Duke Energy invests more than $240,000 in programs to build energy industry workforce in South Carolina

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June 11, 2020: The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded more than $240,000 in grants to five South Carolina organizations focused on building and enhancing strategic engineering initiatives that will help grow the energy industry’s workforce of tomorrow.

“We have a long history of targeting investments to have the greatest impact for our communities,” said Mike Callahan, South Carolina state president for Duke Energy. “This year has proven a challenge for many education organizations and programs across the state. That’s why it is even more critical today to continue that tradition and 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:

  • Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation: In partnership with the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the funding will help build a mobile skilled-trades workshop that will house simulators and be deployed to schools, career fairs, trade shows and public and private events throughout the state.
  • Florence County School District 2: Supports the growth of the engineering pathway curriculum by adding a STEM club for girls in middle school and expanding Project Lead the Way engineering courses in high school.
  • Town of Summerton: In partnership with Greenville Technical College, the grant provides funding for the Summerton Hemp House Project, a student-led, green building project that serves as a catalyst for green industry employment and training opportunities using affordable housing and the environment as a context for learning.
  • 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.
  • Francis Marion University: Supports creation of an Engineering Makerspace that will provide a valuable resource giving students the opportunity to be creative while becoming familiar with contemporary design and manufacturing equipment in use in industry.

“Francis Marion University has thrived on partnerships in the community and few partners have made a greater impact on the university than Duke Energy,” said Dr. Fred Carter, the university’s president. “Duke Energy has helped with resources for everything from nuclear engineering labs to support for children’s programming at the Performing Arts Center. This latest grant will help us construct a wonderful space on campus that will foster generations of innovative thinkers and future leaders who’ll make our state and region a better place to live and work.”

The Duke Energy Foundation funds more than $2 million annually to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina. In addition, the Foundation has focused on ways to assist customers and communities with more than $400,000 in direct COVID-19 relief in the Palmetto State. These funds support hunger relief, local health and human services, education initiatives and bill assistance for low-income customers.

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