SPCC receives $190,000 grant from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas


South Piedmont Community College announced a $190,000 investment from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. The funds will be used to connect students with hands-on training and career development opportunities.

The grant will be used for the Manufacturing Pathways Apprenticeship program to provide funding for student tuition, Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certification and program consumable materials. The Manufacturing Pathways Apprenticeship program partners with local industry to align current manufacturing continuing education and degree programs with industry specific on-the-job training, assuring a well-trained workforce. The Industrial Manufacturing Technician Foundational Apprenticeship pathway leads into the more specialized fields of Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Welding or Machinist training programs and employer-paid on-the-job technical training for the apprentice. Through comprehensive knowledge of basic workplace and soft skills, completers gain employability and job success. Russell Carpenter, Director of Apprenticeships, stated “This grant will allow South Piedmont to aid local partnering industries in recruiting and training individuals for high-tech manufacturing careers.”

“We are so appreciative of the generous funding from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas to support South Piedmont’s apprenticeship programs,” said Dr. Maria Pharr, President of South Piedmont Community College. “Through the Manufacturing Pathways Apprenticeship program, students gain relevant and valuable skills to support our vital local industries which, in turn, strengthens our regional economy.  It is a mutually beneficial system for the students, the employers, and the community.”

 “It’s important that we support programs like the Manufacturing Pathways Apprenticeship to strengthen the pipeline of highly-skilled workers who will move North Carolina forward,” said David McNeil, district manager, Duke Energy. “Our investments come full circle when many of the students go on to work for area industries, and those industries then gain skilled workers trained to meet specific, local needs.”

This grant is part of Duke Energy’s $35 million investment in North Carolina’s Community Colleges’ focus on technical education and support of business and industry.  Individual community colleges could apply for funds through the North Carolina Community Foundation and the Foundation for the Carolinas. Applications were reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce.

About South Piedmont Community College

South Piedmont Community College is a learning college that promotes learning as the process that changes and improves lives, and is dedicated to prepare students to be productive citizens in a global community. We continually expand the ability to grow and learn for our students, employees, and as a college through public and private partnerships, data-driven decision making, collaboration, teamwork, responsiveness, adaptability and flexibility to provide innovative and vital programs and opportunities for success.

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About Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $33 million annually in charitable gifts.

The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career – particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – as well as early childhood literacy and workforce development. The foundation also supports environmental projects and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

The Duke Energy Foundation is part of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

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