Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Welding Program Receives Scholarships Donation From Duke Energy Foundation
A $70,000 gift from Duke Energy Foundation will allow Florence-Darlington Technical College’s (FDTC’s) Advanced Welding Center students to attend the College and make good salaries working as certified welders in the growing nuclear industry. Mindy Taylor, Government and Community Relations Manager for Duke Energy, presented a $70,000 check to FDTC President Ben Dillard and College Foundation Vice President Jill Lewis, at a ceremony at FDTC’s welding center, Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
Taylor said, “Duke Energy Foundation is proud to make this gift to FDTC, because, it’s highly trained welders are desperately needed in our power industry.” The scholarships will be used by FDTC welding students enrolled in the Welding Center’s Pipe Welding Academy.
According to FDTC, Duke Energy Foundation’s gift will increase the numbers of welders, fitters and valve technicians in South Carolina certified to work in the nuclear industry. An aging population of pipe welders, pipe fitters and valve technicians will lead to a severe shortage of these workers within 10 years. FDTC has already provided over 200 welders, fitters and valve technicians to industries in South Carolina.
Given the acceleration of new nuclear reactors the need for skilled craftsmen is greater than ever. There is a waiting list of about 50 individuals at any given time wanting a place in FDTC’s welding program. It has a 98 job percent placement rate – with over 87 percent of FDTC’s welding students working in South Carolina.
Dr. Dillard thanked Duke Energy saying, “It’s partners like Duke that are willing to step up to the plate and help us provide the education for these high paying jobs.” The College’s Foundation vice president also joined in the praise for Duke Energy. “We can’t thank Duke enough for this gift! Thanks to them, a lot of welding students will be able to attend our college and get these great jobs.”