News and Features

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

  • New Nursing Program Graduates First Class

    Central Piedmont Community College has graduated its first class of practical nurses from the Dickson Practical Nursing Program. The 10 graduates from the newly-established one-year program are now eligible to sit for the national licensure exam to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).

    The new graduates participated in a nursing pinning ceremony on Dec. 6, and will walk in Central Piedmont’s first-ever winter graduation ceremony on Dec. 13, at Bojangles Coliseum.

    The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte awarded Central Piedmont a $500,000 grant in 2021 to develop a new LPN program at the college to provide students an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address specific employment needs within the Charlotte region’s healthcare sector.

    The Dickson Practical Nursing Program enables students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median LPN salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for lower-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

    LPNs work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), with employment opportunities available immediately in hospitals; rehabilitation, long-term care, and home health facilities; clinics; and physicians’ offices.

    Central Piedmont will expand the second class to as many as 24 seats and then monitor local needs for LPNs and adjust the size of future classes to meet demand. The program is based on the college’s Central Campus.

  • Central Piedmont will use $500,000 Duke Energy grant to create utility line worker training program

    16-week program to launch in spring 2023, produce a pipeline of skilled line workers

    Duke Energy has given Central Piedmont Community College a grant of $500,000 to create a utility line worker training program at the college’s Harper Campus. 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 partnership seeks to develop a pipeline of diverse, skilled, and talented utility line workers by investing in the education and career development of local citizens.

    “Our most valuable asset is our people, and line workers are the foundation of our company – especially as we modernize our grid and integrate new technologies,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy’s executive vice president of customer experience, solutions and services. “Recruiting through the Central Piedmont line worker program and other similar high-caliber community college programs will help ensure we develop a skilled workforce that meets our candidates’ expectations.”

    Central Piedmont will use the grant to provide instructional support and purchase some of the equipment, materials, and supplies needed to launch and sustain the new 16-week training program. The new program will open in spring 2023, with the first of three planned cohorts of 12 students. Once the program is up and running at capacity, overlapping and staggering the program’s start dates throughout the academic year will enable the college to produce as many as 144 graduates every 12 months.

    “This partnership program will give our diverse student body the opportunity to learn about and engage with a career pathway they may not have considered previously,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This is a high-demand, specialized field with enormous growth potential. With utility line workers earning an estimated starting annual salary of $74,000, this is a career that can transform the lives of students and their families.”

    As part of the program, participants will complete 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, Trenching/Shoring/Confined Space Training, and Work Zone Flagger.

    Duke Energy and Central Piedmont leaders announced plans for the program during a Nov. 29 event, at a Duke Energy operations center, in Charlotte.

    “Without Duke Energy’s financial support, as well as their technical expertise, the college would not be able to launch this program. This is a true partnership, and I commend and thank Duke Energy for coming alongside the college to make this much needed program a reality,” Deitemeyer remarked. “We are eager to open the program, and we thank Duke Energy for their support and collaboration.”

    For more information about Central Piedmont’s new utility line worker training program, contact Stephen Gerhardt, senior program developer, at 704.330.4451 or Stephen.Gerhardt@cpcc.edu.

  • Central Piedmont to provide customized training for RGA Enterprises

     

    Central Piedmont Community College will provide specialized training for RGA Enterprises Inc., employees through funding from North Carolina’s customized training program.

    Charlotte-based RGA Enterprises, will receive $87,500 in training value from Central Piedmont over an 18-month period. The training programs will include a broad range of skills building, including root cause analysis, 5S implementation, electric motor controls, and electric control circuits, with an emphasis on leadership development for team leaders and supervisors. The N.C. Community College System’s Customized Training Program offers training services and specialized programs to assist new and existing business and industry to remain productive and profitable in North Carolina.

    RGA Enterprises was founded in 1977 by Ed Barker and acquired by the Fidler family in 2016. The company manufactures and packages household cleaning products and has a rich history in servicing the consumer packaged goods industry.

    “RGA Enterprises is grateful to work with Central Piedmont Community College to support the ongoing education and training of our employees,” said William Fidler, company president and CEO. “The college has been instrumental in helping RGA through the process and tailoring an exciting program. Our employees are foundational to RGA’s success, and I am excited for the opportunity this program represents for them and the company as a whole.”

