*The Central Piedmont Foundation website and online donation forms are not impacted by the college's recent cyberintrusion incident. You can continue to contact us via our Contact Form.*
Central Piedmont Community College has experienced a ransomware attack, which was discovered Wednesday evening, Feb. 10. The college's Information Technology Services (ITS) staff worked tirelessly through the night to take the college's critical systems off-line, including phones and email, as a precautionary measure. The college website has remained in operation. Since Wednesday evening the college has communicated with students and employees via text, voicemail, social media, and the website.
Since early Thursday morning, Feb. 11, ITS staff have been working to assess the full extent of the intrusion, while determining and prioritizing which major systems could be brought back on line safely.
The college immediately began working with the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) Cyber Incident Response Team, the N.C Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal and state agencies to assist with the investigation, provide help in determining the extent of the intrusion, develop a sound strategy for restoring the systems taken off-line and, where necessary, rebuild damaged or comprised systems. At this time, based on this broad-scale investigative effort, the college has no evidence any employee or student personal data was compromised or extracted.
A number of college systems remain off-line, including phones, email, and the Blackboard and Brightspace learning management systems. At this time, it's not clear when these and other off-line systems will be restored. Work is ongoing by ITS staff and representatives from some of the organizations mentioned above. The process cannot be rushed; however, in some cases system and data backups will aid in the work.
Sadly, cyber intrusions, ransomware attacks, and other cyber incidents have become a significant threat to U.S. businesses, government, public services, schools, and individuals.
Until college email is restored, updates will be provided via text, voicemail, social media, and the college website. Please check this webpage for further updates.
The college recognizes this ransomware attack has impacted students' classes, assignments and deadlines. Instructors will communicate specifics about managing class assignments once the needed systems are restored. The college asks for everyone's patience as we work through this process.Read more
The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $500,000 grant to develop a new licensed practical nursing program at the college that will provide students with an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address the employment needs of Charlotte's healthcare sector. Thanks to the Foundation's generous gift, the program will permanently be named the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont.
"This gift will provide us with the resources we need to create a quality program," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "The funds will not only allow us to provide financial aid to our most in need students, but also enable us to hire full- and part-time faculty, develop challenging course content and purchase program-specific material and equipment that will produce quality graduates prepared to enter the workforce."
Licensed practical nurses serve an important role in the healthcare delivery system, ensuring quality care for patients. They assist physicians and registered nurses in providing critical, essential services, including monitoring patients' vital signs and supervising nursing assistants and collaborating with other members of the healthcare team. Licensed practical nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, private practices, medical offices and with home healthcare agencies.
Central Piedmont's licensed practical nursing program will enable students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median licensed practical nursing salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for low-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
"The Foundation values and appreciates Central Piedmont's important education and career training role in our community," said R. Stuart Dickson, chairman of the board of directors for The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte. "The college is a critical resource in expanding opportunities for the citizens of Mecklenburg County. This grant addresses two of The Dickson Foundation's priorities education and healthcare. We are pleased to partner with Central Piedmont to begin and name this new program."
The Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont will be based on the college's Central Campus and will focus on patient data collection and subsequent care, safety and hygiene, medications, use of medical records, nursing procedures, applying anatomy and physiology, professional behavior, and healthcare law and policy.
The first cohort of licensed practical nursing students is expected to begin classes in fall 2021 and graduate in summer 2022. Upon completing the program, all of the program's graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination in Practical Nursing to become a nationally-certified licensed practical nurse. It is anticipated the program will begin with 18 students in its first year and grow to 40 students in the second year.
Central Piedmont will have the option to add students in subsequent years to meet student and workforce demand.
The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte is a longtime supporter of Central Piedmont and of healthcare and education in the Charlotte area. The Foundation's grant will help the college further progress toward its Powering a Stronger Future campaign goal of $40 million.
