Central Piedmont, Bank of America and 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, ongoing partnership with Bank of America and Year Up.

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 Charlotte program – which receives support from the Duke Endowment and the John M. Belk Endowment as well as Bank of America – strives to prepare low-income students throughout the Charlotte region for economically mobile careers. Nationwide, more than 90 percent of Year Up students identify as a person of color.

“We are proud of the partnership between Central Piedmont Community College, Year Up and Bank of America to continue to strengthen the economic mobility opportunities within the Charlotte market. Collectively our partnership provided the students the tools, but it is important to note these motivated and smart young adults leveraged the resources and proudly exceed all of our expectations,” said Charles Bowman, Bank of America’s Charlotte Market President. “We look forward to deepening the partnership and continuing to make a positive impact for the young adults and adults of this community and region.”

Launched in 2019, Year Up Charlotte 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.

“Through their commitment and support, Central Piedmont and Bank of America have given Year Up Charlotte students the opportunity to learn in-demand skills and make an impact in corporate America,” said Elise Ford, site director for Year Up Charlotte. “We are thrilled to continue partnering with Central Piedmont and Bank of America as we work to empower more young people to redefine what talent looks like and where it comes from.”

In their second semester, Year Up Charlotte students enter a full-time, credit-earning internship at Bank of America or another corporate partner. There is no cost for students to participate in the program. Bank of America’s advocacy and strong leadership role, coupled with Year Up’s outcomes, have led other Charlotte-area companies to extend workplace-learning opportunities for the involved student population.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring 2020, 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.

“Central Piedmont is honored to receive the Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award with Bank of America and Year Up,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “When the

Year Up Charlotte program was launched at Central Piedmont in 2019, it was the largest opening class of students in Year Up’s history. From that point forward, with Bank of America’s generous support and intense engagement, Year Up Charlotte has been a superb, high-quality program that is transforming the lives of students. Central Piedmont’s goal is to help ensure the Year Up Charlotte program continues to be a model for other schools and cities to replicate.”

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.

Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that serves more the 5,000 young people annually.

Learn more about Year Up.

Learn more about Central Piedmont.