The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a grant to a veterans employment initiative that includes southern Indiana. Where Opportunity Knox is set to launch this summer and is designed to connect 10,000 veterans and military spouses to career opportunities.

July 8, 2014

News Release

New Albany, Ind. — The Duke Energy Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Kentucky Indiana Exchange (KIX) to help fund its new veterans employment initiative, Where Opportunity Knox. The program, set to launch this summer, will help connect 10,000 veterans and military spouses to career opportunities in the Greater Louisville Region, including Southern Indiana.

“Due to its proximity to Fort Knox and the U.S. Army's program for transitioning soldiers, the Greater Louisville region has a unique competitive advantage when it comes to connecting veterans seeking careers with employers seeking highly skilled employees. We appreciate Duke Energy’s support for a program that will help veterans and help make our region stronger,” said Beth Avey, Executive Director of KIX.

Employers who already have veterans on their team indicate that they are not only highly skilled but also possess the soft skills that employers are seeking in their workforce.

“It just makes good business sense, and we're proud to be among the first investors in this program,” said Doug Esamann, President of Duke Energy Indiana.

“It's not only the right thing to do for those who have given so much to our country, just as importantly, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Esamann.

Given its area of operations, Duke’s funding is particularly focused on helping employers in Southern Indiana connect with veteran talent.

KIX's managing partners, One Southern Indiana, Greater Louisville Inc. and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, are also playing a leadership role in the program. Their leaders look to leverage this program for economic development.

“With a well-coordinated and comprehensive effort to connect employers seeking talent with veterans seeking opportunities, we can become a veteran talent magnet and leverage it as a distinct competitive advantage for business retention, expansion and attraction,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, CEO of One Southern Indiana.

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About the Kentucky Indiana Exchange. The Kentucky Indiana Exchange (KIX) is a bi-state regional leadership coalition made up of private and public sector leaders. Established in the late 90s as the Regional Leadership Coalition, KIX’s mission is to cultivate regional thinking and most importantly regional action around shared opportunities and mutual challenges. From the Ohio River Bridges Project to tuition reciprocity, KIX recognizes that there are challenges and opportunities common to the entire region and if addressed in an integrated, collaborative manner, the shared outcome can improve the region’s economic prosperity. Having a trained and ready workforce is also one of those common regional challenges, and KIX is seeking to launch a regional effort to address that challenge. To learn more visit www.kix.com

About the Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Over the foundation’s long history in local communities, it has identified focus areas that maximize the foundation’s dollars and guide the foundation’s giving. The foundation makes grants supporting the environment, economic development, education and community vitality. In Indiana, the foundation invests approximately $2 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation, visit www.duke-energy.com/community.

Source: Duke Energy Foundation

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