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Duke Energy awards $390,000+ in grants to workforce education, training programs, including nine in NKY

Duke Energy presented more than $390,000 in grants for workforce education and training across Greater Cincinnati this morning, including nine grants to Northern Kentucky organizations.

The announcement was made by Duke Energy President Amy Spiller at Easterseals of Greater Cincinnati. The grants support workforce development and education programs to prepare future employees with the skills necessary to reach their full potential.

“There is a critical need for skilled workers in our region as we look toward a vibrant and inclusive future,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “I am pleased that Duke Energy can help bolster the region’s talent pipeline through our workforce development grants. The organizations receiving these grants support our community with job training, academic support, and community services. Together we will make a lasting impact in our neighborhoods and regional economies for years to come.”

Amy Spiller, Duke Energy

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where the company’s customers live and work.

The Northern Kentucky grants included:
Utility Lineworker Certificate Program Site Expansion, Gateway Community & Technical College, $25,000

Gateway Community & Technical College plans to continue to increase the number of students enrolled in the Utility Lineworker Program, as well as the career readiness of these students by incorporating more hands-on learning experiences. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to join the energy workforce as an apprentice with an understanding of the skills, knowledge, safe work practices, and physical ability required to perform line work. The Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region will benefit by having its workforce needs filled with skilled workers who are career ready.

Trades to Success, Birghton Center, $20,000

Trades to Success is a 3-week pre-apprenticeship program designed for customers interested in skilled trades who have traditionally been excluded from apprenticeship and career training opportunities in the industry. This short-term intensive program provides career assessment and readiness instruction, connects trainees to post-secondary/apprenticeship programs, and provides trainees with an in-demand credential.

During the pre-apprenticeship program, trainees receive intensive coaching, access to resources, and barrier removal that supports successful placement in a career pathway. The ultimate goal of the program is for trainees to enroll in post secondary/apprenticeship training and obtain employment in the skilled trades.

Learning Grove, NKY College & Career Connector Program (The Connector Program) and Duke Energy NaviGo Scholars, $30,000

The Connector Program, an integral part of GROW NKY’s Pillar 2 Focus Area, increases the percentage of students who meet one or more KY Department of Education college or career readiness measures and currently serves all 20 public school districts within the eight counties of NKY, comprised of 28 high schools and Area Technology Centers that house 19,000 high school students. Focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, programming ensures equity of access for all students, making it possible to participate in intentional and tailored work-based learning (WBL) opportunities that will prepare them for postsecondary success (college and/or career) and workforce readiness.

NaviGo Scholars directly connects 10th-12th grade students with local businesses to provide hands-on training, networking, and much-needed soft skills in order to compete in an extremely competitive workforce locally and nationally. While students get hands-on experiences during their monthly on-site meetings, a NaviGo coach is also on hand, learning along with the students. The coach serves as a liaison, ensuring the sponsor’s desired soft skills and company culture become part of the experience.

“Because of Duke Energy’s support, we can positively impact career readiness as well as provide hands-on training for tomorrow’s workforce,” said Shannon Starkey-Taylor, CEO of Learning Grove which is home to the Navi-Go Scholars program.

Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, Cultivating the Energy-Sector’s Future Workforce, $10,000

The YouthBuild Information Technology Education component provides at-risk, diverse, and underserved participants the opportunity to achieve meaningful certifications qualifying them for entry-level positions or paid apprenticeship programs, including the energy sector. Up to 32 youth will earn the certification(s) and college credits towards an Associate Degree in three different IT tracks. Embedded into these programs are numerous IT certifications such as A+, and Network+.

Samaritan Car Care Clinic, Non-profit vehicle repair shop and co-op training site, $5,000

The Samaritan Car Care Clinic plans to open Northern Kentucky’s first dedicated non-profit vehicle repair shop during 2022. Referrals for repair requests come from partner agencies: Brighton Center; Lincoln Grant Scholar House; Life Learning Center; Women’s Crisis Center, and others. In addition to offering discounted repair services, the Clinic will also be a training/co-op site for a second chance adult from Life Learning Center, and a low-income student from Gateway Community College.

Northern Kentucky Area Development District, Grow NKY 203, $35,000

GROW NKY 2.0 looks to build on the existing spirit of collaboration and resource alignment while also restructuring the backbone/operational entity. GROW 2.0 looks to continue leveraging the power of collaboration among partners in the workforce ecosystem to connect employers and talent with reliable and easy-to-understand resources and continue initiatives that organizations could not achieve independently. Outwardly, GROW NKY 2.0 will continue to represent the entire NKY ecosystem, where partners work together on common goals and priorities.

Assisting re-entry and immigrant populations, $75,000

Duke also distributed $25,000 grants to Esperanza Center, Life Learning Center, and Kentucky Refugee Ministries as part of an effort to assist immigrant populations as well as individuals re-entering the workforce.


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