The Duke Energy Foundation and Duke Energy Florida have awarded $697,000 in grants to support a wide range of workforce training and development initiatives, as well as programs focused on attracting and retaining underrepresented and diverse workers.
“Duke Energy remains committed to creating access to workforce opportunities for the customers and communities we serve,” said Duke Energy Florida State President Melissa Seixas. “These grants will help the organizations on the front lines assist Florida’s current and future workers in obtaining the critical skills necessary to meet the state’s evolving workforce needs.”
Of the 18 Florida-based organizations that received funding this year, many are among higher education institutions that provide career-focused curriculum and training opportunities for students to gain valuable skills and meet local workforce demands.
For example, Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) is receiving an $85,000 grant to prepare students for a competitive and high-demand career in linework.
LSSC will work to expand its utility-based program offerings to include a certificate program in renewable energy, as well as continue to provide scholarships to local students interested in participating in the Lineworker Boot Camp.
“We are so appreciative for the Duke Energy Foundation’s gift to support energy education programs and student scholarships at Lake-Sumter State College,” said Dr. Laura Byrd, senior vice president of institutional advancement and executive director, LSSC Foundation. “Our strong relationship with Duke Energy allows us to offer industry-leading energy education opportunities for students. With this year’s gift, we look forward to expanding our programs to include courses and specializations in renewable energy.”
Also among the grant recipients is AmSkills, a nonprofit organization that aims to transform lives and strengthen communities through workforce training and apprenticeships for youth, adults, veterans and the economically disadvantaged.
The $21,500 from the Duke Energy Foundation will support the expansion of AmSkills Manufacturing Academy, a Florida Department of Education registered pre-apprenticeship program at Anclote High School in Pasco County.
“Many young adults are not given the opportunity to explore different career paths before graduating, resulting in a group of young people who are unsure of what path to take after high school,” said Tom Mudano, AmSkills president and chief executive officer. “AmSkills launched a manufacturing academy at Anclote High School in Pasco County in 2020, and it has grown from 30 students to more than 120 expected for the upcoming school year. Duke Energy’s support has helped us both launch and grow this program and is truly helping to transform the lives of many young adults. We are so appreciative of their support.”
Grants are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation, which is investing in workforce programs to help create vibrant economies in the communities we serve.