News and Features

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

  • Grant to support robotics, automation, cybersecurity work at college and partner institutions

    The National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program has awarded the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership, located at North Carolina State University, in collaboration with community college partners the North Carolina Community College System, Central Piedmont Community College, Wake Technical College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, a $443,619 grant to establish a Robotics/Automation and Cybersecurity Knowledge Sharing Coordination Network (TRACKS-CN).

    The TRACKS-CN project is anticipated to take three years to complete, with a projected timeline of July 1, 2020–June 30, 2023.

    TRACKS-CN will focus on workforce development efforts at the intersection of robotics/automation and cybersecurity, bringing together organizations and expertise with a focus on workforce development and improving manufacturing in the United States, including community colleges, Manufacturing Extension Partnerships and Manufacturing USA Institutes.

    Thanks to Central Piedmont’s past work on a U.S. Department of Transportation’s TAACCT-funded project, which focused on mechatronics (Mechatronics Re-Envisioned), the college was identified as having the subject matter expertise and capacity to serve as a community college partner on this project.

    As a result, Central Piedmont’s Jami Dale, chair of the Mechatronics Engineering Technology Program, has been identified as the subject matter expert and will serve as co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) on the three-year project. A portion of the grant fuds will support Dale’s role, which includes participating on quarterly partnership calls with TRACKS-CN participants, attending two annual workshop meetings and working on Advanced Technological Education projects that focus on robotics/automation to ensure they align with the work and goals of the TRACKS-CN.

    “The network this grant establishes couldn't be more timely,” said Dale. “As learning environments transition to needing an increased catalog of online technical engineering training materials for college instructors, it’s important our partners in education and industry work together to encourage and facilitate the creation and distribution of educational materials for use in North Carolina and beyond.”

    Dale was a natural choice to fill the project’s co-PI role. Central Piedmont has operated a mechatronics engineering technology program since 2005. Robust automation content is woven throughout the college’s curriculum and aligns with the goals of the TRACKS-CN. In addition, the college has a strong cybersecurity education program and is exploring the links between these two technology areas as a contributor to the TRACKS-CN.

    For more information about STEM programs of study at Central Piedmont and STEM career fields, contact Chris Paynter, Central Piedmont dean of STEM, at 704-330-6531.

     

  • College donates gloves, masks, and gowns to Atrium Health and Novant Health

    Central Piedmont Health Professions and Human Services donated more than 30,000 pairs of gloves, 670 N95 masks, 350 isolation gowns, 250 level 3 masks, and 400 bouffant caps to Atrium Health and Novant Health.

    All of our health programs and Environmental Health and Safety offered their supplies to meet the community's needs. Faculty from all of the college's Health Careers areas wanted to come in and help pack but we wanted to limit the number of faculty involved to just a few. They were:

    • Karen Summers, Interim Dean ,Health Professions and Human Services
    • Eileen Clark, Dental Hygiene
    • Cathy Flores, Medical Assisting
    • Mel Angelisanti, Surgical Technology​

    Learn more about Central Piedmont's Healthcare programs.

  • Central Piedmont employees use 3D printers to make face shield parts

    Central Piedmont’s Dr. Adam Harris, chair of the computer engineering technology, electrical engineering technology and electronics engineering technology programs, and Dr. Jacob Garbini, chair of the engineering program, are partnering with Charlotte Latin to produce the parts needed for CharlotteMEDI to make face shields for area hospital personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As instructors, Dr. Harris and Dr. Garbini regularly work in the college’s FabLab, home to 10 3D printers, which the duo has been visiting tirelessly, sometimes twice a day, to manufacture the headbands and bottom clips needed to complete the assembly of CharlotteMEDI’s face shields.

    To date, the Central Piedmont team has made approximately 300 3D printed parts, such as bottom clips and headbands.

    But, according to Dr. Garbini, that’s only the beginning.

    Once the team receives more filament — the material used to produce the parts — and services a couple of the machines to get them all working at 100 percent capacity, Dr. Garbini anticipates being able to print approximately 160 clips a day going forward.

