Central Piedmont Community College Honored with Proclamation from Huntersville Mayor
Central Piedmont Community College, one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas, celebrated its 60th anniversary on September 18, 2023. In recognition of this significant milestone, Mayor Melinda Bales of Huntersville, North Carolina, has proclaimed September 18, 2023, as "Central Piedmont Community College Day."
"Central Piedmont Community College is our community's first stop for postsecondary education and workforce training," Mayor Bales stated in the proclamation. "Central Piedmont has provided 60 years of service, connecting the past, present, and future for this community," she added.
About Central Piedmont Community College
Founded on September 18, 1963, Central Piedmont Community College serves more than 43,600 students across six campuses in Mecklenburg County, including the Merancas Campus in Huntersville, which has been operational since 1990. The institution offers various skill courses, continuing education, and for-credit programs.
A Vital Role in Higher Education
Central Piedmont Community College plays an essential role in the regional higher education landscape, offering an outstanding education to citizens. The institution encourages civic engagement among its students, faculty, and staff.
The proclamation signed by Mayor Bales highlights several important aspects of the college's 60-year history, including:
- Its role as a critical provider of postsecondary education and workforce training
- The impact of the Merancas Campus in Huntersville since 1990
- The college's efforts in connecting the past, present, and future of the community
"We're deeply honored by Mayor Bales' proclamation and grateful for the continued support of the Huntersville community," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, President of Central Piedmont Community College. "This is a milestone not just for us but for everyone who has been a part of the college's history. We look forward to many more years of service and community impact."
Central Piedmont Marks 60th Anniversary
Central Piedmont Community College has provided educational opportunities since 1963, when the North Carolina General Assembly passed the historic state community college bill. Opening as a fully integrated institution, the college combined the Central Industrial Education Center programs on Elizabeth Avenue and Mecklenburg College on Beatties Ford Road. On Sept.18, the college will mark 60 years since it first opened its doors to students and began its work of service to the community.
Today, with six campuses and two centers, Central Piedmont offers nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certificate programs, plus an array of non-credit offerings. Central Piedmont enrolls approximately 43,600 students annually in for-credit programs, continuing education, and basic skills courses, making it one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas. Over the years, over 100,000 individuals have earned credentials at Central Piedmont.
Central Piedmont became a multi-campus community college in the early 1990s, with the conversion of the North Area Learning Center in Huntersville to the North Campus, which then became the Merancas Campus in 2011. Four other campuses subsequently opened—Levine in 1998, Harper in 1999, Harris in 2001, and Cato in 2002.
In 2012, Central Piedmont acquired WTVI, the Charlotte region’s PBS TV station located on Commonwealth Avenue in Charlotte. In 2013, the college renovated and repurposed its City View Center on Alleghany Street to house a new cosmetology degree program.
In 2013, Mecklenburg County voters dramatically supported Central Piedmont, approving $210 million in bonds for land purchases, new construction, and renovations. The college used the $210 million, plus $70 million in other county funding, to add almost one million square feet of new laboratory, classroom, and office space across five of its six campuses. The final project funded by the 2013 bonds proved to be the largest in the college’s history. The 184,0000-square-foot Parr Center opened on the Central Campus in 2022, providing a new 21st-century library, a student union with a welcome center, a 430-seat theater, an art gallery, and dozens of spaces for students to meet, study, and relax.
Also in 2022, Central Piedmont completed its five-year “Powering a Stronger Future” fundraising campaign. The effort proved a tremendous success, raising more than $66.3 million. More than 3,270 donors made gifts and pledges to the campaign, with more than half of the benefactors giving to the college for the first time. Power a Stronger Future opened with a $40-million goal, making it the most ambitious campaign in Central Piedmont’s history. When the campaign closed, it had surpassed its goal by more than $26 million, setting a new, all-time fundraising record for the college.
“We are proud as the college celebrates its 60th anniversary,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president since 2017. “Over the decades, Central Piedmont has grown into a large, comprehensive college and Mecklenburg County’s primary workforce development partner. Even though Central Piedmont is a mature college and one of the bedrock institutions in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, its best days lie before us. We will continually seek to enhance our service to students, helping them find a path to success and a better future for each of them and their families.”
