Central Piedmont graduates first class in new utility line worker program
Central Piedmont Community College graduated and celebrated the first class in its new utility line worker program at a Dec. 15 ceremony, held at the Harper Campus, in Charlotte. The graduates will help meet a growing need in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region for well-trained, highly skilled utility line workers.
The first class of utility line workers from Central Piedmont is comprised of five males and one female – Kendall Brathwaite, Fernando Cediel, Andrele Hilaire, Caleb Malin, Quaron Potts, and Brady Powell. Speakers during the graduation ceremony included Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont President; Stephen Gerhardt, senior program developer, and Powell, who offered student remarks.
Central Piedmont announced the creation of the 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 college is using the Duke Energy grant to provide instructional support and purchase equipment, materials and supplies needed to sustain the program. The Duke Energy Foundation recently announced it was providing the college a grant of $48,000 to further support the effort. 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.
See the college website for more information about the utility line worker program at Central Piedmont, or call 704-330-4223.
Central Piedmont holds 2023 winter commencement
Central Piedmont Community College held its 2023 winter commencement on Dec. 14, in Charlotte. Approximately 630 students “marched” and received their college credentials during the morning ceremony. More than 1,380 students were eligible to graduate.
Yamileth Navarrete, a new 2023 associate degree graduate in Construction Management Technology, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. It has become Central Piedmont’s tradition to have graduating students serve as commencement keynote speakers.
“Just like me, my fellow classmates have conquered possibilities. Some are single parents looking to better themselves for the sake of their children. Others decided that at 30-years old they wanted a career change, or some deciding to turn their life around and go to college after all no matter the mistakes they have made or what life has thrown at them. We all have that motivation and discipline that has led to us standing here as Central Piedmont graduates,” Navarrete shared. “For me, my motivation has been my family. I am the youngest of three girls, or as my dad likes to joke about now that I’m in construction, the closest he got to a son.”
The ceremony marked only the second time Central Piedmont has held a winter graduation. The college hosted its first-ever December commencement in 2022 to honor its graduates who completed their programs during the summer and fall semesters. The addition of a winter ceremony allows the college to celebrate its summer and fall graduates in the same timely way as its spring graduates.
Central Piedmont’s 2024 spring semester classes will start Jan. 8. See the Central Piedmont website for information on how to apply and register for spring classes.
Central Piedmont to become official Hyundai training provider
Central Piedmont Community College will soon become an official Hyundai training provider as part of the Hyundai Performance Institute Technician Student Program. Central Piedmont will launch the curriculum that prepares students to work as Hyundai technicians in early 2024.
Students in Central Piedmont’s two-year associate-degree program in Automotive Systems Technology will be able to choose the Hyundai track that includes both express and certified technician pathways. Students who complete the program will be assigned to a Hyundai/Genesis dealership, where they will become fully certified Hyundai service technicians.
Central Piedmont’s Hyundai Performance Institute Technician Student Program will be based at the Levine Campus, Matthews. Central Piedmont is one of about 120 community colleges across the United States partnering with Hyundai to offer the specialized program. There are nine Hyundai/Genesis dealerships within the greater Charlotte area.
For more information about Central Piedmont’s Automotive Systems Technology program, including degree, diploma and certificate tracks, as well as other programs within the college’s Transportation Systems division, see the college website, or contact Christopher Facente, associate dean for transportation, at 704-330-2722, ext. 7331, and email@example.com.
Central Piedmont receives the ‘Workforce Development Community Partner of the Year’ award
Each year, during Charlotte’s Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, awards are given to minority firms in various categories, including Construction, General Services, Professional Services, Supply and Manufacturing, and Diversity Advocacy, who provide excellent service throughout the year. During this year’s Charlotte MED Week awards luncheon, Central Piedmont Community College was honored as the Workforce Development Community Partner of the Year.
This distinguished award is evidenced by the ongoing efforts and collaboration of Central Piedmont’s Small Business Center and Procurement Services teams. The Small Business Center (SBC) is an anchor for the business community, with 340 business clients counseled and 1,300 counseling hours offered in 2021-22. Aside from counseling and workshops, the center offers free small and medium conference rooms and a large classroom as a small business resource.
The Small Business Center also offers “Equity in Contracting.” An initiative providing targeted assistance to help small businesses compete to win government contracts and emphasizing diversity to create a more equitable environment. As part of the program, underrepresented businesses are helped to become more familiar with government contracting processes and certifications. Specialized 1-on-1 counseling is provided in a guided 12-week session designed to assess business readiness and receive back-office assistance, including accounting, human resources, legal assistance, marketing, and technology. Some 150 businesses have participated in the program.
