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Duke donates more than $47,000 for regional job training initiative

Monday, November 19, 2012

PLAINFIELD -- The Duke Energy Foundation is contributing more than $47,000 to the Western Indiana Workforce Investment Board to help develop a highly-skilled workforce for businesses in Putnam, Parke, Clay, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.

Partners in the "Pathways to Competitiveness" project include local manufacturing firms, Ivy Tech Community College, local economic development leaders, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's WorkOne offices, which assist Indiana residents in identifying and improving their job skills, and then help these individuals find jobs to match those skills.

"Serving our community means more than supplying safe and reliable electric power," Rick Burger, Duke Energy Indiana west district manager, said. "By supporting job-training programs like these, we help ensure long-term community vitality."

"Manufacturers in the Wabash Valley are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers, particularly industrial machinists, electricians and maintenance workers," said Lisa Lee, executive director of the Western Indiana Workforce Investment Board. "Business, educators, government and economic development leaders must work together to proactively address skills gaps in order to avert more serious challenges in the near future.

"We are grateful to the Duke Energy Foundation for funding 'Pathways to Competitiveness,' which is one example of these partnerships driving meaningful workforce development."

The project will increase the pipeline of trained talent by upgrading the skills of mostly entry-level workers. As those workers advance, new entry-level workers will receive the same skills-training opportunities. Manufacturers will play an active role in developing appropriate, job-specific training programs.

Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide approximately 6,900 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 790,000 customers, making it the state's largest electric supplier.

"A Century of Service and Innovation" is the Indiana operating company's year-long celebration of 100 years of service as of Sept. 5, 2012.

The celebration is an opportunity to reflect on the company's history, its successes, and ways to strengthen the long-standing partnership among its employees, customers and the communities it serves.

Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.

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