News and Features

What's going on in the Central Piedmont community and what Central Piedmont is doing in the community.

  • Central Piedmont receives $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated for scholarships, program support

    CHARLOTTE, NC – Central Piedmont Community College has received a $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated to support U.S. military veterans and first responder scholarships, provide program support, and assist with other critical needs at the college.

    Central Piedmont provides its military veteran students a range of services in a purposeful and caring way aimed at helping them transition from military service to civilian success in the classroom and the community while accessing all available veterans benefits. The college’s first responder or public safety programs include Basic Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medicine, Fire Protection, and Public Safety Administration.

    Headquartered in Charlotte, Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, serving consumers, customers and communities for more than 122 years. The company makes, sells and distributes beverages of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia to approximately 60 million consumers. Coca-Cola Consolidated was named the “World’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune and “America’s Most Successful Midsize Company” by Forbes in 2024.

    “We are honored to partner with Central Piedmont to support U.S. military veterans and first responders in this way,” said Morgan Everett, Vice Chair, Coca-Cola Consolidated. “Our purpose to serve others includes extending a pathway to opportunity, and we hope this gift will provide critical job-readiness skills to our community members as they enter the workforce.”

    Recognizing the growing need for public safety professionals in Mecklenburg County, Central Piedmont launched a new associate degree program in Public Safety Administration in August 2023. The two-year program offers students multiple tracks to tailor their experience toward their desired career or current field of expertise. The program tracks include security and loss prevention, emergency and fire management, law enforcement, and corrections.

    “Central Piedmont thanks Coca-Cola Consolidated for its generous gift in support of our military veteran and first responder students,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This gift will ease the financial burdens of deserving students who have chosen to serve their country and protect our community. Coca-Cola Consolidated’s support will have a significant and positive impact for generations to come.”

    The Coca-Cola Consolidated gift is the latest initiative in a multi-year partnership between the company and the college. Coca-Cola Consolidated and Central Piedmont also have collaborated to develop a unique workplace learning program. The Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program is a hands-on learning opportunity that provides paid apprenticeships to stimulate interest in high-demand positions in the manufacturing, equipment repair, and logistics sectors at Coke Consolidated's facilities in the Charlotte area. Through the program, apprentices work approximately 20 hours weekly while completing three to four college courses each semester. Apprentices transition to full-time positions upon successful completion of the program.

    About Central Piedmont

    Central Piedmont Community College is highly accessible and convenient to people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont is a smart investment. At a fraction of the cost, students learn by doing, receiving a combination of technical and soft skills training from quality faculty who prepare them to enter the workforce and make a difference in their family, business, community, and world. Founded in 1963, Central Piedmont Community College has eight locations throughout Mecklenburg County, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. For more information, visit cpcc.edu, or connect with the college on social media.

    About Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc.

    Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Our Purpose is to honor God in all we do, to serve others, to pursue excellence and to grow profitably. For over 122 years, we have been deeply committed to the consumers, customers and communities we serve and are passionate about the broad portfolio of beverages and services we offer. We make, sell and distribute beverages of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia, to approximately 60 million consumers.

    Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Coca-Cola Consolidated is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “COKE.” More information about the Company is available online. Follow Coca-Cola Consolidated on Facebook, X, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

  • Plant Sale Puts Spotlight on Horticulture Technology Program

    Featuring an array of vegetables, flowers, trees, and ferns, Central Piedmont’s Horticulture Technology students held their semi-annual plant sale on Cato Campus April 19-20. 

    The plant sales draw not just employees and students from the Central Piedmont community, but plenty from the public as well. 

    Jacquelyn Sumrell, a first-year student who is making a career change and eventually would like to be a horticulture instructor, said the plant sale provided an opportunity to put her skills learned in the program to practical use. 

    “We do everything in this process, from cleaning up the plants, preparing them for sale, tagging them correctly, and helping spread the word by marketing the sale,” explained Jacquelyn Sumrell, a first-year student. “It’s helped me gain a better understanding of the process of growing a plant from start to finish. I also have a better appreciation of what the customers are looking for and how to help them.” 

