College and Career Readiness

Accelerated Career Training (ACT)

Step up from a job to a career. Accelerated Career Training at Central Piedmont Community College is focused, fast, and free.

The College and Career Readiness Accelerated Career (ACT) Program offers opportunities to attain meaningful employment for individuals in the Charlotte region who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or limited to low-wage jobs

Get free job training fast in these high-growth career paths:

  • Culinary Apprentice Certificate
  • Call center/customer service representative
  • Early childhood teacher
  • Information technology
  • Healthcare: Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy
  • Entry-level construction in partnership with Goodwill Industries
  • Transportation/commercial driver's license (CDL)
  • Heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC)

What You Can Expect

  • access to a personalized Career Success Coach who will help you decide on your career path
  • personalized help during your program to support your day-to-day life challenges

Background checks and drug screening are not required for participation in all all ACT programs, but may be required for future employment.

By participating in an ACT program you are also required to attend Working Smart classes. The Working Smart course supports your ACT program course by focusing on helping you master the skills that employers believe are critical to job success and on increasing your chances for employment and promotion. The Working Smart Course will cover resume development, interview preparation, and job search techniques. The Working Smart course will also give you personalized help during your program to support your day-to-day life challenges and ensure that you are successful in completing your courses. Working Smart is recognized and valued by Mecklenburg County employers. If you have previously completed the Working Smart course and have a certificate, you will not need to complete the course again. Please provide us with a copy of your Working Smart Certificate to fulfill this requirement.

  • Focused

    We offer options that will give you the skills you need for a specific job.

  • Fast

    Complete your program in 7-16 weeks and start your new career.

  • Free

    These free job training programs cover all required costs including tuition, books, fees, and services.

How Do I Get Started with Accelerated Career Training?

Accelerated Career Training Programs

  • CDL-A/Truck Driving

    CDL-A/Truck Driving Requirements

    The CDL-A/Truck Driving program does NOT require a high school diploma.

    Admission requirements:

    • must be at least 18 years old
    • must possess a valid North Carolina driver's license
    • obtain a North Carolina Class A learner’s permit with no limiting restrictions 
    • pass a DOT physical and hold a valid DOT medical card
    • pass a DOT drug screen by the day of class registration
      • Negative results are required to enroll/remain in class.

    Students must come in to class with the permit, medical card, and drug screen. The drug screen cannot be dated more than seven days out from the date of registration (or in this case, the first day of class).

    Other requirements:

    • Working Smart
    • drug screening and criminal background check may be required for employment

    CDL-A/Truck Driving Application Deadline

    • July 15, 2019

    CDL-A/Truck Driving Course Info

    • nine-week long program
    • 12 students selected
    • course: AUX 7200-08

    CDL-A/Truck Driving Course Schedule

    • dates: Monday — Thursday, September 9 — November 13
    • class time: 7:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m. (with the exception of the dates for the Working Smart sessions)
    Working Smart Class Schedule for CDL-A/Truck Driving
    • dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, September 9 — October 28
    • time:  2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

    CDL-A/Truck Driving Location

  • Construction Basics

    Construction Basics Course Info, Schedule, and Deadlines

    The Central Piedmont construction basics Accelerated Career Training program is run in partnership with Goodwill Industries. Visit the Goodwill site for details on the Goodwill construction basics training program.

    Construction Basics Location

    Central Piedmont Construction Technology program

  • Culinary Apprentice Certificate

    Culinary Apprentice Certificate Requirements

    The Culinary Apprentice Certificate does NOT require a high school diploma.

    Other requirements:

    • must be 16 years old
    • Working Smart

    Culinary Apprentice Certificate Application Deadline

    • July 15, 2019

    Culinary Apprentice Certificate Course Info

    Culinary Apprentice Certificate Course Schedule

    • dates: Monday — Thursday, May 20 — July 1
    • class time: 4:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.
    Working Smart Class Schedule for Culinary Apprentice Certificate
    • dates: Mondays, May 20 — July 1
    • time:  4:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

    Culinary Apprentice Certificate Location

  • Customer Service

    Customer Service Course Info, Schedule, and Deadlines

    The Central Piedmont customer service Accelerated Career Training program is run in partnership with Goodwill Industries. Visit the Goodwill site for details on the Goodwill customer service and call center training program.

