College Honors James W. Allison
Central Piedmont Community College recognized James “Jim” W. Allison, a long-time Central Piedmont benefactor and respected Charlotte lawyer, by naming Room 1221 of the Zeiss Building on the college’s Central Campus, the "James W. Allison Classroom” in honor of his 17-year relationship with the college.
The college will use Room 1221 for paralegal technology instruction beginning in 2022, when its paralegal program relocates from Cato Campus to Central Campus. The classroom naming aligns perfectly with Mr. Allison’s professional interests – he dedicated his career to working as a business lawyer, working primarily for Johnston, Allison & Hord PA. There, he helped counsel a number of clients representing the higher education, real estate, and healthcare fields – including Central Piedmont Community College.
Over the years, Mr. Allison has served as the college’s legal counsel, helping its leadership acquire facilities/property across the county to help expand its footprint to meet the needs of students and the community.
However, his contributions to the college’s growth extend beyond his legal work. He and his wife Judy – a Central Piedmont Board of Trustees member since 2010 – have generously donated their time and resources to Central Piedmont, establishing the Judith N. & James W. Allison Endowed Scholarship to support students in the paralegal program (with a veteran preference), and the Johnston, Allison & Hord Scholarship to support students in the college’s paralegal program.
“Jim and Judy have been generous supporters of the college, establishing endowed scholarship funds to extend opportunities to financially-needy students in our paralegal program,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “This generosity has made it possible for numerous students to prepare for meaningful careers as paralegals. The gift to name this classroom will increase available scholarship resources and provide additional life-transforming financial assistance to students.”
2020-2021 Annual Report Now Available Online
The Central Piedmont Annual Report is ready to view online at cpccfoundation.org/annualreport.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-2021, the college continued to serve as the community’s college, providing the support services, courses, and career training its students needed to stay on track, within an environment that fostered a culture of care.
We are grateful for the continued support of our donors, industry partners, and friends who believe in our vision of providing learning experiences that transform lives and strengthen the local community.
Please enjoy this interactive reading experience, while learning more about our 2020-2021 accomplishments and celebrating our many successes with us through videos, photos, and more.
Esparza, Rhodes appointed to Central Piedmont Board of Trustees
Gabriel J. Esparza and Khalif J. Rhodes, both of Charlotte, have been appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees.
Esparza is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience leading businesses spanning both large corporations and nimble start-ups. He serves as both advisor and investor in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. In one notable example, he played an integral part of the success story at RapidSOS – a gov-tech platform that radically transformed the way people communicate with 911, making it a data-driven experience that transmits precise location and other critical information to first responders.
Esparza’s term on the Central Piedmont board runs through June 2023. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in International Relations and Psychology from Stanford University.
Rhodes is an attorney and founder of The Rhodes Firm, PLLC. He established the firm in 2012, after earning his J.D. and LL.M., from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During his tenure at The Rhodes Firm, he has assisted various small to medium-sized businesses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance and due diligence. In 2017, he was appointed the Chief Magistrate of the 26th Judicial District. Under his guidance, Mecklenburg County attempted to address the significant disparities in the criminal justice system. He was a part of a team that re-wrote Mecklenburg County's bail policy.
Rhodes’ appointment as a Central Piedmont Trustee runs through June 2025. In addition to his law degrees, he earned a BA in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University.
“I am excited to welcome Mr. Esparza and Mr. Rhodes to the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This is an important period in the history of the college as we endeavor to help so many Mecklenburg County residents rebuild their careers or start their higher education journeys in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The college will rely on its Board of Trustees for experienced insight and wise counsel."
College dedicates the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center
Central Piedmont Community College today dedicated the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center on the college’s Central Campus. The naming is in recognition of a $2.5-million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to support health sciences education and health careers preparation at Central Piedmont.
College leaders and community partners including Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president, Central Piedmont; Linda Lockman-Brooks, chair, Board of Trustees, Central Piedmont; Weston M. Andress, president, Board of Trustees, Central Piedmont Community College Foundation; and Thomas W. Lawrence III, president and director, The Leon Levine Foundation were in attendance at the 11 a.m., ribbon cutting event.
“Not many partnerships last 20 years and yet today, we write the beginning of another chapter in this amazing story [between Central Piedmont and The Leon Levine Foundation],” said Lawrence. “What has happened in this particular 20-year partnership? Hundreds of students educated, thousands of lives transformed, and now, with this grant, the crossing of $10 million of investment entrusted to Central Piedmont by The Leon Levine Foundation.”
The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center opened its doors in August 2020, and boasts 74,450 square-feet of space. The facility was designed by Creech & Associates, working with Morris-Berg Architects; was constructed by Rodgers; and provides a home base for multiple health professions programs, including:
- dental assisting
- biomedical equipment technology
- surgical technology
It also hosts a state-of-the-art virtual-anatomy classroom.