    The knowledge of the students was evident in their work with the customers. One prospective buyer asked a student for the best way to deter deer, rabbits, and squirrels from his garden, and was directed to the peppers to keep the wildlife at bay. 

    Kelly Black, who is in her ninth year as an instructor in the program, praised the way the students have worked this year to ensure the success of the spring sale. 

    “They take a lot of pride in the program,” Black said. “To take something they grow, then sell it to a customer, is special for them. They love the hands-on work that is involved in it.” 

    Given the length of time it takes for some of the plants to propagate, students in this cohort are also finishing what previous classes started last year. That cycle will continue and is a point of pride for students in the program, some of whom return to the plant sale to see their work. 

    As part of their coursework, the students are required to take a business class to help prepare them for that part of the work, and Black said they research the costs and set their own prices for selling the various plants.  

    “We want them to have the experience of running their own business,” she said.

  • Central Piedmont Students Launch Meal Service Business

    With menus inspired by their heritage, Central Piedmont’s Baking and Pastry Arts students have enjoyed a successful launch to Tasty Traditions Bakehouse & Takeout, a capstone project that doubles as a business venture for the students. 

    Entering its second week, the students on Harris Campus sold out all their meals during their opening week of business and expect similar results moving forward. 

    Offerings have ranged from Moroccan Chicken Salad to Pollo Guisdao to Pork Musubi and have represented a departure from typical selections one might expect from students in the program. 

    “We wanted to do something ambitious for this class,” student Natalie Fischer said. “We knew we could just do a standard bakery pre-order, but we wanted to offer meals. It would challenge us more as students, but also be a benefit to staff and students here who usually have to Doordash their lunch.” 

    There are nine students in the capstone class, and they rotate responsibilities during the course to further help prepare them for all the ins-and-outs of the food industry. 

    “I’m in the front of the house now, making sure orders are packed and fulfilled,” student Ashlen Ramos explained. “We have a marketing team that oversees social media, distributing flyers, and using word of mouth to promote the business. Then you have the back of the house, which is really the backbone of this, to make sure orders are prepared and ready every day.” 

    Instructor Jennifer Cubillos said the knowledge gained during previous classes, including a course on cost control and one in marketing, helps prepare the students to take the reins and run the business.  

    “A lot of our students want to be entrepreneurs and own their own business, and this is a testing ground for that,” Cubillos said. “We want our students to understand the practice of creativity and the practice of leadership. The students are managing themselves with real money and real product. They must collaborate with each other – kitchens are team sports.” 

    The success of Tasty Traditions and the overall program has gained some attention off-campus as well. People not affiliated with the college have purchased meals, and Queens University recently placed an order for sugar cookies. 

    There are two weeks left to order meals through Tasty Traditions, and they also offer graduation cake sales as well. You can also follow Tasty Traditions on Facebook and Instagram

  • Central Piedmont included in Forbes ‘Best-In-State Employers 2023’ rankings

    Forbes and Statista recently announced that Central Piedmont Community College had been chosen for the second consecutive year as one of “America’s Best-In-State Employers.” Central Piedmont is ranked as one of the top 100 employers in North Carolina for 2023. The college also was included in the Forbes 2022 ranking.

    According to Forbes, America’s Best-In-State Employers 2023 were identified based on an independent survey of employees working for companies and other organizations from all industry sectors employing more than 500 individuals. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey 70,000 workers at companies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Participants were asked if they would recommend their employer to others and to evaluate their employer based on working conditions, diversity, compensation packages, potential for development, company image, and more. Participants also assessed employers other than their own. All surveys were anonymous to encourage candor.

    Central Piedmont is an attractive option for individuals seeking employment within an institution that strives to serve its community. The college aims to facilitate student learning, success, and completion by providing exceptional education and globally competitive training in an engaging, supportive environment. Central Piedmont prides itself on being Mecklenburg County’s primary workforce development partner.

