News and Features

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

  • 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 Launches New Outreach Efforts to Attract and Support More Adult Learners with ‘Better Skills. Better Jobs. Better Future.’ Campaign

    Central Piedmont Community College is rolling out a new initiative to bring more adults who may have not completed a degree or job training program back to the classroom through a new Better Skills. Better Jobs. Better Future. campaign

    Over the next few months, Central Piedmont will proactively share job training programs and college information with adults across Mecklenburg County to prepare them for the growing number of job openings. Interested adults are encouraged to visit Central Piedmont’s Better Skills Better Jobs website to learn more and to sign up to connect directly with the college. 

    From public safety to nursing and health care, to business administration and welding, to information technology and advanced manufacturing, and many more, completing courses at Central Piedmont offers a direct pipeline to many of the region’s top employers.

    “We are working hard every day to ensure Central Piedmont meets the needs of our community,” said Dr. Kandi W. Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont Community College. “This new 'Better Skills. Better Jobs. Better Future.' campaign will help us advance our mission by reaching out to adult learners. We want more adults to acquire the skills, credentials, and degrees they need for a better job, a bigger paycheck, and a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

    Despite North Carolina’s booming economy, less than half of North Carolinians between the ages of 25-44 have the education and training needed to fill current and future job openings. Meanwhile, employers across Mecklenburg County are desperately seeking skilled talent to fill vacancies. 

    The Better Skills. Better Jobs. Better Future. campaign includes direct outreach to adults who previously earned some college credits, but left without a degree or certification; special community events and earned media promotions; paid digital marketing and advertising, and customized materials designed to quickly help more adult learners reconnect and re-enroll.  

    The vast majority of higher-wage jobs today require more than a high school diploma, which is why Central Piedmont, the John M. Belk Endowment, myFutureNC, and several other state and local partners are working together to support this special outreach campaign to attract more adult learners back to college.

    “Many in our state are looking for new challenges or a fresh start, and our community colleges are a great place to begin their journey,” said M.C. Belk Pilon, President and Board Chair of the John M. Belk Endowment. “Our goal is for all North Carolinians to have access to an education that will lead to skills, credentials, and degrees, and ultimately the opportunities to achieve their dreams and to help meet the workforce needs across our state.”

    Visit the Better Skills. Better Jobs. Better Future. website for more information.

  • Deitemeyer Honored at Event as ‘BusinessWoman of the Year’

    Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont Community College, was honored at a March 7 luncheon event as Queens University’s 2023 “BusinessWoman of the Year.” 

    The event was held on the Queens University of Charlotte campus and attended by more than 100 business and community leaders; higher education leaders; and colleagues, family and friends of Deitemeyer. In its 38th year, the award and event celebrate female leaders who have made significant contributions to the Charlotte region through outstanding leadership and achievement.

    “Kandi is a dynamic leader, educator, businesswoman, and now the senior chief executive of Charlotte’s thriving higher education landscape,” said Queens University President Dan Lugo. “Her strategic vision and unwavering commitment to student success have transformed Central Piedmont into a driving force of economic growth for Charlotte while empowering countless students and their families to achieve greater economic mobility. It is a great privilege and honor to recognize her with this year's Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year award.”

    The distinction of being named Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year has been given to prominent figures in the Charlotte community including Diane Morais, president of Consumer and Commercial Banking at Ally Financial Inc; Tanya S. Blackmon, former executive vice president and chief diversity, inclusion and equity officer for Novant Health; Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager; Peggy Brookhouse, former president of Luquire George Andrews (LGA); and Carol Lovin, executive vice president and system chief of staff for Atrium Health.

    “The award and today’s gracious event are gifts I will treasure,” Deitemeyer said in her acceptance remarks. “I will keep telling the amazing stories of our students, of our college, and of the significant work we are all doing together in this community.”

    Deitemeyer came to Central Piedmont in 2017 to serve as its fourth president and second female leader. Dr. Ruth Shaw, the 1995 BusinessWoman of the Year, served as Central Piedmont’s president from 1986 to 1992.