The Leon Levine Foundation grant comes to the college as part of its ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future Campaign,” which seeks to raise $40 million to support students, programs, and faculty development.
Civil rights icon, former mayor visits college
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Council at Central Piedmont brought civil rights icon and former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt to Central Piedmont’s Halton Theater stage on Oct. 14, to serve as a panelist during its EDI event titled, “A Story of Perseverance in Driving Change.”
Mr. Gantt was joined on stage by moderator Dr. Charles Mitchell, equity and opportunity presidential fellow at Central Piedmont, as well as panelists Dr. Tracie Clark, vice president for strategy and organizational excellence, and Dr. Chris Cathcart, vice president for student affairs, at Central Piedmont.
During the event, Central Piedmont employees and students had the opportunity to hear the group discuss the power of collaboration and allyship in creating change and moving the EDI needle in a positive direction, and how Central Piedmont can continue pushing forward in supporting its students and the Charlotte community.
“Central Piedmont is a very special place. This institution - at its most critical level - allows folks from all circumstances in life to get on a ladder of mobility upward,” explained Gantt. “I like the word ‘transformation.’ Central Piedmont makes a difference in the things that students can do. It puts individuals on a ladder, that can be built as high as they want it … and that’s why the college is a very important place. I’ve tried over the years to understand its value to the community and to be as supportive of it whenever I can.”
Mr. Gantt was Charlotte's first African-American mayor and the first African-American student enrolled at Clemson University. His visit is one of the enrichment opportunities the college is using to help advance its EDI strategy, which college leadership has identified as mission-critical work. Over the past year, Central Piedmont has hosted a number of EDI related events for both its employees and students to attend. Examples include: inclusive leadership trainings, Black History Month events, inclusive teaching practice sessions, examining best EDI practices from other institutions, courageous conversations, and more.
Central Piedmont is offering such events to foster the growth of its employees and the institution as a whole. The goal is to deliver a superior collegiate experience for students that supports their success both personally and professionally, while embedding an enhanced EDI philosophy and awareness in the college’s daily practices and processes.
Past Central Piedmont EDI Events/Initiatives:
- Central Piedmont, Bank of America Virtual Events Seeks to Support Racial Equity in Higher Education, Strengthen Local Workforce and Community
- Wells Fargo Announces Significant Grants focused on Advancing Economic Mobility and Racial Equity in Charlotte
- Lowe’s Foundation Grant Supports Opportunity Scholarship Initiative
- Bank of America Commits $1M to College for Jobs Initiative
College dedicates Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center
Central Piedmont Community College dedicated the Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center, located on the college’s Central Campus, on Sept. 24. Dr. Shaw served as the college’s second president from 1986 to 1992. She attended and spoke at the dedication ceremony.
The 79,194 square-foot Advanced Technology Center is a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing, engineering, logistics, and energy-related careers training facility that opened in 2018. Its prominent location on Central Piedmont’s Central Campus points to its importance in developing a highly-skilled workforce in Mecklenburg County and the college’s ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for increased economic mobility.
Constructed by Rodgers Builders, the $25.5 million facility was designed by FWA Group with LTArchitecture and features:
- Mechatronics and Automation Labs
- Virtual Reality Labs
- An Engineering FabLab
- A CNC Machining Lab
- Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Labs
- 13 Computer Labs
- 11 Specialized Equipment Labs
- Faculty and Staff Offices
- An accessibility bridge to the next door Levine IT Building
“The Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center has become the cornerstone of our technology driven advanced manufacturing and engineering programs. It is a state-of-the-art training facility with which the college is proud to honor Dr. Ruth Shaw’s legacy,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “From our two-year associate degree students to the incumbent workers who come here to learn new skills, the Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center is helping advanced manufacturing, engineering, and logistics expand their importance to the Mecklenburg County employment base and overall economy.”
New Pathway for Teachers Created from Community Colleges to UNC
North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement on Aug. 23, to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System made a joint announcement of their new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System. It is effective beginning fall 2021.
The “Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education / Educator Preparation” is focused on developing a seamless transfer pathway for students who begin teacher preparation studies in the Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) programs at a community college and then transfer to one of the educator preparation programs within the UNC System to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.
The agreement includes 52 of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges – including Central Piedmont – and 15 universities within the UNC System. Additional community colleges will offer the new transfer degrees for fall 2022.
College receives $10-million gift commitment to strengthen arts and humanities
A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a $10-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College. The gift is the single-largest individual donation in Central Piedmont’s 58-year history and among the largest gifts ever made to a community college nationwide.
Central Piedmont will use the gift to transform its role as a community resource for arts and humanities programming and learning. Plans for the gift include:
- establishing an endowment that provides resources to attract and retain outstanding arts and humanities faculty members;
- creating a scholarship endowment to provide Opportunity Scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in arts and humanities;
- creating and launching an arts and humanities series which will bring renowned authors, artists, and performers to Central Piedmont for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community;
- establishing a public art fund, which will provide resources to commission public art for the enhancement of outdoor spaces at the college, enriching the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis;
- enhancing instruction in the visual arts; and
- creating an endowment to support and expand instruction and learning in the arts and humanities at the college.
