Urban League of Central Carolinas

Saturday, March 25, 2017

$90,000 grant to train women and minorities for greater participation in regional energy and utility industries Program offered jointly through Central Carolinas and Upstate South Carolina Urban Leagues

Charlotte, NC – April 12, 2016 – Duke Energy will present the Urban League of Central Carolinas and the Urban League of Upstate South Carolina with a $90,000 grant to be shared equally between the two organizations to increase women and minority participation in regional energy and utility industries. The presentation will be made at a press conference with the Urban League and other partners on Wednesday, April 20 – 10 A.M. at the Charlotte Chamber building, 330 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

The initiative will provide adults and high school students with construction and skills trade (CAST) exam preparation and fiber optic certifications.  Both certifications are necessary to gain entrance into line technician, solar, construction and other utility positions, which typically pay above living wage incomes.   

Currently, many line technician jobs start at close to $50,000 or more annually.  However, many women, minorities and low-income individuals fail to gain access due to low pass rates on the CAST exam.  “We can help prepare individuals for these exams and certifications to ensure a diverse pool of qualified applicants for these living-wage careers,” says Dr. Patrick Graham, President and CEO of ULCC.  “We will start as early as high school and build a pipeline of individuals who are ready to work, provide talent to companies, like Duke Energy, and effectively support their families.”

“Now more than ever, we need a diverse, skilled workforce to meet the increasing demand for energy-related jobs,” said Shawn Health, president, Duke Energy Foundation. “We value the diversity this initiative will bring  to the Carolinas and the economic mobility it will provide for the participants.”

As part of the overall building of infrastructure and development of talent, the press conference will include the launch of a new Highway Construction Academy with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and investments from other partner organizations. Duke Energy’s focus on the energy and utility sectors are crucial to infrastructure development.

About the Urban League of Central Carolinas (ULCC) - The ULCC was founded in 1978 to combat disparities in education and employment.  Today, the ULCC is a lead economic mobility agency providing education, workforce, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy training to low- to moderate income communities for financial stability.  Last year, it placed over 1,400 individuals in employment, who earned over $34 million in salaries.  

Posted on Monday, April 11, 2016

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