  • U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams visits Central Piedmont

    Alma Adams, U.S. House representative for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, came to Central Piedmont’s Central Campus on Feb. 20, where she saw high-tech, cutting-edge facilities in which students are gaining high-demand healthcare skills.

    Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer welcomed Rep. Adams and her staff to the college. The group toured Central Piedmont’s Leon Levine Health Sciences Center and its many simulation labs and clinics, where healthcare program students gain valuable clinical experience. College leaders shared Central Piedmont’s plans to expand its nursing and other healthcare programs to help meet a growing need for care providers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

    The Congresswoman also met with four Central Piedmont’s Ruth G. Shaw Scholars. The group talked about good leadership qualities and Adams’ journey of service as a local, state, and U.S. elected official. 

    Adams was elected to her fifth full term representing the 12th district in 2022. She serves on the Committee on Education & the Workforce and the Committee on Agriculture. She holds several leadership roles: as Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus, Ranking Member of the Committee on Education & Labor’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, the Black Maternal Health Caucus, and the e-Learning Caucus. She has previously served on multiple committees, including the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Small Business.


  • Central Piedmont Partners with Mecklenburg Public Health to ‘Give Kids a Smile’

    Central Piedmont Community College and Mecklenburg County Public Health are partnering to participate in National Give Kids a Smile Day by offering free dental services to Mecklenburg children on Saturday, Feb. 24.

    Between 200 and 300 children will receive free dental cleanings and screenings, vision screenings, immunizations, health education, and other family resources. Mecklenburg Public Health employees and Central Piedmont health sciences faculty, staff, and students donate their time providing services and care. 

    “We are excited to serve our community, especially the children who need us the most,” said Raydiance Swanston, Mecklenburg County Public Health Pediatric Dental Clinic manager. “We will provide these vital oral health services to families who do not have health insurance. But while the event is focused on children, we also are ready to serve the entire family.”

    Also participating in the event will be Atrium Health’s Women's Care Drive to Thrive mobile unit, a Vision to Learn mobile unit and a mammogram bus. All services and wellness information will be provided in English and Spanish.

    • What: National Give Kids a Smile Day program
    • When:  
      • Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
      • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Where:  
      • Central Piedmont Community College
      • Central Campus
      • Worrell Building Gymnasium
      • 1228 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte

    North Carolina data shows that 11.3 percent of kindergartners in state Region IV, including Mecklenburg County, have tooth decay. Dental disease in children can be reduced effectively through prevention initiatives for oral health. Such efforts reduce loss-of-learning time due to school absences. About 25 percent of children in Mecklenburg County are found to have untreated cavities in their permanent teeth, with the majority coming from low-income families.

    “I am proud of our collective efforts to bring ‘Give Kids A Smile Day’ back to Mecklenburg County this year,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Public Health director. “We are excited and thankful for the partnership with Central Piedmont, allowing our teams to help more children and families than ever before.”


  • Duke Energy Employees Donate to the Professional Clothing Closet

    Duke Energy employees made a significant donation to the Central Piedmont Community College Professional Clothing Closet. The generous contribution, comprising thousands of items, including suits, dress shirts, shoes, dresses, blouses, belts, jewelry, and other accessories, substantially enhances student resources.

    The Professional Clothing Closet, operating weekly on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., is an initiative by Central Piedmont to assist students in preparing for interviews and their forthcoming professional careers. Located on the Central Campus, in the Worrell Building, Room 1152, the closet allows current students to select up to four outfits to build their professional wardrobe free of charge.

    How to Participate

    Students interested in using the Professional Clothing Closet can sign up for a shopping date. This initiative is part of Central Piedmont's commitment to supporting students academically and in their career readiness.

    Donation Details

    Central Piedmont welcomes ongoing donations to the Professional Clothing Closet. Community members can contribute by dropping off items every Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Accepted items include business suits, skirts, ties, professional shoes, blouses, belts, jewelry, blazers, slacks, and dress shirts. Donors are kindly requested to ensure all items are clean and in good condition.

    For More Information

    For additional details about the Professional Clothing Closet or to inquire about donations, please contact Mia Mallory or Dena Shonts.

