By: Jennifer Pittman | Community Relations Manager, Duke Energy
Growing up in a family of educators, I’ve seen how education transforms lives. Now, I’m seeing its impact go much further to transform how we power our communities.
Our industry is transforming
Duke Energy has proudly served customers in the Carolinas for more than 100 years. We’re committed to building a better future for the state, making the grid smarter, more reliable and more secure – while generating jobs and stimulating economic growth.
Customers – more than ever – expect more options, greater reliability, and value. And increasingly, consumers want access to information about how they use energy and tools to take control of that energy use to manage their bill.
To deliver on customer expectations, we must do more than maintain the power grid; we must transform it, leveraging technology to modernize its operation.
This industry transformation requires a skilled workforce. It will take an expanded workforce to support these infrastructure investments – including thousands of highly-skilled workers across the state.
Nearly half of our workforce will be eligible to retire over the next ten years. Company-wide that’s in the neighborhood of 13,000 employees — about 7,000 in North Carolina alone.
We still need to attract and retain employees with our core set of skills: power plant operators, line workers, accountants, and engineers. But even those traditional jobs require skills today that didn’t exist a decade ago. We also will need emerging and diverse skill sets: roles that will elevate the customer experience.
A highly skilled workforce will not only help to transform the utility industry, but it will also attract new industries to our state and expand the capabilities of existing businesses.
A collaborative effort to create a talented workforce
Enhancing education and developing a talented workforce is a collaborative effort. WakeEd Partnership is key to bringing together businesses to strengthen and support Wake County Public Schools. This partnership ensures students are prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a complex and changing workplace.
WakeEd’s new Link program is connecting businesses with schools to provide meaningful educational experiences. Duke Energy recently hosted the kick-off Link event to match schools with businesses to create innovative classroom and school-wide projects.
Duke Energy is proud to be a part of powering vibrant communities here in Wake County. We look forward to continuing our work with WakeEd Partnership to create educational opportunities that prepare students for the rapidly evolving workplace.