News and Features

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

  • 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.

    • Watch Part 1: Central Piedmont Alumna Wylena Jones is an adult learner who recently graduated from Central Piedmont with her associate degree in nursing with almost no student debt.
    • Watch Part 2: Central Piedmont Alumni Kayla, Koby, and Keyshawn Brown are triplets who attended Central Piedmont’s middle college high school, allowing them to earn their associate degree from the college at no-cost as high school students.

    Learn about financial aid opportunities at Central Piedmont.

    Learn how you can earn college credit at Central Piedmont as a high school student.

  • Allstate apprenticeship program moves the upward mobility needle

    Central Piedmont’s Work-based Learning department recently partnered with Allstate on the “Good Hands College Apprenticeship,” a paid program that gives students the opportunity to obtain hands-on work experience at Allstate while completing their associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity.

    More than 20 Central Piedmont students applied for the 30-hours/week apprenticeship program; however, job offers were extended to only three candidates – Sabrina Carr, Rushit Patel and Joshua Pierce – who began working for Allstate on Jan. 21, 2020, and joined Central Piedmont student Shanelle Keels, who was already on staff.

    As apprentices, Central Piedmont’s students will work in teams to catch real-time hackers, attempting to break into Allstate’s systems; help monitor and create best practices for how to keep Allstate’s customers – and their data – safe; and gain valuable leaderships skills by participating in a variety of mentoring programs. For their efforts, the students will be paid to learn – $18.64/hour to be exact.

    “Allstate’s model of learn and earn is the perfect example of a program that is creating upward mobility in the lives of others,” explains Ed Injaychock, director of work-based learning at Central Piedmont. “It’s helping bridge the gap, providing our students with the training and funding they need to secure a better-paying job or family-sustaining career in the future.”

    “We are thrilled for the opportunities this will provide to Central Piedmont’s students and the Allstate Corporation,” added Dave St. Clair, vice president of security operations, hosting services, and the Charlotte Talent Center for Allstate Insurance Company.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Work-based Learning programs.

     

  • Steele’s Mechanical donates $50,000 to Central Piedmont Foundation

    Steele’s Mechanical, a mechanical contracting firm based in Lancaster, S.C., presented the Central Piedmont Foundation with a $50,000 gift on Dec. 19, to support scholarships for student veterans at the college. Steele’s Mechanical President Dan Bailey, a Central Piedmont alumnus and U.S. veteran, visited the college’s Central Campus to present the check to Dr. Kevin McCarthy, vice president for institutional advancement, and Aimee Brunton, director of development for Central Piedmont.

    “As a U.S. veteran, I understand the financial difficulties student veterans face when trying to identify the funding needed to pay for college,” said Bailey. “When I was a student, I saw several of my fellow veterans leave school because they couldn’t afford it – even with GI Bill assistance. That’s why Steele’s Mechanical decided to host a charity golf tournament this fall, to generate the scholarship funding needed to ensure Central Piedmont’s student veterans receive the financial aid they need to complete their education without worrying about going into debt.”

    The monies gifted to the college were raised during the company’s inaugural Nov. 6 charity golf tournament, held at Springfield Golf and Country Club, in Fort Mill, S.C. More than 120 players attended the event, which raised $25,000 for student veteran scholarships. Thanks to Steele’s Mechanical overall gift match, the final gift totaled $50,000.

    Bailey and his family have a rich history with Central Piedmont. Bailey’s father, James, was an employee at Central Piedmont from 1977-2012. It was this early exposure to Central Piedmont that spurred Bailey to enroll at the college in 2010 after serving as a construction engineer and paratrooper in the U.S. Army from 1999-2005. As a member of the student body, Bailey was active in the college’s student veteran’s association, serving as its president in 2010 and 2011; participated in Phi Theta Kappa; and coached Central Piedmont’s soccer team. He graduated from Central Piedmont in 2012 with an Associate in Applied Science degree.

    “It’s rewarding to see alumni, like Dan, giving back to their alma mater in such a meaningful way,” said McCarthy. “His company’s gift will help our student veterans overcome the financial barriers that stand in their way of achieving the personal and professional success they deserve.”

    To learn more about giving opportunities at Central Piedmont, please visit cpccfoundation.org/giving/ways-to-give-outright-gifts.

