Free Customer-Service Training for Floridians and Veterans with Disabilities

Scholarships from The Duke Energy Foundation and St. Petersburg Kennel Club fund short-term training leading to high-demand employment

(Clearwater, Fla.) December 6, 2018 ServiceSource Florida―a leading nonprofit disability resource organization―offers free customer service/call-center training to veterans and others with disabilities at its regional office on 2735 Whitney Road in Clearwater.

“Thanks to a $10,000 Duke Energy Foundation Workforce Development Grant matched dollar-for dollar by the St. Petersburg Kennel Club,” said ServiceSource Vice President of Program Development Frank De Lucia, “we’re able to train and help place participants in good-paying jobs as help-desk operators and customer-service agents.

“Support from Duke Energy (formerly known as Progress Energy) and Derby Lane dates to back to our inception in 1959,” said De Lucia. “Tuition-free workforce training is just the latest illustration of their exemplary beneficence and faith in our mission.”

The ServiceSource program, Opportunity Calls, provides six weeks of hands-on, state-of-the-art training focused on industry-best practices and technical skills in demand in today’s workplace.

In addition to basic computing and Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and Outlook, the training puts the ‘service’ back in customer-service by emphasizing the importance of listening, empathy, and problem-resolution―skills of crucial importance in this occupation.

Managed and taught Chuck Smith, an accomplished contact-training professional, the program concludes with a full week of work-readiness and job-search instruction that includes resume preparation, online-application techniques, mock interviews, and job-placement assistance.

The next training session starts on January 21, 2019 and runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday for six weeks.

For information or to register for free tuition and training, phone or email Opportunity Calls Program Manager Chuck Smith at 727-600-8944 or

About the Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. More information about the Duke Energy Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at

The Duke Energy Foundation is solely funded by Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) shareholder dollars.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2018 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” list.

More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

About ServiceSource

ServiceSource is a leading nonprofit disability resource organization established in 1971 that serves more than 26,000 people with disabilities annually in 12 states and DC with a range of innovative employment, training, habilitation, and housing services. It directly employs more than 1,600 individuals with disabilities, making it one of the largest such employers nationwide. Visit For information, contact Frank De Lucia, ServiceSource Florida, 2735 Whitney Road, Clearwater, FL 33760-1610, 727-600-8900,