News Release
April 28, 2004

DUKE POWER ANNOUNCES $600,000 CHALLENGE GRANT TO N.C. AND S.C. COMMUNITY COLLEGES

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power has announced a $600,000 challenge grant to support North Carolina and South Carolina community college training programs as part of its 100th anniversary celebration that will be kicked off at its “Carolinas Competitiveness Forum” April 29-30 at the Omni Hotel in Charlotte.

“We have outstanding community colleges in North Carolina and South Carolina, but they need additional funds to train and retrain workers to meet the demands of our increasingly technical manufacturing industries,” said Tony Almeida, vice president of economic development for Duke Power. “This grant is intended to make the colleges’ training programs more attractive to manufacturers considering relocating or expanding in our service area.”  

“Duke Power has been a great partner with community colleges and in economic development within its service area,” said Martin Lancaster, president of North Carolina Community College System. “This grant will help take our community colleges to the next level in North Carolina with regard to what we are able to do to help grow our industrial base.”

The importance of manufacturing to the economy cannot be overstated. Each manufacturing job supports the creation of 2.5 to 3 additional jobs and the sector is responsible for approximately two-thirds of all private sector research and development.

“We are grateful to Duke Power for its grant to support our college’s training programs and challenge others to do the same. We look forward to expanding our relationship with the company,” said Dr. James Hudgins, president of the South Carolina Technical College System. “Our economic future rests on our ability to train our workers for the changing economy and we must act proactively with industry to prepare our workers for more technical jobs.”

A grant advisory committee with representatives from the state’s department of commerce, regional economic development partnerships and Duke Power will review and award the grants. The grants will match other funds contributed to training programs 2 to 1, or 50 cents for every dollar of new funding raised. 

In North Carolina, these funds will support the enhancement of the New and Expanded Industry Training and Focused Industrial Training programs (NEIT and FIT), or their successor programs. In South Carolina, the grants will support the Center for Accelerated Technology Training (CATT) efforts or successor programs.

Community and technical colleges and/or their foundations within Duke Power’s 20,000 square mile service area in North Carolina and South Carolina are eligible for the grants. The application process will be posted on www.dukepower.com  beginning June 1, 2004, in the community section under “Charitable Programs.”

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity and value-added products and services to more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2004, Duke Power celebrates 100 years of service. The company operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,900 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in North America and selected international markets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Tom Williams
Phone: 704/373-4743
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: tcwillia@duke-energy.com