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Duke Energy Foundation Grant Supports Growing Substation Program

Jul 30

July 25, 2017 – Duke Energy continues its investment in Richmond Community College’s Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology (EUSRT) program to help build a skilled workforce for the utility industry. A representative from Duke Energy and Richmond Community College students, faculty and staff stand in the substation holding a big check.The Duke Energy Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the College in support of its EUSRT program that prepares students to become relay technicians and transformer test specialist.

The EUSRT program at RichmondCC is the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina and only offered at a handful of colleges nationwide. Established in partnership between RichmondCC and Duke Energy, the EUSRT program prepares students for lucrative careers in the electric utility industry and other industries that rely on complex control systems.

“Duke Energy has been a gracious and loyal partner of this program since its inception in 2011,  and this grant represents only a fraction of what Duke Energy has invested this program over the years,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “Because of Duke Energy’s continued support, the substation program has grown in enrollment, depth and diversity and is impacting the future success of many students.”

The EUSRT program graduated its largest class in May with 58 students earning the associate degree. The Class of 2019 was also the most diverse. Over 50 percent of the graduates were minorities and 9 percent were females.

Students in the EUSRT program learn how to maintain transmission equipment and troubleshoot when problems arise. Courses include theory in three-phase power, protective relaying, power transformers, voltage regulators, capacitors and power circuit breakers. These skills apply to the electric utility industry and numerous other industries. Graduates of the program are sought after by leading companies in the industry, and there are relay technicians from RichmondCC working all over the country due to the high demand for their skill set. The average entry level salary for a relay technician is $60,000 a year, plus overtime pay and stipends for travel and relocation.

“We’re proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Richmond Community College that’s developing the adaptable, highly-skilled workforce our sector needs to modernize our energy grid,” said David McNeill, district manager for Duke Energy.

The Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities program makes strategic investments to build powerful communities where our natural resources thrive, students can excel and a talented workforce drives economic prosperity for all. The Foundation annually funds more than $30 million to communities throughout Duke Energy's seven-state service area.

About The Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy’s customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 125 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.