    Central Piedmont Community College is grateful for the support of Duke Energy employees and the broader community in making this valuable resource a success for students.

  • Central Piedmont Community College Welcomes Atrium Health's Women's Care Drive to Thrive Mobile Unit

    Central Piedmont Community College is delighted to partner with the Atrium Health Women's Care Drive to Thrive, a groundbreaking mobile care unit dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of women's health services. This initiative represents a significant step towards enhancing healthcare access and equity in our community.

    About the Women's Care Drive to Thrive:

    Atrium Health’s Women's Care Drive to Thrive is a mobile unit offering a variety of essential services in a friendly and supportive environment. The unit is open to all community members and offers both scheduled and walk-in appointments, with bilingual staff available for Spanish-speaking patients.

    Services Provided:

    The mobile clinic includes a range of vital services, such as:

    • Screening for cervical cancer, urinary tract infections, and sexually transmitted infections
    • Access to birth control
    • First-time prenatal visits and postpartum care
    • Ultrasound services
    • Mammogram referrals
    • On-site social worker to help connect patients with resources

    Cost and Insurance Information:

    Service costs vary based on individual insurance plans. For those without insurance, a sliding scale is applied, often resulting in no charge.

    Central Piedmont Operating Hours and Location:

    The clinic operates on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., on the Central Campus. The mobile unit sets up in Parking lot 11, at 1425 Elizabeth Ave., adjacent to the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center, which fronts Elizabeth Avenue and Charlottetowne Avenue.


    Appointments can be scheduled by calling 704.468.0137, though walk-ins also are welcome.

  • Central Piedmont Community College Expands Tuition Prepayment Program with the City of Charlotte

    Central Piedmont Community College is proud to announce the successful launch of the first full year of the tuition prepayment program in collaboration with the City of Charlotte. This innovative program began in October 2022 and has welcomed back City of Charlotte employee scholars this fall, marking a significant step towards educational empowerment and career advancement for city employees.

    As of fall 2023, 219 City of Charlotte employees have applied for the tuition prepayment program, with 121 participating in classes. Programs include a diverse range of course delivery methods, with 108 taking online courses, 11 in person, and 2 in hybrid formats.

    The program offers flexibility for the spring 2024 term with 16-week, 12-week, 8-week, and 4-week sessions. Already, 76 City of Charlotte employees are poised to begin classes on January 8th, highlighting the ongoing success and accessibility of the program.

    Central Piedmont remains committed to providing a comprehensive educational experience, offering associate degree programs in business administration, civil engineering, and certification and professional development courses like HR Offerings, Grant Writing, and Cyber Security.

    Marcia Colson, Associate VP of Applied Programs & Workforce Pathways, celebrates this partnership, stating, "The City of Charlotte is our third largest employer sponsorship. We are swiftly approaching the 200-student mark, a testament to the program's efficacy and the city's dedication to its workforce."

    "The personal and professional development of our employees is essential to creating upward mobility within our organization," said Sheila Simpson, City of Charlotte Director of Human Resources. "Our partnership with Central Piedmont removes a financial barrier and provides an opportunity for employees to learn new skills and explore new careers available with the city. I'm happy that our staff are taking advantage of this program as they continue to grow and provide quality service to our community."

    City employees hail the program as a gateway to new career opportunities. One student said, "The Tuition Prepayment Program is a great opportunity for people looking to broaden their career horizons." Another adds, "This kind of opportunity is virtually unheard of...I highly recommend taking advantage of this rare opportunity for a free education."

    The prepayment program is available for all City of Charlotte employees. Employees interested in the tuition prepayment program must complete an internal application with the City of Charlotte human resources department.

    This partnership underscores the shared commitment of the City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College to upskill and reskill employees, preparing them for the dynamic challenges of their current and future roles within the City of Charlotte.

  • Central Piedmont Community College Launches Application Cycle for Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program

    Central Piedmont Community College is thrilled to announce that the application cycle for the Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program is now open. This hands-on learning opportunity is designed to "earn and learn," providing 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.

