Duke Energy invests $350,000 to support future energy workforce; Forsyth Tech listed among beneficiaries

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2023

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The Duke Energy Foundation recently announced $350,000 to support 11 community college programs across the state working to create a pipeline of skilled lineworkers that will help meet the energy industry’s future workforce needs. With this additional funding, the foundation has awarded more than $6.7 million over the past five years in support of workforce development programs with a focus on the energy sector.

The lineworker training program funds will be primarily used by grantees for diversity recruitment, instructor stipends, equipment, materials and program marketing. One of the community college grantees, Forsyth Technical Community College Foundation received $35,000 in funds.

“We are profoundly grateful to Duke Energy for their continued and generous support of our Electrical Lineworker Program,” said Dr. Janet N. Spriggs, president of Forsyth Tech. “As we approach the graduation of our 62nd class of lineworkers, this support is not just a contribution, it’s a commitment to the future of our students and the energy sector. This grant reinforces our shared vision of empowering lives through education and training; together, we are lighting the way for the next generation of skilled professionals who will keep our communities connected and energized.”

As Duke Energy executes its clean energy transition, the need for a skilled workforce is rapidly growing. Lineworkers play an integral role in a more efficient, more reliable digital grid. The company’s investment into lineworker training programs and coordination with community colleges will result in a more diverse talent pipeline for the utility industry.

“Given North Carolina’s tremendous growth, lineworkers are essential to strengthening our infrastructure and allowing our communities to thrive,” said Kendal Bowman, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “These grants are one way we can create access to workforce development opportunities across the state, helping ensure our workforce diversity reflects the communities we serve, live and work in.”