Gateway Honors Duke Energy and Normand & Lisa Desmarais
On Tuesday May 10th, 2022, Gateway Community & Technical College honored Duke Energy and Normand and Lisa Desmarais at the Gateway to Greatness Awards Luncheon at Odd Fellows Hall in Covington.
Duke Energy was selected for the recognition due to the company’s long-standing partnership with the College and its support of the Lineworker Technician Certificate Program, Northern Kentucky’s only 16-week lineworker training program. Upon completion of the program, certificate earners are launched into a well paying, growing career field.
The line technician program was developed and launched in 2020 to address the local labor shortage in the field. Close to 50 students have already earned their line tech certificate since Spring of 2020 and obtained employment. The College has seen a steady enrollment increase in the lineworker program since its launch.
Students who complete the accelerated program and earn their certificate can advance into the field with the skills, knowledge, safe work practices and physical ability required to become a line technician apprentice. Dr. Fernando Figueroa, President of the Gateway Community & Technical College said, “Duke Energy’s partnership with Gateway is only one example of their overall commitment to the community of Northern Kentucky and to its people, especially those who look to upskill and contribute to the economic vitality of this region.”
“Duke Energy is honored to receive this award and we are grateful for Gateway Community & Technical College’s commitment to our region’s future workforce. Duke Energy has partnered with Gateway for decades, supporting its lineworker training program. This program is a valuable resource, creating meaningful opportunities in the utility industry for many students in our region,” said Ms. Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy, Ohio and Kentucky region.
In addition to Duke Energy, Normand and Lisa Desmarais were also honored at the Luncheon for their contributions and support for Gateway College and the Northern Kentucky Community. Mr. Desmarais, who served on the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation Board has been an avid advocate for education, having served on NKU Board of Directors, and as a board member of Northern KY Tri-Ed.
Mrs. Lisa Desmarais currently serves as the KCTCS Board of Regents Chair. Both have had a long-standing commitment to Northern Kentucky region through their community involvement.
The first woman to pilot and command an American spacecraft, astronaut Eileen Collins, retired Air Force pilot and flight instructor, and former NASA Shuttle Pilot was the keynote speaker at the Luncheon. Collins began her education at a community college before earning her advanced degrees from Syracuse and Stanford Universities.