Duke Supports Lineworker Program
Published on Jun 20, 2023
On Thursday, June 8th, Gateway Community & Technical College received a $40,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to bolster the college’s Energy Technologies program and to help create more powerful communities in the Northern Kentucky area through the college’s Lineworker Technician Certificate Program. Northern Kentucky’s only 16-week lineworker training program.
Funds from this year’s foundation grant will have an immediate impact on Gateway’s lineworker program. This summer, the college will install a number of new transformer trainers at its Boone campus, expanding the program’s class sizes, and allowing for an increase in the number of students per semester. Transformer training is a class requirement for the 16-week lineworker technician certificate.
“Funding these workforce initiatives is just one way Duke Energy is helping to build a talent pipeline to power our regional economy for years to come,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio, and Kentucky. “The organizations receiving these grants support our community with job training, academic support and community services, helping ensure vibrant neighborhoods and local economies.”
This recent funding is a long-standing investment for the Duke Energy Foundation. In the past five years, the Foundation has awarded 66 grants to support over 45 regional nonprofit organizations, including Gateway, to propel and reinforce their workforce initiatives.
With the generous support of the Duke Energy Foundation and other local organizations, Gateway will expand its lineworker training pole yard from four poles to a minimum of 18 poles this year, creating more hands-on training opportunities for students, as well as increasing the number of classes being offered each semester.
Gateway’s lineworker technician program was developed and launched in 2020 to address the local labor shortage in the field. Close to 72 students have earned their line tech certificate since the Spring of 2020 and have obtained employment. Gateway has seen a steady enrollment increase in the lineworker program since its launch, and with this year’s program expansion on the horizon, the college expects substantial growth to its already successful program.
“Gateway is beyond grateful for Duke Energy’s continued support of the Utility Lineworker Program. The funds will be used to incorporate more hands-on learning experiences so that our students will be prepared to join the energy workforce as an apprentice with an understanding of the skills, knowledge, safe work practices, and physical ability required to perform line work. Meeting the needs of our region’s workforce needs is a top priority for Gateway and we’re pleased to partner with Duke Energy on this effort,” said Fernando Figueroa, President of Gateway Community & Technical College.