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Duke Energy delivers $500K in grants for Greater Cincy education, workforce development programs

Duke Energy is granting more than $500,000 in additional community funding to help Greater Cincinnati individuals, families and communities recover, get ahead and thrive in the midst of the global pandemic.

The company, through its Duke Energy Foundation arm, is investing $524,000 in strategic education and workforce development programs across its Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky service areas. This funding is in addition to the $280,000 in grants the company previously issued for COVID-19 relief in the region, as well as the $200,000 it recently committed toward local social justice and racial equity initiatives.

“These grants are bolstering more than three dozen Greater Cincinnati organizations that continue to work in overdrive to provide support and opportunities for individuals and families across our communities,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky. “Students of all ages will benefit by being introduced to new subjects and given the tools and resources they need for lifelong success.”

$309,000 toward K-12 education programs

The grants awarded include $309,000 for 21 programs aimed at enhancing K-12 education in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. The dynamic programs focus on literacy, energy and environmental education, teacher training and more.

One of the grantees is Cincinnati-based B The Keeper, which uses bee honey to raise awareness and funding for sustainability projects throughout Cincinnati. The $10,000 Duke Energy grant will fund B The Keeper’s Powerful Pollinators program that educates local students on the importance of native pollinators, provides hands-on habitat restoration projects and introduces career paths rooted in regional sustainability efforts.

“Learning the art and science behind beekeeping led me to completely change my career and my perspectives on nature and the environment,” said Brandon Reynolds, B The Keeper’s founder. “I’m excited to share my passion with students and introduce them to the powerful and critical roles pollinators play in our world. I’m also eager to help inspire future generations and encourage them to dream big and pursue their interests, whatever those may be.”

Learn more about the K-12 education programs that received Duke Energy funding this year. Note: As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Duke Energy Foundation has given these grant recipients the flexibility to reschedule programming or reallocate their funding for unforeseen operational challenges.

$215,000 awarded for workforce development initiatives

In support of workforce education and training across Greater Cincinnati, Duke Energy awarded a total of $215,000 to 16 local programs. The grants promote the instruction and experiences necessary for individuals to pursue various careers in the energy industry, as well as other ever-changing areas like manufacturing, IT and customer service. Many of the grants are earmarked for programs that focus on assisting individuals from underserved populations.

Gateway Community and Technical College in Northern Kentucky will put its $20,000 Duke Energy grant toward incorporating more hands-on learning experiences into its utility lineworker program, which prepares students to become line technician apprentices.

“The employment rate for lineworkers in Kentucky is projected to increase 13 percent over the coming years,” said Gateway President Dr. Fernando Figueroa. “This funding helps us provide enhanced training in the skills, knowledge, safe work practices and physical abilities required to perform utility line work. In the end, our students will be much better prepared for this critical and demanding, yet very rewarding, career.”

Read more about the workforce training and education programs that received Duke Energy grants in 2020.

From Duke Energy

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