Bank of America, Central Piedmont, Year Up receive 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award
The N.C. State Board of Community Colleges has awarded Central Piedmont Community College its 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence award for its successful partnership with Year Up and Bank of America.
The State Board’s Distinguished Partners in Excellence award honors an exemplary employer, business, or industry group that has demonstrated decisive involvement and a firm commitment to the professional development of its employees and/or to the development of North Carolina's workforce through its partnership efforts with one or more of the 58 community colleges.
Central Piedmont’s partnership with Year Up and Bank of America represents the award’s criteria well. The Year Up program – which also receives support from the Duke Endowment and the John M. Belk Endowment – strives to prepare low-income, minority students throughout the Charlotte region for economically mobile careers.
Launched in 2019, Year Up offers first-semester students the opportunity to take credit-bearing technical courses taught by Central Piedmont faculty along with professional skills classes taught by staff of the national non-profit Year Up. Students earn a stipend and have access to the college’s many services, including its library and tutoring resources.
In their second semester, students enter a full-time, credit-bearing internship financed by Bank of America. There is no cost for students.
When the pandemic hit, Central Piedmont and Year Up provided laptops and personal Wi-Fi hotspots so students could continue their instruction online. Bank of America provided the interns with the same technology their employees use so they could work remotely.
Of the partnership’s first cohort, 70 percent of graduates are now working at Bank of America full-time; 10 percent are enrolled in school full-time.