    However, productivity isn’t his only concern, so is safety. “I’ve sectioned off the lab in the building to prohibit the parts from being exposed to any external germs or elements before they are shipped,” adds Dr. Garbini. “At the end of the day, Adam and I are grateful to be given the opportunity to use our college’s equipment to contribute to a community need. Any support we can offer to our healthcare providers during this critical time is extremely important — both for their safety and the well-being of the greater Charlotte community.”

    Dr. Garbini delivered the face shield parts he and Dr. Harris produced to an approved CharlotteMEDI drop-off location on April 8. The parts will immediately be assembled into face shields, to later be shared with healthcare personnel working at area hospitals throughout Charlotte.

  • Anonymous donor gives to college’s Emergency Fund, issues matching-gift challenge

    Central Piedmont Community College Foundation is proud to announce an anonymous donor has made a generous and timely commitment that will match all gifts made to the college’s Emergency Fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $100,000.

    Central Piedmont’s Emergency Fund provides short-term financial support to students and employees experiencing financial emergencies.

    “This amazing gift, and the community’s response to our donor’s matching-gift challenge, will enable us to better respond to the growing financial needs of our students, faculty, and staff during the coronavirus outbreak,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “These needs include access to the technology needed for remote learning and scholarships for tuition and books, as well as resources for food, housing, child care, transportation, and medical care.”

    If you’re a member of the community who would like to make a gift to Central Piedmont’s Emergency Fund, and participate in the matching gift challenge, visit the foundation's website. Your support for the Central Piedmont family will be of enormous assistance as the college works together to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Students with financial and other needs are invited to contact Single Stop.

  • Central Piedmont, community partners help package food for residents in need

    Central Piedmont Community College’s hospitality education program partnered with Sysco Charlotte LLC and the Piedmont Culinary Guild on March 25 to package and deliver 500 boxes of food to local restaurant employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sysco Charlotte LLC donated 250 cases of food to the community outreach project. The cases consisted of frozen chicken, produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products, such as milk and butter.

    Representatives from Central Piedmont, Sysco Charlotte LLC, and the Piedmont Culinary Guild were on site at Central Piedmont’s Culinary Arts Center to receive the cases of food, sort and package the individual boxes, and deliver them to 25–30 restaurants located in Mecklenburg County and beyond.

    Each box included three to four major food group items, providing local restaurant workers with a nutritious meal for their family during this unprecedented time. Restaurants needing employee assistance signed up to participate in the community outreach project online through the Piedmont Culinary Guild’s website.

    Thanks are extended to Central Piedmont's Richard Kugelmann, division director of the college's hospitality education division; Ross Howard, director of business resources and marketing for Sysco Charlotte LLC; and Kris Reid, co-founder of the Piedmont Culinary Guild for spearheading the initiative.

    View WSOC-TV's coverage of the community outreach project.

  • Central Piedmont Engineering Students Place Third at Siemens Engineers' Week

    Congratulations to seven Central Piedmont Associate in Engineering students who placed third out of six teams at Siemens' Engineers' Week. The Central Piedmont group was the only educational institution represented at the competition.

    The students were given one week to collaborate on a given objective, assign tasks, and build their machine before presenting their work at Siemens on Feb. 21. Their objective was to "create a device that will deliver payloads of ping pong balls into the targeted cups and score more points than your opponent in a head-to-head competition."

    Great work, Central Piedmont students Carlos Anzola, John Dale Ardiosa, Timer Colen, Stefan Johansson, Mark Khodan, Jairen Propst, Eslam Shaalia, and Chancellor Toledo!

    group of Central Piedmont engineering students who placed third at Siemens Engineers' Week holding their project and their trophies

    The college's Associate in Engineering program will help these students transfer to a four-year school to pursue their interests in electrical, computer, mechanical, civil, or systems engineering. 

  • Central Piedmont contributes $1.2 billion annually to Mecklenburg economy

    The results of an economic impact study conducted for Central Piedmont found the institution contributes $1.2 billion annually to the Mecklenburg County economy, an amount equal to one percent of the county’s gross regional product.

    Central Piedmont’s measured annual $1.2-billion economic impact includes $155.4 million in operations spending, $36.5 million in construction spending, $42.1 million in student spending, and a $919.5-million impact made by college alumni who live and work in Mecklenburg County.