The SBC also offers the “Business LaunchPad” program in partnership with Mecklenburg County’s Office of Economic Development to enhance minority- and women-owned small business participation in government contracting opportunities. Launched in fall 2021, Business LaunchPad is an exclusive, no-cost, 16-week program that includes classroom instruction, subject matter experts, guest speakers, practical exercises, and participation in “real-world’ workshops and events.
The MED Workforce Development Community Partner of the Year award is currently on display in the Small Business Center and affords open discussions with community clients who enter the SBC offices to learn about the impact of the Small Business Center within the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
Central Piedmont Student Receives the Community Impact Award
Central Piedmont Community College student Demi Snow was recently honored with the 2023 Community Impact Student Award by NC Campus Engagement for her outstanding commitment and contribution to civic and community engagement.
Snow was selected as the award winner by Central Piedmont after carefully considering students who have made a lasting impact while at the college. She was honored for her efforts and achievements at the recent NC Campus Engagement biennial CSNAP Student Conference.
Since 2006, the Community Impact Student Award (CISA) recognizes an outstanding, full-time undergraduate student service leader from each NC Campus Engagement member college. Award winners are selected by campus leaders and honored during the biennial CSNAP Student Conference. This year, CSNAP was held at NC State University with the theme, “Rising Together: Students Depolarizing North Carolina.”
Snow was selected as the Central Piedmont CISA winner for her exceptional commitment to civic engagement and equity advocacy both on and off campus. Her journey began as she matriculated through an intensive summer service program, an adaptation of the Citizen Redefined curriculum, which equipped cohorts of students with essential civic skills through interactive workshops. Following the program, Snow was inspired to partner with local non-profits, engaging in various volunteer services to address pressing community needs.
Snow's impact is most notable in her work as a multi-campus dialogue facilitator within the Student Engagement department, where she has been instrumental in engaging students in meaningful and crucial dialogues regarding equity issues, specifically focusing on gender and sexuality. Her efforts have fostered inclusive discussions and empowered students to participate actively in conversations vital to a diverse campus environment.
Beyond her roles within the Student Engagement department, Snow's involvement in various campus clubs and organizations dedicated to intersectional equity and community service has been exemplary. Collaborating with members of her summer cohort, local non-profits, and her peers, she has demonstrated a profound commitment to addressing and amplifying community issues, effectively bringing attention to pertinent matters among the student body.
Snow graciously accepted the Community Impact Student Award as the Central Piedmont Community College Winner on Nov. 4, alongside 14 other students representing colleges and universities across North Carolina.
Central Piedmont President Named Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year
Queens University of Charlotte announced that Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont Community College, has been selected as the 2023 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year. Now 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.
Dr. Deitemeyer brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role as Central Piedmont’s president. Her extensive and diverse background in community college administration spans over three decades across North Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida. She and her family moved to Charlotte in 2017, when she began leading the college as its fourth president.
“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.”
Dr. Deitemeyer, a community college graduate herself, values the transformative impact Central Piedmont has had on countless individuals and the community. She is passionate about the student experience and is unwavering in her commitment to ensuring student success.
“When I consider the women selected before me for this award, and when I reflect on the distinguished members of the selection committee, I am both honored and humbled,” said Dr. Deitemeyer. “To be chosen as the 2023 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year is such a wonderful distinction. I am so pleased and appreciative to join such an auspicious group of women.”
Dr. Deitemeyer serves on several local, statewide, and national committees. Locally, she serves on the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, Leading on Opportunity Council, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s Executive Committee, Charlotte Center City Partners Board of Directors, Novant Health Greater Charlotte Board of Trustees (Vice Chair), Charlotte Country Day School Board, and the Charlotte Regional Collaborative for a Global Workforce.
She is an active member of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents. As a commitment to future community college leadership, she serves as an advisory board member for the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at North Carolina State University. Nationally, she is a member of the Roc Solid Foundation Board and has served as an executive board member of the American Association of Community Colleges.
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 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year award will be presented to Dr. Deitemeyer at a Queens luncheon March 7, 2024. To find out more about the luncheon and previous winners go to: https://www.queens.edu/attend/charlotte-businesswoman-of-the-year/
Matthews salutes Central Piedmont’s 60th anniversary with proclamation
The Town of Matthews recently officially recognized Central Piedmont Community College in honor of the college’s 60th anniversary. On Sept.18, the college marked 60 years since it first opened its doors to students and began its work of service to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.
The proclamation, signed by Matthews Mayor John Higdon, commends the college for providing “a robust education to students in a variety of programs, providing personalized and flexible learning that fits what, when, and how individuals choose to learn.” Further, the proclamation states that Central Piedmont provides “higher education opportunities, occupational programs, community education, workforce, and economic development opportunities that add to the area economy and address crucial workforce needs, empowering students with essential skills for future success.”
