A growing issue for Duke Energy and many businesses is the gap between demand for skilled STEM workers and available talent to fill open positions. One of the ways the company is closing the gap is through our investments in education and workforce development.
During 2017, our Duke Energy Foundation invested more than $33 million in charitable support for local organizations, many of which are implementing innovative programs to attract and train STEM professionals. Workforce development starts as early as possible – a reason why investments in quality education span kindergarten through career.
In central Florida, Duke Energy is working to bolster the area’s existing skilled workforce by investing in Lake-Sumter State College’s (LSSC) energy technology programs.
Graduates of these programs enter the workforce in high-paying and in-demand jobs. These career specialties are critical to the energy industry as utilities work to maintain and upgrade the electric grid in Florida and throughout the country. In 2017, the company announced a $110,000 gift to support LSSC, and already Duke Energy has hired graduates of these programs to fill critical roles at the company.
In North Carolina, Duke Energy is successfully partnering with the Urban League of Central Carolinas to provide a test prep class for students interested in becoming entry-level electrical lineworkers. This eight-week Duke Energy Construction Skills and Trade (CAST) test prep course is an opportunity for job seekers to gain entrance into well-paying line technician, solar, construction and other utility positions.
These are just a few of the many workforce development programs the company is investing in across its service footprint – building a talent pipeline that will power regional economies for years to come.