    Customer Service Location

  • Early Childhood (CU)

    Early Childhood Requirements

    • high school diploma
    • NC residency
    • submit application to Central Piedmont
    • cannot be receiving financial aid
    • Working Smart
    • criminal background check required for employment

    Early Childhood Application Deadline

    • July 15, 2019

    Early Childhood Course Info

    • 10-week long program
    • 10 students selected
    • course: EDU 119

    Early Childhood Course Schedule

    • dates: Tuesdays, May 21 — July 16
    • class time: 6:30 p.m. — 9:20 p.m.
    Working Smart Class Schedule for Early Childhood
    • dates: TBD
    • meeting days: TBD
    • time: TBD

    Early Childhood Location

    Central Piedmont Early Childhood Education program

  • Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC)

    Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC) Requirements

    • high school diploma
    • NC residency
    • submit application to Central Piedmont
    • cannot be receiving financial aid
    • Working Smart
    • drug screening, criminal background check, and valid driver's license required for employment

    HVAC Application Deadline

    • July 15, 2019

    HVAC Course Schedule

    • AHR 110 - Introduction to Refrigeration

      • dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, August 19 — December 11
      • class time: 8 a.m. — 10:40 a.m. (also requires online component)
      • Harper Campus, Room 335
    • AHR 160 - Refrigeration Certification
      • dates: Fridays, November 1 — November 22
      • class time: 8 a.m. — 11:40 a.m.
      • Harper Campus, Room 345

    Central Piedmont Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program

  • IT Fundamentals

    IT Fundamentals Requirements

    • high school diploma
    • NC residency
    • submit application to Central Piedmont
    • cannot be receiving financial aid
    • completion of college-ready reading and math
    • Working Smart

    IT Fundamentals Application Deadline

    • July 15, 2019

    IT Fundamentals Course Schedule

    • CIS 110-13 (TR)

      • dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, August 15 — December 11
      • class time: 1 p.m. — 3 p.m. (also requires online component)
      • Central Campus
    • CTI 130-02 (web-based)
      • dates: Tuesday and Thursday, August 15 — December 11 (class is 51% in-person, 49% online)
      • class time: 1:30 p.m. — 3:20 p.m.
      • Central Campus
  • Nurse Aide I

    Nurse Aide I Requirements

    • high school diploma not required for training, but required for employment
    • medical screening, criminal background check, and drug screening required for entry into program
    • health insurance coverage
    • Working Smart

    Nurse Aide I Application Deadline

    • June 26, 2019

    Nurse Aide I Course Info

    • two course offerings
    • five students will be selected for each course, for a total of 10 nurse aide students selected

    Nurse Aide I Course Schedule

    • Course Offering 1:

      • dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 15 — December 12
      • class time: 1 p.m. — 5 p.m.
    • Course Offering 2:
      • dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, August 19 — December 12
      • class times: 8 a.m. — 1 p.m.
    Working Smart Class Schedule for Nurse Aide I
    • to be determined

    Central Piedmont Nurse Aide program

  • Phlebotomy

    Phlebotomy Requirements

    • high school diploma required to take exam; could be finishing high school equivalency
    • must be 18 years old
    • medical screening, criminal background check, and drug screening required for entry into program
    • health insurance coverage
    • Working Smart

    Phlebotomy Application Deadline

    • June 26, 2019

    Phlebotomy Course Schedule

    • dates: Tuesdays — Thursdays, August 20 — December 10
    • class time: 6 p.m. — 9 p.m.
    Working Smart Class Schedule for Phlebotomy
    • to be determined

    Central Piedmont Phlebotomy program (Continuing Education)