USO to Power North Carolina and South Carolina Military Communities with Transitioning Services with Grants from Duke Energy Foundation

USO North Carolina and USO South Carolina have been awarded a $20,000 and $10,000 grant, respectfully, from the Duke Energy Foundation to support service members and their families as they transition from military service and settle back into the civilian community.

Grant funds will be used to connect qualified service members and spouses with expert coaching through the USO Pathfinder® Transition Program.

North Carolina has the fourth largest demographic of active duty military and reservists in the country. Support for our transitioning service members and their families is a critical component in demonstrating the USO’s commitment to our military community, providing them the necessary tools and resources they need to successfully transition and find employment following their military service.

“At Duke Energy, we are helping build a diverse workforce for North Carolina by expanding access to training opportunities across the state, particularly in minority and underserved communities,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “Our state is enjoying robust growth, and if employers and employees are going to benefit from that together, we must ensure that workers have the skills required by the industries looking to relocate here.”

Due to the increased interest in the energy field, the USO Pathfinder® Transition Program in North Carolina has invited Duke Energy’s Senior Recruiting Specialist, and Military Recruiter to host workshops and attend career fairs, to speak with transitioning service members, Reserve, National Guard, and spouses about the unique skill sets and opportunities within the energy industry. Virtual workshops are offered monthly throughout the state virtually, or in key locations near or on military installations.

“Duke Energy Foundation’s investment in our USO Pathfinder® Transition Program allows USO North Carolina to arm our service members and their spouses with the tools they need to succeed in the workforce, leading to improved employee retention,” said Kelli Willoughby, Executive Director, USO North Carolina.

South Carolina is home to Fort Jackson, the largest U.S. Army basic training installation in the country. Over 50 percent of all enlisted soldiers, and over 60 percent of enlisted female soldiers begin their U.S. Army careers at Fort Jackson. Funds from the Duke Energy Foundation grant will go toward expanding USO Pathfinder® Transition Programs and offerings in South Carolina.

“Because of committed and trusted partners like the Duke Energy Foundation, the USO Southeast Region can continue to impact transitioning service members and their spouses in South Carolina with networking opportunities and educational transition programming, helping military families create a plan for success now – and for the future” said Raymond Whitaker, Director of Operations, USO Southeast Region.

The USO Pathfinder® Transition Program offers best-in-class services to those exiting the military. Its one-of-a-kind approach includes world-wide access, personalized assistance, powerful and on-demand tools and community partnerships. The USO Pathfinder® Transition Program also includes packaged career readiness tools to succeed in the private sector; skills like applying for positions, resume writing, and interviewing.

About the Duke Energy Foundation:

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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