Duke Energy announced workforce development grants for six Indiana organizations Thursday afternoon. It’s aimed at providing new talent to the industry’s aging workforce.
The company granted more than $100,000 to Indiana organizations that promote science and technology education. Many will provide learning opportunities to high school students and undergraduates, and one will train people with disabilities for jobs in the utility sector.
Spokesman Lew Middleton says preference was given to programs that serve under-represented or low-income communities. He added that it’s important to build pathways to utility jobs since over half their workers will be eligible to retire in the next decade.
“Not only do we have to try to plan for the number of workers, but we have to make sure that they’re getting trained in the right way,” he says.
Recent U.S. energy and labor department studies indicate somewhere between 25 to 50 percent of all utility workers will leave the field in the next five to 10 years.