“This magnanimous gift will strengthen Central Piedmont’s capacity to educate, train, and empower well-rounded individuals who will understand, appreciate, and participate in the rich and diverse cultural traditions that strengthen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The generous donor believes regardless of students’ academic background and desired education and career pathway, their perspectives should include experiences in the arts and humanities to achieve a better comprehension of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. Through our conversations, it’s clear the donor believes Central Piedmont is a critical community resource for Mecklenburg County residents beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or needing additional credentials for career growth.
“A gift of this magnitude will be transformative for the college and the community. As a result of this gift, Central Piedmont students will gain a greatly enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities, aiding them as they build productive lives of meaning and service. At the same time, Central Piedmont will be able to establish itself as a national leader in arts and humanities education among community colleges,” Deitemeyer added.
The $10-million gift commitment comes to the college as part of its ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future campaign.” Powering a Stronger Future is an ambitious, five-year, comprehensive, fundraising effort focused on providing students with greater access to outstanding educational and career-preparation opportunities, addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2022.
Introducing the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center
In recognition of a $2.5-million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to support health sciences education and health careers preparation at Central Piedmont Community College, the college is naming its new health programs facility on its Central Campus the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center.
Located at the corner of Charlottetowne Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center opened in August 2020. While many Central Piedmont students still were taking classes remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in a number of health careers programs that require in-person instruction began taking classes and labs in the new facility immediately.
Covering approximately 74,450 square-feet of space, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center provides a home base for multiple health professions programs, including dental assisting, biomedical equipment technology, surgical technology, and polysomnography, and hosts a state-of-the-art virtual-anatomy classroom. In addition, the facility provides students with a number of hospital simulation rooms, including, trauma, mother and child, pediatric, typical patient rooms, an operating room, clinical laboratory, and pharmacy. The building is also home to the geomatics and civil engineering programs and provides several general use classrooms.
“The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center has already made a significant and positive impact on the learning experience of our health professions students,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The center is a state-of-the-art, cutting edge facility, in which the college can prepare its students well for the professional work environments they will enter and the equipment they will use.
“We thank The Leon Levine Foundation for its generous grant, which will help Central Piedmont continue to provide a comprehensive offering of health careers programs that are among the best in North Carolina. Students in our nursing and allied health programs will continue to thrive at Central Piedmont and enter the workforce well-prepared to provide superb care.”
The Leon Levine Foundation grant comes to the college as part of its ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future Campaign,” which seeks to raise $40 million to support students, programs and faculty development. Central Piedmont will use the grant to support programs aimed at providing health careers training and help ensure a broad range of students have access to these programs.
“We are honored to be part of investing in Central Piedmont Community College’s ability to offer top-notch academic healthcare instruction and a career pathway for generations of students to come,” explained Tom Lawrence, president of The Leon Levine Foundation. “The new facility will also help promote access to quality medical care by creating a pipeline of professionals for the region’s healthcare sector and by providing valuable medical resources to both students and the community.”
The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center at a glance:
- Construction began – September 2017
- Facility opened to students – August 2020
- Square footage – 74,450
- Source of funding – 2013 Mecklenburg County bond referendum
- Architects – Creech & Associates working with Morris-Berg Architects
- Project manager – Rodgers Builders
About The Leon Levine Foundation
Established in 1980 by Leon Levine (Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Family Dollar Stores, Inc.), The Leon Levine Foundation supports programs and organizations that improve the human condition through investments in education, healthcare, human services and Jewish values. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the Foundation invests in nonprofits across North Carolina and South Carolina with strong leadership, a track record of success, and a plan for financial sustainability. Through its investments, the Foundation intends to create pathways to self-sufficiency, champion strategies for permanent change, and facilitate opportunities for growth. Learn more online or follow on Twitter and Facebook @LeonLevineFdn.
College awarded $25,000 for new Metallica Scholars Initiative
For the third-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College was selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $25,000 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 to provide direct support for students enrolled in its healthcare career programs but who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. These programs include: nursing, physical therapy assistant, and occupational therapy assistant. The goal of the initiative is to ensure students receive relevant jobs skills that will make them competitive in the healthcare field.
“We are proud to work with Metallica to advance the career and technical education provided by the nation’s community colleges,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC’s president and CEO. “Colleges across the country provide pathways to well-paying jobs through programs, services, and training that lead to in-demand skills, certificates and degrees for students. These programs are responsive to the needs of local businesses and provide a pipeline of qualified workers to local industry. It’s a win-win for our students and the local economy. For Metallica to continue to invest in these students and communities is a testament to the power of the workforce education community colleges provide and we are proud to do this work with them.”