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Last Modified: Friday, August 15, 2014

Duke Energy gives $2,000 to support students in new VGCC Mechatronics program

Aug. 15, 2014

Duke Energy recently presented a $2,000 contribution to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund. These funds will be used to provide two scholarships, worth $1,000 each, for students enrolled in the college’s new Mechatronics Engineering Technology program.


This is not the first contribution by Duke Energy to the new curriculum program, which is based at VGCC’s South Campus, located between Butner and Creedmoor. Earlier this year, VGCC received a $245,923 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to purchase state-of-the-art, industrial-grade equipment for Mechatronics training. Mechatronics combines mechanical engineering, electronics and computer technology skills.


“The Mechatronics program provides excellent training for advanced manufacturing careers,” said Tanya Evans, District Manager for Duke Energy. “By supporting student scholarships for this degree program, we're investing in the future of these students and in the appeal of this region to prospective employers.”


Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States, and its predecessor organizations have been strong supporters of VGCC and the North Carolina Community College System. The relationship between the college and the company goes back to the days of Carolina Power & Light, which also supported VGCC scholarships, including the endowed Lenwood A. Crabtree/CP&L Academic Achievement Scholarship. After CP&L became Progress Energy, the new company created another endowed scholarship. In addition, the company has sponsored several annual (non-endowed) scholarships for students and co-sponsored college events over the years. The Duke Energy Foundation makes grants supporting the environment, economic development, education and community vitality. In North Carolina, the Duke Energy Foundation invests $16 million annually for community support and charitable contributions.


“We are grateful to Duke Energy for partnering with Vance-Granville to develop a highly-skilled workforce for today’s economy,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC. “Duke Energy’s support will help get the Mechatronics program off to a strong start and propel our students to successful careers.”


Students in Mechatronics will learn to use basic engineering principles and technical skills in developing and testing automated, servo-mechanical, and other electromechanical systems. They will receive instruction in prototype testing, manufacturing and operational testing, systems analysis and maintenance procedures. Mechatronics graduates are prepared for employment in industrial maintenance and manufacturing, including assembly, testing, startup, troubleshooting, repair, process improvement, and control systems.


Through the Endowment Fund and Scholarship Program, more than 7,000 scholarships have been awarded to VGCC students since 1982. Scholarships have been established by individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. For more information, call (252) 738-3409.


Above:  Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans (left) presents contributions to VGCC Endowment director Eddie Ferguson. (VGCC photo)

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