Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas Community College Grant Program - Requirements

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Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas Community College Grant Program


Program Requirements

Proposals made to this grant program need to:

  • Focus on the need for a skill pipeline for existing and potential industry in the community college’s area of service, with a preference (not a restriction) for training that supports the manufacturing industry
  • Fund adult registered apprenticeship* and pre-apprenticeship programs for incumbent and new employees who are not currently enrolled in high school, to include those employees receiving a youth tuition waiver, per legislation
  • Include a maximum request of $200,000, with no more than $75,000 of that allotted for equipment
  • Demonstrate a substantial commitment from specific industry partners
  • Deliver outcomes within a four-year grant term, including:
    • Wage increases for participants
    • Number of participants enrolled and retained in the program
    • Job retention/promotion of participants

*Applicants selected to advance beyond the LOI stage and are invited to submit a full application will be required, at the time of application, to provide approved Training Program Request forms for each industry sponsor identified in their proposal, verifying the sponsor's status as a registered apprenticeship program. Once a registered apprenticeship is approved by the appropriate state agency, an approved TPR form is issued to the industry sponsor by the appropriate state agency, currently the NC Community College System. Note that TPR forms issued by past issuing agencies (i.e., the NC Department of Labor and NC Department of Commerce) will be honored if they are directly relevant to this proposal. If you have additional questions about this requirement, please contact FFTC.

Grant Terms

The maximum amount for an individual grant is $200,000 for this program, with no more than $75,000 allotted for equipment.

Funds may not be used for staff training and development or for college personnel salaries or other administrative/operating costs.

The funds must be spent and outcomes realized within four years of the award date.

Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report at the conclusion of the project, as well as interim reports upon request throughout the grant term.

Currently, there is no restriction placed on the number of times any community college can apply for and receive funding; however, preference will be shown for community colleges that have not yet received funding from this program. Previous grantees are advised to apply with that in mind and must wait 24 months before reapplying after submitting an LOI that resulted in funding. For example, a community college that submitted an LOI for the July 1, 2017 deadline that ultimately received funding would be eligible to submit an LOI for the July 1, 2019 deadline. (Note: This rule only applies to grantees who have received funding from this grant program, not other Duke Energy Foundation grant programs.)


The process begins with applicants submitting a letter of inquiry (LOI). Letters are reviewed twice a year by the grant committee, once in the summer and once in the winter, with deadlines of July 1 and February 1, respectively. Everyone who submits a letter of inquiry will be notified of the outcome of the committee review. The grant committee will invite selected applicants to submit a full application, based on their LOI. The entire process - from LOI to grant award - takes approximately 6 months.

  • For example, all applicants who submit an LOI by July 1 will be notified of the outcome in mid-late August. Those applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will have an application deadline of mid-late September, with notifications in late November.
  • Similarly, all applicants who submit an LOI by January 1 will be notified of the outcome in mid-late February. Those applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will have an application deadline of mid-late March, with awards released in late May.

Some proposals may be postponed for future consideration. If the grant committee elects to postpone the review of a letter, the applicant will be notified. The grant committee reserves the right to establish more frequent review and approval of applications should emerging needs arise.

How to Apply

All letters of inquiry and full proposals must be submitted electronically, using the Foundation For The Carolinas Online Grants Center. Below you will find instructions and a link to our online system. Be sure to read these instructions carefully before you begin.

  1. Create an account profile with our Online Grants Center.
  2. Once your profile is created, use the Grant Program Name dropdown to search for “Duke Energy/PNG Community College".
  3. Click Search by Eligibility. The page will refresh and a link to the online portal, titled "Duke Energy/PNG Community College Grant Program LOI/Pre-Application," will appear.
  4. Click on that link to view detailed program information and to begin the LOI/Pre-Application. 
  5. Click Apply. The page will refresh and you will be directed to your dashboard. This program is using a structured LOI/pre-application format that is much like a brief version of the full application. Follow the instructions to complete each section of the dashboard. Please note all sections on the dashboard must show 100% completion in order to click Submit.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Rhonda Dean at rdean@fftc.org or Nicole Fote at nfote@fftc.org. For questions about using the Online Grants Center, please contact Nicole Fote at nfote@fftc.org.

Ready to Apply? Click here to enter the Online Grants Center.

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