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Computer science, cyber programs receive support through NC Electric Cooperatives’ gift


North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives will donate $75,000 over the next three years to support expanded opportunities for students enrolled in cybersecurity and computer science courses at UNC Pembroke.

As the demand for talented professionals in the cybersecurity and information technology fields grows, the state’s electric co-ops are helping students enter the workforce well-prepared for the challenges they will face. Cybersecurity is of critical importance to the power generation, transmission and distribution networks of electric cooperatives across the state.

“We are pleased to partner with UNC Pembroke on this new initiative to support cybersecurity and help provide a pipeline of highly skilled workers that will strengthen our industry and our communities,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.

“As technologies continue to advance, it is critical we invest in educational programs keeping us on the leading edge while providing students the specialized training they need to pursue future job opportunities.”

The electric cooperatives’ gift will support competitions, conferences, exchange programs and presentations that promote student development and learning. Projects that enhance students’ classroom learning and those that expose students to a broader range of cybersecurity, networking and information technology topics and training outside the classroom will also be supported.

The gift will assist the university as it acquires and updates technologies in the classroom to ensure student training and knowledge is capturing innovative developments in the computer science field. In addition, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives will offer internships to UNCP computer science students through this partnership.

Driven by service and inspired by innovation, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are building a brighter energy future for 2.5 million North Carolinians. Beyond providing electricity, each of the 26 not-for-profit cooperatives is investing in its local communities and delivering new energy solutions to improve the quality of life for co-op members in 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.