Using its social media channels, the college has been sharing historical facts and figures for several weeks leading up to Sept. 18. Students and employees will enjoy ice cream socials at each of the six campuses during the anniversary week. Over the next 12 months, college advertising will include an anniversary call out, “60 years of serving our community.”
Hagemeyer Library included in American Libraries’ 2023 Design Showcase
The one-year-old Hagemeyer Library, located on Central Piedmont Community College’s Central Campus, has earned the distinction of being included in American Libraries’ 2023 Design Showcase. The annual showcase seeks to identify and highlight the most impressive new and renovated libraries in the United States.
“This year’s selections,” according to American Libraries, “represent a return to pre-pandemic normalcy and demonstrate a firm step into the future, with physical spaces designed to draw in communities, celebrate local history, and acknowledge diverse natural environments. For these overhauls and expansions, form and functionality reign.”
The 66,321 square-foot Hagemeyer Library is an anchor of the one-year-old Parr Center, the hub of student life on the Central Campus. A true 21st-century library, the Hagemeyer Library offers an abundance of indoor and outdoor study and collaboration spaces for students and community members. In addition to traditional library services, the three-story Hagemeyer provides students a Makerspace, media studios, event/meeting space, family study room, access to balcony seating, as well as designated quiet rooms, classrooms, and faculty space.
The 183,000-square-foot Parr Center opened in July 2022 and was built with Mecklenburg County bonds and other funds. The visually distinctive facility was designed by Morris Berg and Moody Nolan Architects, with construction management services provided by Rodgers and R.J. Leeper Construction. It is the largest building constructed in the 60-year history of the college.
See the Central Piedmont website for more information about the college’s library services.
Central Piedmont Returns for Year Five of ‘All Within My Hands’ Metallica Scholars Initiative
For the fifth-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College will participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $5,000 in funding to support its career and technical education programs.
Funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation (AWMH), in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative (MSI) was created in 2018 to fundamentally improve the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars.
Central Piedmont will continue to use the generous grant funds to provide direct support for students enrolled in healthcare career programs who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. Central Piedmont seeks to ensure all graduating healthcare students have funding to pay for their licensure/certification exams so they can quickly enter the workforce fully licensed/certified.
The MSI workforce initiative marks its fifth year with an ambitious expansion into new curricula. MSI now directly supports 42 community colleges across 33 states, and by the end of 2023, it will have helped more than 6,000 students pursuing careers in the trades. To date, Metallica and AWMH have invested more than $6 million in the American workforce.
“The Metallica Scholars Initiative is a strong and cooperative assemblage of the nation’s best community colleges, creating a supportive climate for participants to communicate directly and share best practices,” said Peter Degrosso, AWMH executive director. “As a result, our Metallica Scholars leave the program well-trained and confident. Ultimately, the impact is felt locally and nationally as Metallica Scholars enter the workforce and fill in-demand technical positions.”
Shawn Abney Named 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar
Central Piedmont Community College proudly announces that Shawn Abney has been named one of the 213 Phi Theta Kappa members to become a 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. Abney, a distinguished student at the community college, will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program is designed to help new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while they pursue their associate degrees. This year's scholars were selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential from nearly 1,100 applications.
$213,000 will be awarded this year through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is providing $200,000 in funding, with an additional $25,000 set aside specifically for members who are veterans or active members of the United States military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, earmarked for international students through the Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships.
Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, said, "The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges. We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow's leaders of the global community."
The funds aid in college completion and allow students to engage in Society programs, enabling them to develop vital leadership skills for future roles in their communities.
Dr. Monica Marlowe, Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, noted, "Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers. The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn't an obstacle to achieving their academic goals."
Central Piedmont Community College congratulates Shawn Abney and all other Leaders of Promise Scholars on this exceptional achievement and wishes them continued success in their educational pursuits.
For more information, visit the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program.
Sen. Thom Tillis, college leaders discuss workforce training
Thom Tillis, senior U.S. Senator from North Carolina, came to Central Piedmont’s Central Campus today, where he discussed workforce training programs and saw several facilities in which students are gaining high-demand skills.
Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer welcomed Sen. Tillis and members of his staff to the college. The group toured Central Piedmont’s machining and computer-integrated machining technology program areas and discussed how students in those programs acquire skills and knowledge that will lead to well-paying, high-growth careers in advanced manufacturing.
Senator Tillis also toured Central Piedmont’s Leon Levine Health Sciences Center and its many simulation labs where healthcare program students gain valuable clinical experience. College leaders shared Central Piedmont’s plans to expand its nursing and other healthcare programs in collaboration with educational and community partners.
Other discussion topics included new and emerging industry areas that will need community colleges to move quickly to develop training programs and establish talent pipelines. Central Piedmont was delighted to host Sen. Tillis and his staff members.
Central Piedmont Trustees Elect New Leaders
The Board of Trustees of Central Piedmont Community College has elected a new chair and vice chair. Jim Dunn, executive vice president and chief people and culture officer with Advocate Health, will serve as chair. Caldwell Rose, president of NAI Southern Real Estate, is the new vice chair.
Dunn was appointed to the Central Piedmont board in 2020, serving as the vice chair since 2022. In 2018, Dunn joined Atrium Health, now part of Advocate Health, the nation’s third-largest non-profit health system, bringing more than 30 years of experience leading talent and culture strategy. He began his career as a research scientist. He transitioned into national and global human resources leadership positions at BP Amoco, the Carter Presidential Center, Cleveland Clinic, American Cancer Society, and Parkland Health. Jim is a nationally registered professional mediator specializing in workplace conflict resolution strategies and a fellow and faculty member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He currently serves on the U.S. Congressional Award Foundation’s national board of directors and is a regular contributing author for CNBC, Newsweek, and Forbes magazines.
“Education is the key element to living a happy, healthy life supported by a fulfilling career,” said Dunn, who holds doctorate degrees in health administration, organizational development and management, and advanced studies in teaching. “At Central Piedmont, we’re opening life’s doors for our students – a catalyst for opportunity and an exceptional provider of learning experiences that can transform their lives and their economic mobility while simultaneously strengthening our community with a trained and talented workforce. It’s an honor to serve as chair.”
Rose has served as Central Piedmont trustee since 2015. He joined NAI Southern Real Estate in 1988 and has spent more than 29 years in the commercial real estate industry, specializing in all areas, including land assemblages, office and medical office sales and leasing, as well as investment sales and representation. Recognized by the Charlotte Commercial Board of Realtors as a top producer, Rose also is actively involved with the Charlotte community and with multiple charitable organizations. He is a graduate of St. Andrews College with a degree in business administration. He holds real estate brokerage licenses in both North and South Carolina.
“On behalf of the college, I thank Jim and Caldwell for their willingness to serve and lead our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This is an exciting and momentous time at Central Piedmont. We are moving forward with enrollment and program growth and will be working to enhance our community partnerships and business development. Our highly engaged board, with Jim and Caldwell at the helm, will help ensure the college grows strategically and efficiently as we seek to make an even bigger impact in this community and the lives of our students.”
Dunn succeeds Linda Lockman-Brooks as the Central Piedmont Board chair.
Central Piedmont to provide customized training for Siemens Energy, Boingo Graphics
The N.C. Community College System’s Customized Training Program offers training services and specialized programs to assist new and existing businesses and industries to remain productive and profitable in North Carolina.
Siemens Energy will receive approximately $131,800 in training value from Central Piedmont. The college will support the company with its onboarding of new employees, including orientation, metrics and metrology, safety, customer and business focus, computer training, and continuous improvement.
Boingo Graphics will receive approximately $22,00 in training value. The college will provide leadership and customer service training.
Central Piedmont’s Corporate Learning Center is the college’s single point of contact for serving the wide range of learning and development needs of businesses and organizations in Mecklenburg County, including customized training. The college’s span of learning, expertise, and experience make Central Piedmont a uniquely positioned workforce development resource to help local companies meet their performance and growth goals.
Earlier this year, the college announced customized training partnerships with RGA Enterprises and IPEX USA.
Nursing Student Awarded Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship
Mariam Idris, a dedicated Nursing student and active Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) member at Central Piedmont Community College has been announced as a recipient of the prestigious Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship. Idris is among the twelve exceptional students from across the nation who have been honored with this scholarship.
The Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship, generously funded by Hurst Review Services, a prominent exam preparation company, is designed to support nursing majors affiliated with Phi Theta Kappa preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®). As part of this scholarship, recipients will receive comprehensive NCLEX® study materials and a cash award that covers the expenses associated with the NCLEX® exam fees.
Central Piedmont Community College takes immense pride in its Nursing program, which boasts a history dating back to 1965, making it the oldest nursing program in the North Carolina Community College System. Over the last five decades, the program has continually evolved and expanded to the evolving needs of the healthcare industry and the college student community.
The program's consistent success is exemplified by the outstanding achievements of its nursing graduates. In 2022, Central Piedmont nursing graduates who earned The Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in nursing exhibited an impressive 92% employment rate and an exceptional 98% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN certification exam.
The Central Piedmont nursing program holds full approval from the NC Board of Nursing and accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Mariam Idris' selection as a recipient of the Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship is a testament to her exceptional dedication and academic prowess. The scholarship recognizes her hard work and commitment and acknowledges the outstanding quality of Central Piedmont's Nursing program.
Gov. Roy Cooper comes to Central Piedmont, touts NC business, workforce
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper came to Central Piedmont Community College today to celebrate CNBC naming North Carolina as the “Top State for Business” in 2023.
Central Piedmont’s Central Campus welcomed Gov. Cooper as he kicked off a series of statewide events to highlight North Carolina’s strong and diverse workforce and the key role played by community colleges. With business and education leaders and federal, state and local elected officials in attendance, Cooper touted North Carolina’s record of being a state known for strong business and industry and a responsive community college system.
“North Carolina is the best state for business for the second year in a row thanks to our well-trained, diverse, and dedicated workforce,” Governor Cooper said. “Our community colleges are our not-so-secret weapon when it comes to building a talented workforce, and it’s critical that we invest in our public schools, quality childcare, our community colleges and the health of North Carolina working families in order to continue this amazing success.”
Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer made welcoming remarks and commented on the distinguished work and history of North Carolina’s community colleges.
“Given that a world-class workforce is needed for businesses to thrive, I can’t think of a better place for Governor Cooper to tout our state’s consistently high business rankings. Central Piedmont and our 57 sister colleges across the state have been preparing individuals to work in high-demand careers for 60 years now,” Deitemeyer said. “Through the decades, North Carolina’s community colleges have responded to industry and employer needs, developing talent pipelines of well-trained, highly skilled workers who are ready to hit the ground running.”
On July 11, CNBC named North Carolina as America’s Top State for Business in 2023 for the second year in a row. The CNBC study looks at 86 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. North Carolina ranked number 1 in workforce and scored well in the economy, technology and innovation, and access to capital categories. This is only the second time in the CNBC ranking’s history that a state has received the top spot two years in a row. Since 2017, North Carolina has placed in the top five of state rankings four times.
Earlier this year, North Carolina also won Site Selection Magazine’s Prosperity Cup for the third year in a row, which recognizes the competitiveness of state-level economic development agencies and their success in landing capital investment projects. This year, North Carolina also won Area Development magazine’s 2023 Platinum Shovel Award, which recognizes states that went above and beyond the gold standard for investment and job creation and received Business Facilities magazine’s State of the Year award after a historic year of economic development and job growth.
Cooper was joined by N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders, major business leaders from the Charlotte area, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, and leaders from North Carolina’s community college system and Central Piedmont Community College. Over the coming weeks, Cooper will travel across the state to spotlight North Carolina’s strong community colleges and the skilled and diverse workforce they create that has made the state a standout for businesses across the country.
“North Carolina community colleges have long been the difference maker for North Carolinians who want a better job, better pay, or new opportunities. Now, the North Carolina Community College System is proving to be the difference maker in how we recruit new businesses and build talent pipelines that make good on our commitments to prepare graduates for a dynamic workplace,” said North Carolina Community College System President Jeff Cox.