    The training provided by Central Piedmont will serve as a productivity enhancement project for the company. The training is aimed at developing the skill sets of the existing employees that result in promotion opportunities and ensure important machinery and equipment can be troubleshooted and maintained properly.

    “Central Piedmont is honored to work with RGA Enterprises as the company pursues continuous improvement through the development of its current employees. RGA Enterprises is a long-time corporate citizen and community neighbor in Mecklenburg County, and we are delighted to partner with them,” said Allison Bowers, Central Piedmont director corporate learning and economic recruitment. “The college, through our Corporate Learning Center, will work hard to deliver the customized training RGA Enterprises team members need now and as the company continues to grow in our community.”

    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 meet the performance and organizational needs of local companies.

    To talk with a Corporate Learning Center team member, call 704.330.4660, or visit www.cpcc.edu/clc

  • College's Board of Trustees Chair named Charlotte Woman of the Year

    Linda Lockman-Brooks named Charlotte Woman of the Year

    Linda Lockman-Brooks, a well-respected Charlotte leader and chair of the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees, has been named the 2021 Charlotte Woman of the Year. This prestigious award, now in its 66th year, is given for exceptional community service and exemplary leadership. 

    Lockman-Brooks is a Charlotte business executive with extensive leadership experience at large public companies. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, she is the founder and president of Lockman-Brooks Marketing Services, which provides strategic marketing and communications services and executive talent resources to a diverse book of clients.

    In July 2021, she was elected to chair the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees by her fellow board members. A college trustee since 2016, Linda is the first female and the first Black person to chair the board in Central Piedmont’s 59-year history. 

    Linda also co-chaired the “Powering a Stronger Future Campaign,” Central Piedmont Foundation’s most ambitious fundraising effort. Raising more than $66 million in gifts and commitments, the campaign surpassed its $40-million goal and supports students, programs, and faculty development, providing even greater access to underrepresented persons. 

    The Charlotte Woman of the Year was established in 1955 to recognize an individual woman who has distinguished herself through civic leadership and service in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community. The recipient of the Charlotte Woman of the Year award epitomizes the values for which the Charlotte Woman of the Year organization stands and represents the best of who we are as women and as leaders. Past Charlotte Women of the Year honorees vote on nominations to choose each year’s winner. 

  • Coca-Cola Consolidated and College Launching Career Pipeline

    Nation's Largest Coca-Cola Bottler, Central Piedmont Community College, and Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Collaborate to Foster Economic Mobility

    Coke Consolidated is funding up to 30 apprenticeships at Central Piedmont Community College to spur interest in high-demand positions in manufacturing, equipment repair and logistics at its Charlotte-area facilities. 

    Qualified applicants will receive financial support for career certificates in fields such as HVAC repair and manufacturing, while gaining experience through part-time positions at Coke Consolidated. The application process will begin in early 2023. 

    “These scholarships exemplify our commitment to empowering the next generation of diverse servant leaders,” said Dave Katz, President and Chief Operating Officer at Coke Consolidated. “We’re looking for talented candidates who want to grow their skillsets and their careers.” 

    “Coke Consolidated is dedicated to providing opportunities for new and existing teammates to continuously learn and grow,” said Brent Tollison, a Senior Vice President at Coke Consolidated and member of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Board of Trustees. 

    “We want to invest in people and to provide the resources and encouragement they need to achieve their goals,” he said. “These aren’t job opportunities. These are career opportunities.” 

    Coke Consolidated is committed to workforce development and economic opportunity in the communities it serves. Applicants selected for an apprenticeship will have ongoing training and leadership development opportunities as part of their employment experience. 

    Central Piedmont’s credentialing programs are flexible and designed to meet the needs of students who also are working part-time. Coke Consolidated’s apprenticeship program targets the more than 65% of adults in the region who don’t have a bachelor’s degree. 

    “Central Piedmont is pleased and proud to partner with Coke Consolidated to offer students a pathway to invaluable work experience and rewarding, high-demand careers in manufacturing,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont President. “We are eager to open the program, and we thank Coke Consolidated for their support and collaboration.” 

    Coke Consolidated is working with the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (CLT Alliance) to highlight opportunities in the manufacturing sector and to promote scholarships for interested applicants. Charlotte is home to more than 3,600 manufacturing companies, which together employ over 145,000 people. 7,500 new manufacturing jobs have been announced in the region since 2020, according to CLT Alliance. 

