic initiatives that will help enhance and diversify the energy industry's workforce of tomorrow.

"We are making strategic investments in South Carolina to help build a talented workforce that drives economic prosperity for all," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, South Carolina state president for Duke Energy. "We have a long history of targeting investments to have the greatest impact for our communities. These grants continue that tradition and will help strengthen the workforce pipeline needed to fuel the Palmetto State's economic engine now and in the years to come."

The grants were awarded to the following organizations:

- Clover School District: Creates a first-of-its-kind program in the state – a partnership with York Technical College, Clover School District and York District 1 to implement a utility lineworker certification program for high school students.

- S.C. Independent Colleges and Universities: Provides nine $5,000 scholarships to junior or senior engineering students at qualifying independent colleges and universities in Duke Energy's service areas.

- Tri-County Technical College: Supports a marketing program aimed at increasing the number of women, minorities and veterans pursuing engineering and mechatronics degrees.

- Florence-Darlington Technical College: Supports an effort to recruit and retain women and minorities in the field of engineering technology through a mentorship program that pairs students with leaders in the engineering field.

The Florence-Darlington Technical College program will provide students with networking opportunities with current leaders, workshops on how to find the right mentors and what to expect in the first five years in the engineering workforce.

"FDTC is happy to have Duke Energy's support of our pilot Women and Minorities in Engineering Technology Leadership Program," said FDTC Interim President Edward Bethea. "We're not only educating the future workforce, but also the leaders for that workforce. This program will make the transition into leadership roles within the engineering field much smoother for these bright, accomplished students."

The partnership between Clover School District, York School District One and York Technical College will make for a unique effort establishing the first high school lineworker certification program in South Carolina.

"The support of the Duke Energy Foundation and our collaborative partners will help ensure that students in this program exit high school ready for careers as utility line workers, meeting the  labor market needs in our community and helping ensure success for our students," said Carrie Bolin, executive director of career and technology education for the Clover School District. "This program is a win for students and our community."

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. In 2018, the company donated more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina.