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 online. 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 online.
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.
Health Career Grads Score Well on Certification Exams
Central Piedmont’s heath career programs continue to prepare students well to meet critical workforce needs in Mecklenburg County.
Students graduating in 2022 from Central Piedmont’s Cytotechnology, Dental Hygiene, Medical Laboratory Technology, Ophthalmic Medical Personnel, and Polysomnography programs all achieved 100-percent certification exam pass rates. Nursing NCLEX exam pass rates were 98 percent, and Dental Assisting grads earned a 96-percent pass rate. Job placement rates are at or trending to 100 percent for all Central Piedmont health programs.
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.
College Kicks Off Fall 2022 Semester
Thousands of students from Mecklenburg County and beyond converged at Central Piedmont, on Monday, Aug. 15, as the college kicked off its 2022 fall semester.
Throughout the day, Student Engagement teams and other staff members were stationed at information tables across all six Central Piedmont campuses to guide students to classes, answer their questions, and provide them with important college information, such as valuable campus resources, parking guidelines, and available extracurricular activities.
Central Piedmont’s president, Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, was also on site at Central Campus, welcoming students as they continued or took their first steps toward earning a real-world, affordable, hands-on education.
College representatives at Central Campus were particularly excited to share with students that the college’s new 183,000 square-foot Parr Center -- home to a student union, theater, art gallery, and the Hagemeyer Library -- was now open and available to meet all of their learning, hospitality, entertainment, and student support needs going forward.
City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Enter a Workforce and Education Partnership During Signing Event
The City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College formalized a partnership for workforce development and education during a signing ceremony on Monday.
The partnership will provide better access to education, job training, career counseling and more for city employees and Central Piedmont students. For employees who do not currently hold post-secondary credentials, the city will pre-pay tuition and associated fees at Central Piedmont toward an associate degree or certificate programs. By offering a pre-payment program, the partnership is promoting upward mobility and removing a financial barrier.
“It’s important we invest in our employees and provide opportunities to join our workforce,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. “Through this partnership, we are preparing and reskilling our workforce for jobs of the future.”
Central Piedmont students will also have the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience through City of Charlotte apprenticeships, co-ops and internship programs. The city has 13 registered apprenticeship occupations with 36 combined former and current participants. The co-op program is new and there are two participants in the year-long program. The city has more than 25 career fields students can explore, from construction to administration.
"Central Piedmont is thrilled and proud to establish this partnership with the City of Charlotte," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, college president. "The college is eager to welcome and work with City of Charlotte employees as they seek further education and the re-skilling needed to advance their careers. At the same time, we are delighted our students will have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience and skills through work-based learning programs with the city. We believe this partnership, in time, can become a model for other cities and colleges to implement."
Central Piedmont offers more than 300 degree, diploma and certification programs through its six campuses located throughout Mecklenburg County. In addition to receiving a quality education, program participants will also have access to a variety of the college’s student support services, including tutoring, coaching, career counseling and more.
Together, the City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College are creating opportunities for upward mobility for city employees and the community.
Lucia Zapata Griffith, Chris Paterson appointed, and Arthur Griffin reappointed to Central Piedmont Board of Trustees
Lucia Zapata Griffith, CEO and founding principal of Metro Landmarks Construction and Metro Landmarks Architecture; and Chris Paterson, president/CEO and board director of Carolina Complete Health, have been appointed to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees. Arthur Griffin Jr., community leader and retired senior vice president for McGraw-Hill Education, has been reappointed to the board.
Lucia Zapata Griffith was appointed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Board, with her four-year term running through June 2026. She founded and has led Metro Landmarks Construction and Metro Landmarks Architecture since 1996. Prior to then, she was a partner and principal architect with AR&D. She also is the co-founder and owner of Poplar, a restaurant located in the Morrison House, a historic landmark in downtown Charlotte. Her other community involvement includes serving as a member of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, and as a board member for Foundation for the Carolinas, Levine Museum of the New South, Circle de Luz, and as an advisory committee member for the Bechtler Museum.
Chris Paterson was appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and his term also will run through June 2026. Paterson, who holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Ohio State University, has worked for the Centene Corporation and its subsidiaries since 2009. Prior to his current leadership role with Carolina Complete Health, he served as community affairs officer and vice president. Before then he was the president, CEO and board director of Sunshine Health. His current service on other boards includes those of Carolina Complete Health Plan, the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina, and Care4Carolina Business Advisory Council.
Arthur Griffin was reappointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners for another four-year term running through June 2026. Griffin has chaired the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and served 17 years on the CMS Board. During this period, he served as a member of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Advisory Committee (NAEP); guest lecturer at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education; University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education; and resident faculty member of the Texas Institute for School Board Members. He was a member with distinction on the Executive Committee of the Council of the Great City Schools and Steering Committee member of the Council of Urban Boards of Education.
“We are happy to welcome Lucia Zapata Griffith and Chris Paterson to Central Piedmont’s Board of Trustees. Both bring expertise and professional knowledge that will be invaluable to the board. As the college begins work on a new facilities master plan and continually evaluates its health careers programs for possible expansion, their contribution and counsel will be appreciated,” said Central Piedmont president Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer.
“We are delighted and fortunate to have Arthur Griffin for another term on the board. He understands well the college’s mission in the community and always champions our students and how the college might serve them better. He continues to encourage our efforts to serve as Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s primary workforce development partner,” Deitemeyer added.
College named Metallica Scholars Initiative recipient for fourth-consecutive year
For the fourth-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College was selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $10,000 in funding to support its career and technical education programs.
Funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands (AWMH) and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative was created in 2018 to fundamentally improve the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars.
Central Piedmont will continue to use the grant funds – in addition to a $10,000 matching gift from the Central Piedmont Foundation – to provide direct support for students enrolled in its healthcare career programs who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. The goal of the initiative is 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 Metallica Scholars program has proven to provide significant resources for community college students looking to learn the skills needed for today’s workforce,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC’s president and CEO. “We are honored to partner with the All Within My Hands Foundation to continue to expand this opportunity for community colleges and their students.”