    “For more than 56 years, Central Piedmont Community College has established a record and reputation for making a positive impact in Mecklenburg County,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “We know generations of students and hundreds of employers have been benefitted from having a comprehensive college and workforce development partner such as Central Piedmont serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg. We also know Central Piedmont makes a significant impact as an economic engine, boosting the county’s economy and generating an excellent return on the investment made by students and taxpayers.”

    The economic modeling firm Emsi conducted the study, looking at college data from the 2017-18 fiscal year. The study found that for every dollar students invest in their Central Piedmont education they receive $3.20 in future earnings for an annual rate of return of 15.5 percent. For every dollar of public money invested in the college, taxpayers receive $1.70 for an average rate of return of 4.5 percent.

    For more details about the economic impact study, review the economic impact fact sheet (PDF).

  • Chef Robert Marilla medals at the Culinary Olympics in Germany

    When Chef Robert Marilla’s students look back on their culinary arts education at Central Piedmont, they can say they learned their craft from an Olympic champion.

    Chef Marilla recently returned from the IKA 2020 International Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany, and brought home gold (team), silver (individual), and overall bronze (team) medals at the event.

    On the first day of competition, Chef Marilla, who is captain of the Regional Team for Team USA, was awarded the gold medal for his “Cold Food Table” display. Two short days later, he was recognized with a silver medal in the individual program for his “Five-Course Menu for One Person and Finger Foods for Six People” submission, a display that also featured the talents of Central Piedmont culinary arts student and Regional Team apprentice Liam McCall, who assisted him in the kitchen.

    The icing on the cake came at the closing ceremonies when Chef Marilla, together with his Regional Team teammates, learned they had been awarded the overall team bronze medal, finishing third in the world.

    The overall team bronze medal not only set Team USA apart from the 29 other teams who competed, but also marked the first time since 1976 that an American Regional Team finished on the podium at the Culinary Olympics.

    Congratulations, Team USA and Chefs Marilla and McCall on your many accomplishments.

  • Central Piedmont selected for year two of Metallica Scholars Initiative

    The rock band Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation (AWMH) has once again selected Central Piedmont Community College to participate in the second iteration of the Metallica Scholars Initiative – a program that supports career and technical education programs at community colleges across the nation.

    In 2018, the band partnered with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), to select 10 community colleges from across the country that best demonstrated support of relevant jobs skill training for community college students. Central Piedmont was one of the 10 colleges chosen to receive $100,000. The college used the funds to help Central Piedmont students gain the training they needed to enter the workforce. These students became the college’s first cohort of Metallica Scholars.

    Year two of the Metallica Scholars Initiative:

    • awards a $50,000 grant to the original 10 colleges, and challenges each institution to match the grant amount. As a result, the overall grant investment in career and technical education at each college will total $100,000.
    • includes expanding the program in 2020 from 10 to 15 schools. The five new community college partners will each receive a $100,000 grant, making AWMH’s cumulative contribution $1.5 million.

    “We are proud to report that 80 percent of our Metallica Scholars who were scheduled to graduate in the 2019 spring and summer semesters were successful,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “The Metallica Scholars Initiative is transforming lives, providing students with the financial assistance and support services they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom.”

    Central Piedmont will continue to use the grant funds to provide direct support for students enrolled in one of four healthcare career programs but who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. The project will continue to focus on high-demand healthcare programs, including dental assisting, medical assisting, ophthalmic medical personnel, and pharmacy technology, and will target underrepresented students who would not be able to complete their program or obtain credentials without financial support. The goal of the initiative is to ensure students receive relevant jobs skills that will make them competitive in the healthcare field.

    AWMH works closely with AACC to implement and manage the program. Recipient colleges of the group’s 2020 $1,500,000 grant are all AACC members and are located in communities visited by Metallica during its recent U.S. tour.

  • WSOC-TV report: Many students overlook community colleges

    Community colleges are often the way you can have it all when it comes to higher education: You can have “the dream without the bill.”

    That’s how WSOC-TV, the region’s ABC affiliate, described the excellent option of community college for earning a degree without the stress of heavy debt hanging over your head. At Central Piedmont, it's possible to achieve the dream of higher education minus the nightmare of crippling debt that can sometimes follow.

    Getting a high-quality education at an affordable price is a reality for many Central Piedmont students, including the following alumni who were featured in a two-part WSOC-TV news story on the student debt crisis.