The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

Duke Energy Grants $35,000 To 'The Institute' For HBCU Leadership Exchange

DURHAM, NC – In February 2016, The Institute received a grant for $35,000 from Duke Energy to support its HBCU Leadership Workforce Development Exchange program. Housed within The Institute’s Policy Center, the HBCU Leadership Exchange focuses on building stronger partnerships between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and key executives of major corporations and minority businesses.

“We want to thank our partners at Duke Energy for their foresight and vision to embrace the HBCU Leadership Exchange,” says Farad Ali, president and CEO of The Institute. “The program model has a proven track record of success in other regions and will be a win-win for everyone involved.”

Andrea Harris, the Institute’s Policy Center director says, “Partnering HBCUs and their students with corporations seeking to build a talented workforce simply makes good business sense. Corporations and institutions of higher learning have a mutual interest in graduating and developing highly skilled workers.”

The primary goal of the HBCU Leadership Exchange is to strengthen workforce opportunities for students enrolled full-time or part-time at HBCUs, and to foster relationship building and internship or employment opportunities with corporations that are expanding their hiring activities. The initiative will launch in the spring of 2016, with support from faculty members at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill.

“Developing a talented workforce must be a collaborative effort, which is why Duke Energy is proud to partner with The Institute,” says Indira Everett, Duke Energy government and community relations manager. “The HBCU Leadership Workforce Development Exchange program will help cultivate and retain talented workers in North Carolina.”

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. Duke Energy has long been committed to supporting the communities where its customers and employees live and work, and will continue to build on this legacy. For more information, visit

The Institute is a nonprofit management consulting firm focused on business diversity, providing customized one-on-one assistance, training and business solutions to create globally competitive companies. For more than 30 years, the Institute has been the voice and advocate for economic development within the minority business community across the state of North Carolina. For more information, visit

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