Duke Energy awards grant to Alamance Community College to support adult apprenticeships

Duke Energy awards grant to Alamance Community College to support adult apprenticeships

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

GRAHAM, N.C. – Duke Energy has awarded Alamance Community College $179,000 to create new apprenticeships focused solely on adult learners in industrial technology fields.

Adults for Industrial Development is the new college program that will develop new apprenticeships to create a skills pipeline for Alamance County manufacturers. AID will initially develop apprenticeships for adults enrolled in one of two of ACC’s Industrial Technologies programs: Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration; and Industrial Systems Technology.

The AID program was initiated because Alamance County manufacturers are struggling to find qualified job applicants to replace skilled workers who are retiring or moving to other companies. In a series of listening sessions hosted by ACC, industry partners suggested that developing apprenticeship programs could help provide workers with the right skills. The AID program would help industry identify new employees and train incumbent workers for new and better positions.

“North Carolina’s community colleges are essential to train the workforce that businesses rely on,” said Davis Montgomery, Duke Energy’s government and community relations manager. “We are proud to partner with Alamance Community College to help prepare students to meet the region’s evolving industry needs.”

“This generous grant from Duke Energy will be a game changer for the college’s adult learners interested in work-based learning opportunities in industrial technology fields,” said Dr. Scott Queen, executive vice president at ACC. “As a nation, we continue the struggle to fill the skills gap for these highly technical careers – careers that are vital to the local, state, and national economy. The apprenticeship model is a great incentive for those adult learners interested in pursuing these much needed jobs.”

Successful AID completers would earn the Industrial Systems Mechanical Certificate or the CNC Machining Certificate. Other credentials to be offered include OSHA-10 and National Institute for Metalworking Skills credentials.

Department heads and the college’s apprenticeship implementer will partner to develop the program. The grant funds will be allocated to implement curriculum changes and apprenticeship requirements; execute marketing via social media, recruitment materials and open houses; initiate student scholarships and support; and purchase new equipment for related education.

Among the companies planning to participate in the AID program are:

  • AKG, a longtime ACC partner and member of the successful Career Accelerator Program, currently offers youth apprenticeships in mechatronics engineering technology. It has expressed a need for adult welding apprentices. The company will actively work with ACC to create a welding certificate that fits AKG’s needs.
  • Beckton Dickinson, a local medical technology company, is working with ACC to develop a customized certificate in industrial systems. BD employees would take classes at ACC and receive on-the-job training at BD. ACC has been providing customized education to BD for two years. BD is currently receiving customized training funds from the state to cover the cost of its training needs.

The college has set a goal for the Adults for Industrial Development program to grow to 40 individuals over a four-year span.

This grant is part of the $5 million Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas Community College Apprenticeship Grant program announced in April 2017.

The apprenticeship grant program was administered by the NC Community Foundation and Foundation for the Carolinas. Award decisions were made by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce.

Since 2004, Duke Energy has invested $45 million in North Carolina’s community colleges, with a focus on technical education and support of business and industry.