    Approximately 43,600 students call Central Piedmont home. With eight locations and nearly 300 for-credit programs, it is one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas. It serves people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives.

    To learn about  Central Piedmont’s career opportunities, visit the college’s employment webpage.

  • College dedicates Pauline Dove Gallery

    Central Piedmont dedicated the Pauline Dove Gallery, located in the college’s new Parr Center, on September 8.

    Pauline, affectionately known as “Polly,” taught art at the college for 30 years, before retiring in 2000.

    A world-renowned artist, her work has been exhibited across the globe, including in Canada, India, Germany, Finland, Kenya, and Peru. Today, her paintings can be viewed on billboards across the Queen City, promoting ARTPop, an Arts & Science Council initiative that showcases local artists’ work in public places to make art accessible to all people in the Charlotte community.

  • Central Piedmont named to Forbes’ List of ‘America’s Best-in-State Employers’

    Forbes partnered with Statista to compile its annual list of “America’s Best-in-State Employers.” Central Piedmont is ranked #81 among the top 100 North Carolina businesses.

    The ranking is based on a survey of 70,000 American employees, representing 25 different industries, who offered their feedback on the organization’s employee experience, specifically its working conditions, salary, potential for growth, and diversity. Individuals directly affiliated with the college, as well as those who are indirectly associated with Central Piedmont, were surveyed. View the complete list of honorees.

    “This recognition reinforces Central Piedmont’s reputation as an employer that provides abundant opportunities and a positive and inclusive work environment,” said Mark Short, the college’s chief of staff and leader of talent development. “Of the thousands of employers eligible for this designation, only a select few were awarded in each state. This supports Central Piedmont’s commitment to its faculty and staff members and their overall professional development.”  

    Central Piedmont is an attractive option for individuals seeking employment. The college is recognized as a Mecklenburg County resource for workforce development, academic excellence, and cultural enrichment. At present, some 40,000 students attend Central Piedmont. With eight locations, it is one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas and serves people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County.

    To learn how to join the Central Piedmont family, visit the college’s Human Resources Web page.

  • College hosts representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    On July 15, Judee Badibanga, a special adviser to the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in charge of poverty alleviation, visited Central Piedmont along with several of his associates to tour the college’s Shaw Advanced Technology Center, located on Central Campus.

    Dr. Alain Miatudila, associate dean of engineering, led the small group of international leaders and managers on a tour of the facility, home to:

    • Mechatronics and Automation Labs
    • Virtual Reality (VR) Labs
    • Engineering FabLab (fabrication lab)
    • CNC Machining Lab
    • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Labs
    • 13 Computer Labs
    • 11 Specialized Equipment Labs

    The DRC team’s visit was one of several it’s made with American business leaders and educational institutions while in the U.S., as it strives to learn how the DRC can lift its people out of poverty using education, investments, and sound governance.

  • Central Piedmont to open eye clinic June 15

    Thanks to a collaboration between Lions Services, the local ophthalmic community, and Central Piedmont Community College, the college will open an eye clinic in its Leon Levine Health Sciences building, located on its Central Campus, on June 15. The clinic will provide quality eye health care to Central Piedmont students and Charlotte community members who are in need.

    Lions Services, a not-for-profit organization renowned for offering free vision exams and glasses to those within the community who needed financial assistance, closed its eye clinic on March 1, 2022, after more than 25 years of service.

    Recognizing a need for local individuals to continue to have access to affordable eye care and prescription glasses, Central Piedmont’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program will assume the role of Lions Services’ eye clinic within Charlotte-Mecklenburg and open an eye clinic this spring. The clinic will offer a variety of services, including comprehensive eye exams and eye glasses at no cost.

    “We’re honored to fill the eye health care void created by the closing of Lions Services’ eye clinic earlier this year,” said Kathleen Rodgers, program chair for Central Piedmont’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program. “It’s proven that access to affordable eye care allows all members of the population – from children to senior citizens – to thrive and enjoy an improved quality of life. As Charlotte’s community college, local residents rely on us to provide them with accessible services. Our new eye clinic will give us the opportunity to continue this tradition.”