  • 2020 MLK Challenge a success

    Service-Learning organized the 16th annual MLK Challenge on Jan. 20, 2020, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. One hundred and eleven Central Piedmont students, faculty, and staff chose to celebrate the holiday by providing more than 700 hours of service at eight community agencies, and one group performed “random acts of kindness” around uptown Charlotte.

    Teams embraced unique and diverse challenges at Ada Jenkins Center, Carolina Raptor Center, KIPP Charlotte, Leah’s House of Refuge Community Center, Matthews HELP Center, Promising Pages, Renaissance West Community Initiative, Samaritan House, and throughout the city.

    Members of the Central Piedmont community arrived early on campus to enjoy breakfast together, while Dr. Tracy Moore presented about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and led a discussion about civil rights, social justice, poverty, and civic engagement. Afterward, groups were formed, presented a challenge, and were given $100 to complete their projects.

    Those challenges included repairing and replacing perching on the Raptor Trail, creating banners with quotes about historical African Americans, beautification and organizing of facilities that are frequently used, and sorting books for children to encourage reading. The group providing random acts of kindness made care packages of toiletries and food, and they passed them out on the city bus and the streets of uptown.

    Afterward, groups gathered back at Central Piedmont, to share their experiences with the larger group.

    Learn more about Service-Learning at Central Piedmont.

  • 2019 Central Piedmont Nursing Graduates Earn 100% Passing and Employment Rate

    Congratulations are extended to Central Piedmont’s nursing students for earning a 100%-employment rate and passing rate on their respective NCLEX-RN certification exam in 2019.

    National certifications are considered the highest credential in the nation’s healthcare system and are widely recognized by today’s employers. That may be why our nursing graduates continue to be heavily recruited by many of today’s leading healthcare providers, including Atrium and Novant Health (as referenced in the following video).

    Are you ready to #ConquerPossibility at Central Piedmont and join this in-demand career field? Learn more about Central Piedmont’s nursing program.

  • Gov. Cooper visits college, asks for more emergency grants for students

    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper met on Central Piedmont’s Central Campus Wednesday with faculty, staff, and students to share exciting updates about the Finish Line Grant, an emergency grant program originally announced by Cooper in July 2018. 

    College is a serious financial undertaking. The Finish Line Grant is designed to assist community college students in addressing financial situations that would prevent them from continuing or completing their program of study or credential. Students facing financial hardship may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 to cover eligible expenses per semester. 

    During the event, Gov. Cooper announced that in North Carolina, 3,000 community college Finish Line Grants have been awarded to date. He added, “It’s amazing how a small amount of money can make a big difference in the life of a student who is trying really hard and is having to pay tuition and fees to try and better themselves in order to get over the hump.”

    Too often, financial hardships such as unexpected healthcare costs, childcare expenses, or car and transportation issues prevent students from achieving their academic goals. Fortunately, there are many types of financial aid available to help pay for college. 

    Lexine Merrill, a Central Piedmont student and Finish line Grant recipient, echoed the governor’s sentiments. “In one week, I ended up with $1,300 in medical bills and car repairs. I had no idea what to do and nowhere to turn. But then a friend mentioned her experience with the Finish Line Grant, so I applied. I sobbed grateful tears when I learned I was approved. The Finish Line Grant relieved the financial burdens that were weighing heavily on me. It allowed me the opportunity to continue moving forward, toward my finish line."

    Students facing an unexpected financial emergency can get connected to a variety of FREE resources through Single Stop, to help them stay focused on their academic goals.

     

  • Central Piedmont kicks off the spring semester

    Students from Mecklenburg County and beyond are converging at Central Piedmont Community College this week, as the college kicks off its 2020 spring semester.

    Student Life representatives and other staff members are busy working multiple information tables across all six Central Piedmont campuses to help ease students’ first day of class.

    Representatives are guiding students to classes, answering their questions, and providing them with important college information, such as valuable campus resources, parking guidelines, and available extracurricular activities.

    Also welcoming students this week is Central Campus’s new 154,100-square-foot North Classroom Building. The largest facility ever built by Central Piedmont, it opened its doors just in time for the start of the semester.

    Learn how you, too, can earn a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform your life at Central Piedmont. Visit cpcc.edu/admissions/enroll.