    Application Cycle Now Open:

    Central Piedmont is accepting interest inquiries for the program, which begins in Summer 2024 and spans 12 months. After expressing interest, Coke Consolidated will contact candidates to provide additional information and to complete the application process. During the program, apprentices will work approximately 20 hours weekly while completing three to four college courses each semester. Apprentices will transition to full-time positions upon successful completion of the program.

    Coke Consolidated launched an apprenticeship program at Central Piedmont Community College in spring 2023 to provide formal learning through Central Piedmont and on the job experience in high-demand skilled labor positions in the following business areas at Coke Consolidated: manufacturing, equipment services and fleet maintenance at our Charlotte-area facilities. 

    Program Details

    Eligible applicants will gain paid experience through part-time roles at Coca-Cola Consolidated and its transportation subsidiary Red Classic Transportation, alongside financial support for career certificates, preparing them for positions such as:

    The fundamental requirement for these apprenticeships is a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.

    Information Sessions:

    Central Piedmont invites prospective candidates to attend an Information Session to engage with representatives from Coke Consolidated and the college. These sessions offer detailed insights into the apprenticeship program and the career certificates that can pave the way for a future at Coke Consolidated.

    Register for Information Sessions:

    In-person and virtual attendance options:

    Virtual only:

    Central Piedmont is proud to work with Coke Consolidated to offer these apprenticeships, reinforcing our dedication to creating career pathways that align with industry needs and student success.

    For complete program information, visit

  • Duke Energy Foundation grant will support Central Piedmont’s utility line worker program

    The Duke Energy Foundation has given Central Piedmont Community College a grant of $48,000 to support the college’s utility line worker program.

    The grant is part of $350,000 the Duke Energy Foundation is providing to support 11 community colleges across North Carolina working to create a pipeline of skilled line workers that will help meet the energy industry's future workforce needs. With this additional funding, the Foundation has awarded more than $6.7 million over the past five years in support of workforce development programs with a focus on the energy sector.

    “Central Piedmont Community College thanks the Duke Energy Foundation for its investment in Central Piedmont's utility line worker program," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The generous grant will benefit our students directly by helping them purchase the equipment and materials they need to start the program. We appreciate the Duke Energy Foundation's support and partnership as the college works to train individuals in a high-skills, high-demand field.”

    As Duke Energy (DUK NYSE) executes its clean energy transition, the need for a skilled workforce is growing rapidly. Line workers play an integral role in a more efficient, more reliable digital grid. The company’s investment into line worker training programs and coordination with community colleges will result in a more diverse talent pipeline for the utility industry.

    “Given North Carolina’s tremendous growth, line workers are essential to strengthening our infrastructure and allowing our communities to thrive,” said Kendal Bowman, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “These grants are one way we can create access to workforce development opportunities across the state, helping ensure our workforce diversity reflects the communities we serve, live and work in.”

    Central Piedmont announced the creation of its line worker program in late 2022 and began conducting classes and training in late-July 2023. Duke Energy provided a start-up boost by giving the college a grant of $500,000. The Pike Corporation also helped by providing much needed equipment to establish the program at the college’s Harper Campus.

    The program’s first class graduated on Dec. 15. The six new graduates will help meet a growing need in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region for well-trained, highly skilled utility line workers. As Central Piedmont continues to grow the program, its goal will be to produce more than 100 graduates every 12 months.

    As part of the program, students undertake a rigorous curriculum and achieve a 580-hour academic and field training goal. Students who complete the 16-week program will be able to enter the workforce quickly and will have earned multiple, specialized industry training credentials, including OSHA, CPR, Arc Flash Safety for Utilities, Bucket Truck Rescue, Class A CDL License, Pole Top Rescue, and Work Zone Flagger.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 23,000 openings for line installers and repairers will be available each year, on average, over the next decade. With this trend in mind, the college, Duke Energy and Pike have partnered to develop a pipeline of diverse, skilled, and talented utility line workers by investing in the education and career development of local, Mecklenburg County citizens.

    Visit the college website for more information about the utility line worker program at Central Piedmont, or call 704.330.4223.