Central Piedmont’s Levine Campus opened in 1998 and is located in Matthews and is the college’s second-largest campus. Central Piedmont has provided educational opportunities since 1963 the North Carolina General Assembly passed the historic state community college bill. Opening as a fully integrated institution, the college combined the Central Industrial Education Center programs on Elizabeth Avenue and Mecklenburg College on Beatties Ford Road.
Today, with six campuses and two centers, Central Piedmont offers nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certificate programs, plus an array of non-credit offerings. Central Piedmont enrolls approximately 43,600 students annually in for-credit programs, continuing education, and basic skills courses, making it one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas. Over the years, over 100,000 individuals have earned credentials at Central Piedmont.
Over the next year, college advertising and printed materials will include an anniversary call out, “60 years of serving our community.”
Central Piedmont included in Forbes ‘Best-In-State Employers 2023’ rankings
Forbes and Statista recently announced that Central Piedmont Community College had been chosen for the second consecutive year as one of “America’s Best-In-State Employers.” Central Piedmont is ranked as one of the top 100 employers in North Carolina for 2023. The college also was included in the Forbes 2022 ranking.
According to Forbes, America’s Best-In-State Employers 2023 were identified based on an independent survey of employees working for companies and other organizations from all industry sectors employing more than 500 individuals. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey 70,000 workers at companies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Participants were asked if they would recommend their employer to others and to evaluate their employer based on working conditions, diversity, compensation packages, potential for development, company image, and more. Participants also assessed employers other than their own. All surveys were anonymous to encourage candor.
Central Piedmont is an attractive option for individuals seeking employment within an institution that strives to serve its community. The college aims to facilitate student learning, success, and completion by providing exceptional education and globally competitive training in an engaging, supportive environment. Central Piedmont prides itself on being Mecklenburg County’s primary workforce development partner.
Approximately 43,600 students call Central Piedmont home. With eight locations and nearly 300 for-credit programs, it is one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas. It serves people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives.
To learn about Central Piedmont’s career opportunities, visit the college’s employment webpage.
Charlotte honors Central Piedmont’s 60th anniversary with proclamation
The City of Charlotte recently gave official recognition to Central Piedmont Community College in honor of the college’s 60th anniversary.
In a proclamation signed by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, the city proclaimed Sept. 18 as “Central Piedmont Community College Day,” commending the college on its 60th anniversary, which it celebrated on Sept. 18.
The proclamation commends the college for providing “pathways to rewarding careers and avenues to further education,” and serving as “a bedrock institution in the Charlotte community.” Further, the proclamation references how Central Piedmont “works directly with employers across all industries to provide new and incumbent worker training and serves as Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s primary workforce development partner.”
Central Piedmont has provided educational opportunities since 1963, the year the North Carolina General Assembly passed the historic state community college bill. Opening as a fully integrated institution, the college combined the programs of the Central Industrial Education Center on Elizabeth Avenue and Mecklenburg College on Beatties Ford Road. On Sept.18, the college marked 60 years since it first opened its doors to students and began its work of service to the community.
Today, with six campuses and two centers, Central Piedmont offers nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certificate programs, plus an array of non-credit offerings. Central Piedmont enrolls approximately 43,600 students annually in for-credit programs as well as continuing education and basic skills courses, making it one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas. Through the years, more than 100,000 individuals have earned credentials at Central Piedmont.
Over the next year, college advertising and printed materials will include an anniversary call out, “60 years of serving our community.”
One trustee reappointed, three newly appointed to Central Piedmont board
Central Piedmont Community College’s Board of Trustees recently had one member reappointed and three members appointed for the first time. Each will serve a four-year term through June 2027.
Gabe Esparza, a seasoned executive leading global business development, marketing and strategy work, was reappointed to the Central Piedmont board by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. Esparza recently served as an associate administrator within the Office of International Trade of the U.S. Small Business Administration. He has served as a Central Piedmont Trustee since 2021.
Weston Andress has been appointed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board. Andress is the regional president for PNC Bank in Western Carolina. He previously served on the Central Piedmont Foundation Board.
Bertram Scott was appointed by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper. Scott serves as a director of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a global medical technology company. He retired as senior vice president of Population Health of Novant Health in 2019.
Alison Summerville of Ally Financial Inc., was appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. Summerville is a longtime officer and leader with Ally. She currently works as Ally’s business administration executive and head of corporate citizenship.
“I am delighted with the reappointment of Gabe Esparza and the appointment of Weston Andress, Bertram Scott and Alison Summerville to Central Piedmont’s Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “Each of these individuals brings years of leadership experience, superb business acumen, and multi-faceted wisdom that comes from serving on other boards and providing sound counsel. The college recently updated its strategic plan and soon will unveil a new long-range academic and facilities master plan. Our Trustees will be important as we work to implement these plans. We also will look to them as the college’s champion and to help share our story of service and transforming lives in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community.”