Duke invests $390K in 22 nonprofit workforce, re-entry groups

Duke Energy, a Fortune 150 company that is Greater Cincinnati’s largest electric and natural gas provider, is awarding $390,000 in grants to support workforce development and education programs as well as opportunities for those re-entering the job market in Ohio and Kentucky. 

The grants will be used to support education and training programs to prepare future employees with the skills necessary to reach their full potential. The 2022 giving represents nearly half of the $755,000 Duke Energy has granted here for workforce development over the last five years.

“There is a critical need for skilled workers in our region as we look toward a vibrant and inclusive future,” said Amy Spiller, president, 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

One of this year’s recipients is Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati, which is receiving a $15,000 grant for its Career Pathway Initiative. 

“Easterseals is so grateful to have Duke Energy’s support of our Career Pathway Initiative over the last 10 years,” said Debbie Smith, vice president of education for employment at Easterseals. “This is a place where people with and without disabilities who’ve faced barriers to employment can learn, train and practice alongside each other as they prepare for and secure sustainable employment in our community.”

In Kentucky, the Learning Grove, formerly known as Children Inc., is receiving a $30,000 grant to help with its programming.

“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, Learning Grove CEO.

Grant Recipients and Awards 

  • Academy for Technologists Extraordinaire – $5,000, BYOC Camps and Clubs
  • African Professionals Network – $5,000, Career Development & Entrepreneurship Program
  • Brighton Center – $20,000, Trades to Success
  • CityLink Center – $10,000, Cornerstone Construction Training Program
  • Easterseals – $15,000, Career Pathway Initiative
  • Gateway Community and Technical College – $25,000, Utility Lineworker Certificate Program Site Expansion
  • Learning Grove – $30,000, NKY College & Career Connector Program & NaviGo Scholars
  • Middletown Area Chamber Foundation – $10,000, Skills2Careers
  • Northern Kentucky Community Action Agency Commission – $10,000, Cultivating the Energy Sector’s Future Workforce
  • Northern Kentucky Area Development District – $35,000, Grow NKY 2.0
  • Per Scholas – $10,000, Cincinnati IT Training
  • Samaritan Car Care Clinic – $5,000, Nonprofit vehicle repair shop and co-op training site
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul – $10,000, Working Better Together
  • The University of Cincinnati Foundation – UC Clermont – $10,000, Multidisciplinary Design Thinking STEM Internship Team
  • Warren County Educational Service Center – $15,000, 2022 Transitions – Workforce Development Program

The company is also distributing $25,000 grants to seven organizations that excel in assisting immigrant populations as well as individuals re-entering the workforce.

Cincinnati Compass is also receiving a grant from Duke Energy to help advance its work in advocating for economic, social and civic inclusion while building capacities and opportunities for new and long-term residents.

“With immigrants and refugees contributing to 98% of the region’s population growth, it’s critical that we provide adequate training and industry credentialing that is inclusive and supportive of this diverse and growing population that contribute greatly to the region’s economic growth and cultural vibrancy,” said Bryan Wright, Cincinnati Compass executive director.

Besides Cincinnati Compass, recipients of the $25,000 grants are the Center for Employment Opportunities, Cincinnati Works, Talbert House, Esperanza Center, Life Learning Center and Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

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