Union Gas Makes $450,000 Commitment to Skills Development in the North - Duke Energy

News Release
Jan. 25, 2006

Union Gas Makes $450,000 Commitment to Skills Development in the North

SUDBURY, Ontario -- Union Gas President Greg Ebel today announced a three-year, $450,000 contribution to Skills Canada – Ontario, a provincial not-for-profit organization that promotes skills trades and technologies as first choice career options to Ontario youth.   Union Gas’ contribution is being used to bring Skills Canada - Ontario programming to Northern Ontario and will help promote careers in skilled trades and technologies.

“We believe a highly trained workforce is one of the best contributors to economic prosperity – it’s important to our communities and it’s important to business and industry.   We are investing in our future by investing in skills training for young people,” Ebel said.

The announcement follows Union Gas’ previous commitment -- announced on Nov. 8, 2005, -- of $1.35 million to support skills training programs at six Northern Ontario colleges. 

“These two programs work hand-in hand: Skills Canada – Ontario promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to senior elementary and high school students, while our  Northern Ontario community colleges provide the training,” Ebel said.    “Taken together, we hope our investments will encourage young people to consider a career in skilled trades, and allow our Northern youth to pursue skills training opportunities at home in their communities.”

Skills Canada - Ontario’s Executive Director Gail Smyth noted that this is an excellent example of what can happen when business, the not-for-profit sector and our educational institutions come together. “Union Gas is truly a company with vision. Their investment in Skills Canada – Ontario will directly impact the career choices of youth in northern Ontario. Skills Canada – Ontario has implemented a number of programs for youth in these communities to explore their career options in fun and informative ways.”

About Union Gas
Union Gas is an integrated natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company serving about 1.2 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities in northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario. The company also provides storage and transportation services to other utilities and energy market participants in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. Union Gas is a Duke Energy company.

About Skills Canada – Ontario
Skills Canada – Ontario is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting skilled trades and technologies as viable, first choice career options to Ontario youth.  Through its partnerships in education, industry, labour and government, it is helping young people brighten their futures and industry to strengthen theirs. Through programs and initiatives, such as qualifying and provincial skills competitions, Skills Canada – Ontario supports the development of youth and the prosperity of industry in Ontario.

Contact: Andrea Stass
Phone: 519/436-5490
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: astass@duke-energy.com