    "Manufacturing is integral in the Charlotte Region, and the industry and next generation of talent are poised to shape our future economy,” said CLT Alliance President and CEO Janet LaBar. “We applaud Coke Consolidated’s commitment to strengthening our workforce and believe collaborations like this will strengthen our pipeline, enrich our economy, and provide a pathway to opportunity for our region’s residents."

    Coca-Cola Consolidated currently has open positions in the Charlotte area,  including many technical jobs. Learn more by visiting Careers.CokeConsolidated.com. 

    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 120 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 CocaCola 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 at www.cokeconsolidated.com.

  • Titan Solar Power Gives Central Piedmont STEM Grant

    Titan Solar Power has given Central Piedmont Community College a grant of $15,000 to assist the college in enriching the experience of underrepresented students in its associate degree STEM programs.

    The grant will provide funds for students to participate in STEM exposure workshops, career panels, STEM-related counseling for university transfer, and STEM company visits. The college also will use the grant to hold “STEM Tank” competitions, during which students will propose solutions to STEM-related problems relevant to the Central Piedmont and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

    The grant period will run through June 2023 and be open to as many as 60 students in Central Piedmont’s Associate of Science, Associate of Engineering, and Associate of Applied Science programs.

    “At Titan Solar Power, we believe service to others is an essential part of the human experience. Our branches nationwide are empowered and encouraged to select local charity partners that align with their culture and call to their hearts. On behalf of our Charlotte branch, we are thrilled to partner with Central Piedmont Community College to support the extraordinary work it does,” said Sam Jones, Titan Solar Power director of public relations and marketing.

    According to the Pew Research Center and Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM employment needs are projected to grow by 9.2 percent by 2029. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and American Council on Education, only 18 percent of all higher education degrees are awarded each year in STEM fields. Of STEM degree recipients nationally, only 32.4 percent are female, 12.6 percent are Black, and 16.7 percent are Latino/Hispanic.

    At the same time, North Carolina ranks only 26th in the nation in engineers as a percentage of the workforce, according to data compiled by the National Science Board. Studies show states and regions with a high concentration of engineers have a greater capacity for innovation and often lead in key industries.

    “Anything we can do to recruit and retain students in our STEM degree programs is important and greatly needed in the Charlotte region and across North Carolina” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “That’s why this generous grant from Titan Solar Power will have such a positive and significant impact. The college thanks Titan Solar Power for its support and partnership.”

    Central Piedmont offers more than a dozen STEM programs. Visit the college website for full details.

  • Central Piedmont’s RN program ranked among the best in North Carolina

    RegisteredNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization, has released its annual lists of “Best RN Programs.” Central Piedmont Community College's RN program is ranked number two among the 20 that were evaluated in North Carolina. The number-two ranking is the highest among N.C. community college programs.

    The complete “2023 Best RN Programs in North Carolina” ranking can be found at https://www.registerednursing.org/state/north-carolina/#rankings. RegisteredNursing.org assessed nursing programs using several factors which represent how well a program supports students toward licensure and beyond. Details about the methodology used can be reviewed at https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/.

    Central Piedmont's nursing program is the oldest program in the N.C. Community College System and has graduated more than 3,000 students since its inception in 1965. Interested students can apply to enter three different nursing tracks:

    • The Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) Program
    • The one-year Dickson Practical Nursing Program
    • Nurse Aide Program.

    To learn more about Central Piedmont’s more than 20 healthcare career programs, visit the college website.

  • Record $66.3 million raised during campaign

    The five-year “Powering A Stronger Future” campaign proved to be a tremendous success, raising $66,316,795 for Central Piedmont Community College. 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. The campaign opened with a $40-million goal, making it the most ambitious campaign in Central Piedmont’s history. When the campaign closed on June 30, it had surpassed its goal by more than $26 million, setting a new, all-time fundraising record for the college.

    Among the larger gifts received were:

    • $10 million from an individual benefactor to support the arts and humanities
    • $5 million from an individual donor for scholarships
    • $4 million from the Foundation for the Carolinas to support the college’s early Childhood Education Program and students

    The campaign’s priorities concentrated on assisting students, ensuring instructional excellence, and providing for faculty and staff development.

    “The Powering A Stronger Future campaign has enabled the college to establish 81 new scholarships; enrich the student experience through increased access to academic support, mentoring, and advising services; serve Charlotte's most under-resourced and fragile populations through accelerated adult learning and expanded programming for early childhood educators; and enhance our annual fund to sustain essential operations and services that ensure student success,” explained Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president.

