Duke Energy and College partner on Northern Opportunities awards

DAWSON CREEK, BC ? In 2003 and 2004, Duke Energy provided one million dollars in endowed funding to make apprenticeship training available to youth in northeastern BC. The money is held by the Vancouver Foundation to ensure financial incentives and support are available in perpetuity to local high school students. This represents a significant part of the company?s investment in the Northern Opportunities initiative.

A long-time supporter of education in the Northern Lights College region, Duke Energy has chosen to partner with the Northern Lights College Foundation to distribute the scholarships and bursaries that will come from the fund to deserving students pursuing skilled trades and technology training through the Northern Opportunities program. ?The Foundation has had the pleasure of working with Duke Energy on a number of educational initiatives, and this new awards program furthers their commitment to education in the north,? said Donna Kane, executive director of the Northern Lights College Foundation.

Northern Lights College is a founding partner in Northern Opportunities, a program that enables regional youth to enter post-secondary trades training while still in high school. By choosing this path, students work toward completing skilled training that will lead to employment opportunities in local industry.

Duke Energy places a high priority on education and considers it to be the cornerstone of a community?s economic health, social well-being and competitiveness. The first bursaries, valued at $2,000 each, were awarded earlier this month and recognized the achievements of three deserving Northern Lights College students: Bobbi-Jo Blayone, Aircraft Maintenance Engineering student at the Dawson Creek campus, Derrick Pollon, Residential Construction student at the Dawson Creek campus, and Cody Walters, Welding student at the Chetwynd campus.

Evan Saugstad, community coordinator, Grizzly Valley Area, presented a cheque to Cody Walter. John Turner, manager land resources and community relations for Duke Energy, made presentations to Derrick Pollon and Bobbi-Jo Blayone.

Students in the Northern Opportunities program who would like more information on these awards may contact Donna Kane, executive director of the Northern Lights College Foundation at (250) 784-7613 or by email at dkane@nlc.bc.ca.