    Lions Services is donating all of its eye equipment and supplies to Central Piedmont for its use. In addition, ophthalmic community members who donated their time and energy to providing eye care services at Lions Services eye clinic, will begin volunteering at Central Piedmont’s eye clinic when it opens June 15. The college’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel students and faculty will also provide clinical services.

    “We are so fortunate that our eye clinic patients will benefit from the vast knowledge and expertise of Charlotte’s experienced eye care professionals who previously served at Lions Services” said Rodgers. “In addition to our patients receiving the quality care they deserve, the clinic will give our Ophthalmic Medical Personnel students a valuable clinical opportunity as well. The initiative is truly a win-win for all involved.”

    “We are very appreciative for this commitment by Central Piedmont to ensure continued eye care for Charlotte’s citizens in need. Hundreds of Charlotteans will benefit each month from this service,” said Dr. David Ugland, a retired ophthalmologist and former volunteer at Lions Services’ eye clinic. “As a volunteer ophthalmologist at Lions, I was reminded with each exam of the positive personal and community impact of the clinic. I am grateful that Central Piedmont will continue to provide this valuable service.”

    Central Piedmont’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2022 semester. To learn more, please visit our webpage or email Kathleen Rodgers.

    To make a donation in support of Central Piedmont's new eye clinic, please contact the Central Piedmont Foundation at 704-330-6869.

  • Central Piedmont holds 2022 commencement ceremony

    Central Piedmont Community College today hosted its 2021-2022 commencement ceremony at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. Almost 900 students “marched” and received their college degrees. More than 2,300 students were eligible to graduate this year.

    During the morning festivities, Mr. Kevin Tobin, a 2022 graduate, addressed his peers by delivering this year’s commencement address. Ms. Evelyn Hill, also a 2022 graduate, was the commencement speaker at the 2 p.m., ceremony. This is the fifth time Central Piedmont has had student keynote speakers at graduation. Evelyn and Kevin both graduated from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science degree in human services technology – substance abuse.

    Students matriculating from Central Piedmont with a curriculum degree, diploma, or certificate had the option of participating in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. This is the first year Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit programs into a single ceremony, giving graduates the choice to “walk” in the graduation ceremony that better fit their families’ schedule.

    In addition to hearing Evelyn’s powerful message during the 2 p.m., ceremony, attendees also saw Dr. Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, confer an Honorary Associate Degree in Arts to Mr. Wilton L. Parr, a long-time Central Piedmont student, volunteer, and donor.

    Central Piedmont will offer two commencement ceremonies this year to honor its graduates. 2022 summer and fall semester graduates will participate in a special commencement service on December 13, 2022, at 10 a.m., at Bojangles Coliseum. The addition of a fall ceremony will allow the college’s summer and fall graduates to be honored in the same timely way as its spring graduates.

  • Dr. Deitemeyer named to most influential leader list

    Congratulations to Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, on being named to Business North Carolina’s “Power List 2022,” a comprehensive list of North Carolina’s most influential leaders.

    Dr. Deitemeyer is one of 25 leaders named in the list’s education category which features some of the education industry’s most notable leaders whose success is considered essential for the state to make economic and social progress. View the complete list of this year’s honorees.

    Business North Carolina has shared the stories of North Carolina’s business community for more than 40 years. Each spring and fall, the publication publishes a special annual publication – the Spring North Carolina Power List and the Fall North Carolina Economic Development Guide.

    The special spring issue always includes a list of the state’s most powerful leaders, compiled with insight from the publication’s editorial team and keen observers of state industry. The purpose of the Spring North Carolina Power List is to shed light on the folks who are driving much of the change in the state and who are making a significant impact in their enterprises, industries, and communities.

    Kudos to Dr. Deitemeyer on this accomplishment and to her fellow honorees.