    “The college sincerely thanks everyone who made a gift or pledge during the campaign. Their generosity is helping Central Piedmont transform lives by providing pathways to opportunity, career success and greater economic mobility. We also thank our campaign chairs, campaign committee, and the Central Piedmont Foundation Board of Directors. Their dedication and love for the college made this a wonderfully historic effort,” Deitemeyer added.

    Leading the campaign were Pat Rodgers, honorary chair; Weston Andress, Linda Lockman-Brooks, and Carl Showalter, campaign co-chairs; and campaign committee members Benton Bragg, Edwin Dalrymple, Claudia Heath, Jonathan Ishee, Susan Jamison, Christine Katziff, Christian Robinson, Caldwell Rose, and Glenn Sherrill. 

    Central Piedmont celebrated the close of the Powering A Stronger Future campaign at a Sept. 15 dinner, held on Central Campus, in the new Parr Center.

  • 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.

  • Central Piedmont dedicates $113.4 million Parr Center

    College leaders, local elected officials and the benefactors for whom the building is named all took part in Central Piedmont Community College’s dedication of the 184,000 square-foot Parr Center today.

    The Parr Center is the largest building constructed in the college’s 59-year history and serves as its first-ever student union. With its prominent location on Elizabeth Avenue, the Parr Center is the new front door to the college’s Central Campus and its signature building. Named for college benefactors Wilton L. and Mary W. Parr and their generous support of Central Piedmont over many years, the Parr Center is located on the footprint of two previous college structures – the Terrell Building and the Hagemeyer Learning Resource Center. The Parr Center’s positioning allowed the college to expand the size of the main quad and provides striking new architecture along Elizabeth Avenue, the main street through Central Campus. The center opened to students and the public on July 5.

    “We believe this building will help students be successful,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The services they receive here, and the space provided where they can study, collaborate, mediate and, yes, rest, will help them persist and stay on the path to completion.”

    The Parr Center was constructed with Mecklenburg County bonds funds. George Dunlap, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, remarked those funds were well spent. “The Parr Center is a wonderful example of the county using its resources to help those institutions that serve this community,” Dunlap said. “Working together – the county and the college – we have achieved this, and we all have a reason to be proud.”

    Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said she was pleased the college designed the facility with students as the focus. “When I look at this magnificent new facility, knowing that it was conceived and built to serve students and enhance the student experience at Central Piedmont, I know it is another example of the college staying true to its mission,” Lyles said.

    Approximately 200 people attended the outdoor ceremony, which paid tribute to Dr. Richard Hagemeyer, Central Piedmont’s first president and the namesake of the new Hagemeyer Library, located in the Parr Center. Also honored were Wilton and Mary Parr for their decades-long support of the college.

    “I am proud of my association with Central Piedmont Community College. I truly enjoyed taking classes here; they were fantastic,” Wilton Parr said. “It’s my hope that current students and those to come all have a great experience as I did. I’m truly honored to have the Parr name on this wonderful building.”

    Other speakers at the ceremony included Linda Lockman-Brooks, chair of the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees; Matthew Hart, principal architect with Morris-Berg; Pat Rodgers, president and CEO of Rodgers Builders; and Kay Mahoney, Central Piedmont Student Government Association president.

    Parr Center Details:

    Square Footage: 184,000

    Project Cost:  $113.4 million

    Source of funding: Mecklenburg County bonds and other county funds
    Project Managers: Rodgers and R.J. Leeper Construction
    Architects: Morris Berg and Moody Nolan Architects

    Parr Center Features:

    • the Hagemeyer Library, a 21st-century library with an outdoor reading room, and abundant study spaces;
    • a Student Union, with Welcome Center, Admissions, Students Services, Testing Center, Advising Services, Student Life, Mentoring & Bridge programs, and International programs;
    • Academic Learning Center;
    • a theater with seating for 450;
    • the Pauline Dove Art Gallery;
    • student commons with a collaborative stair;
    • food services, featuring Catalyst Coffee Bar, grab-n-go items, and a dining area;
    • multiple outdoor/rooftop terraces;
    • six multipurpose rooms;
    • collaboration/group-study rooms – available for use by students, faculty, and staff; and
    • enlarged outdoor quad space, designed for outdoor programming.

    Learn more about the Parr Center.