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Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas Grant

Gaston College receives $200,000 grant from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas to connect students with apprenticeship opportunities

Gaston College today announced a $200,000 investment from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. The funds will be used to connect Combined color logo of Duke Energy and Piedmont Gasstudents with hands-on training and career development opportunities.

The investment, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will be used for tuition support for Advanced Manufacturing students participating in Apprenticeship 321. Apprenticeship 321 is a flexible education and training program sponsored by Gaston College in collaboration with local industries in Gaston and Lincoln counties. The purpose of the program is to cultivate highly skilled workers to meet the local demand from participating companies and currently provides training for the following occupations: Chemical Operator; Industrial Maintenance Mechanics; Machine Set-Up Operator; Mechatronics Technicians; and Tool & Die Maker. Apprenticeship 321 was created through an Advanced Technological Education Grant from the National Science Foundation in 2015. Gaston College was the first community college in North Carolina to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor as the sponsor of an apprenticeship program.

“We are so grateful for this investment from Duke Energy and Piedmont NGaston College Logoatural Gas,” said Dr. Patricia Skinner, President of Gaston College. “It is a testimony to the important contributions the Apprenticeship 321 program has made in support of local industries, and we are excited that the investment will enable us to help more students get the training and education that will prepare them for rewarding careers.”

“We are proud to partner with Gaston College to connect students with apprenticeship and workforce training opportunities,” said Martha Thompson, Duke Energy district manager. “These students will directly help meet the needs of the region’s manufacturing industry.”

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.

For more information about the Gaston College Apprenticeship 321 program, visit http://www.gaston.edu/apprenticeship-321/ or contact Carol Faust, Coordinator of Business and Industry Training and Continuing Education Programs, at 704.922.6521 or faust.carol@gaston.edu. Follow Apprenticeship 321 on Facebook.

About Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at 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.

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