Duke Energy provides $648,000 in grants to build a diverse workforce in North Carolina

Published July 28, 2020

Duke Energy provides $648,000 in grants to build diverse workforce in North Carolina
▪ 16 organizations receive grants supporting innovative workforce education and training initiatives
▪ Grants aim to strengthen programs serving under-represented, low-income and diverse audiences, including women and minorities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy announced today it is awarding 16 organizations in North Carolina with $648,000 in grants to support workforce education and training programs.
Programs to address the most pressing skill gaps in local communities, and programs that cultivate the energy sector’s future workforce, were priorities for consideration.

“At Duke Energy, we recognize the importance of expanding access to workforce training opportunities in the communities we serve, especially those that are under-served,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We look forward to working with these organizations to build the diverse workforce North Carolina needs to be a strong, successful economic engine.”

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) received one of this year’s workforce grants, and will use it to help continue its recruitment efforts and targeted academic support to increase its number of workforce-ready graduates. The Duke Energy Foundation has been a partner with NCCU since it began its dual physics/engineering degree program in 2015 in partnership with North Carolina State University.

“With Duke Energy Foundation funding, we were able to strengthen our recruitment efforts, which enabled us to increase enrollment in our physics program by 82%, and currently we have nearly 40 majors,” said Dr. Caesar Jackson, professor of physics at NCCU. “This is an outstanding accomplishment during a time when the number of physics degree programs at HBCUs has been declining.”

The 2020 Powerful Communities grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation with support from Piedmont Natural Gas, aim to bolster programs serving under-represented, low-income or diverse audiences, including women and minorities.

The following organizations received grants, and full descriptions of their programs can be found here.
▪ Catawba Valley Community College Foundation
▪ FSIC American Innovation and Opportunity Fund
▪ Gaston Innovation Group
▪ Johnson C. Smith University
▪ MeckEd
▪ myFutureNC
▪ Nash Community College
▪ NC Agricultural and Technical State University
▪ NC Society of Hispanic Professionals
▪ North Carolina Central University Foundation
▪ Piedmont Community College
▪ Richmond Community College Foundation
▪ Urban League of Central Carolinas
▪ USO of North Carolina
▪ Winston-Salem State University Foundation
▪ Young Black Leadership Alliance
The grants are part of Duke Energy’s Powerful Communities philanthropic program, which awards strategic charitable grants to nonprofit organizations working to build powerful communities by bolstering education, developing the future workforce of the energy sector and conserving and protecting our environment.

Duke Energy Foundation
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. More information about the Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at

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 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.