Individuals interested in learning more about the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont can contact Jeanette Cheshire, associate dean of nursing and nurse aid at Central Piedmont, at 704.330.6451 or at email@example.com.
Central Piedmont Community College received more than $700,000 from JPMorgan Chase to meet community needs for economically mobile career pathways and pandemic-related relief. A $500,000 grant will help the college develop new, fully online training pathways in high-demand IT fields, including cybersecurity, health IT and forensic accounting. The funds will provide for course development, instructional capacity, technology and student support services.
In addition, JPMorgan Chase will extend a second grant of $235,000 to Central Piedmont to provide sub-grants to 11 Mecklenburg County non-profit organizations that are serving populations severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funds will help them meet increased demands for services like housing, food, healthcare, legal assistance and technology among the Charlotte area's most vulnerable populations.
"When JPMorgan Chase comes to a city, one of the first things we do is identify community partners that will help us not only connect with the community, but also actually make a long-term and sustainable impact on its residents and their economic mobility. We found a partner in Central Piedmont Community College," said Dekonti Mends-Cole, vice president of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. "Central Piedmont does not just educate students; it also identifies the needs of the surrounding community and provides the tools and the programs to address them. We're pleased to partner with the college to help the residents of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County thrive."
These two grants are the latest in a history of support JPMorgan Chase has provided Central Piedmont. Since 2014, JPMorgan Chase has invested approximately $1.6 million in the college to support multiple programs, including truck driver training, electrical vehicle technology training, global logistics and distribution, and a customized training program for workers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Approximately 525 students have earned credentials though these programs.
"What an incredible blessing it is to be included in a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, Central Piedmont and 10 other nonprofits to help people in need in our community. At Loaves & Fishes, we see the faces of children, families and seniors here in our community who don't know where their next meal is going to come from. It fills my heart to know this funding will help to ensure everyone in need will have a full plate for the days, weeks and months to come," said Tina Postel, executive director of Loaves & Fishes.
"JPMorgan Chase understands well and supports generously Central Piedmont's mission of helping students achieve career success and greater economic mobility by providing pathways to skills training that is relevant in our global economy," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "JPMorgan Chase is a true partner and leader in this community's work to ensure a greater number of our neighbors get the opportunity and support to build family-sustaining careers. The college and Charlotte region are blessed to have such an intuitive and responsive partner like JPMorgan Chase."
Central Piedmont Community College and Bank of America today announced a new $1-million jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on a path to success in the Charlotte region. This initiative builds on Bank of America's ongoing work in the communities it serves to address underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.
"Bank of America has a long-standing commitment to advancing economic mobility in the U.S., and particularly in Charlotte region," said Bank of America Charlotte Market President Charles Bowman. "Our focus on workforce development has been integral in creating opportunities for local residents, and for that reason we have a history of supporting Central Piedmont. Recent events that heighten the urgency to advance racial equity have driven us to do more, and this financial grant is a first step of that commitment."
The initiative is part of the bank's recent nationwide $1-billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equity and economic opportunity, and a $25-million commitment recently announced to enhance up-skilling and re-skilling for Black and Hispanic-Latino individuals.This year alone, the bank provided $3.3 million in grants to nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in the Charlotte region.
"Central Piedmont is grateful and excited to be part of Bank of America's national initiative to create educational and career success opportunities for Black and Hispanic-Latino students," said Central Piedmont President Kandi Deitemeyer. "This generous grant will enable the college to support these students in developing the skills that lead to family-sustaining careers in high-demand employment fields. Bank of America's thoughtful philanthropic investment promises significant benefits for students, their families, and our entire community."
The national $25-million initiative includes partnerships with nearly two dozen community colleges, including Central Piedmont, that serve predominately Black and Hispanic-Latino students, public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and public Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.
"Today is a special day for Central Piedmont Community College and the thousands of students it serves," said Dena R. Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager. "For more than 50 years Central Piedmont has played an integral part in providing educational, training and workforce opportunities, making the college a key player in improving the economic trajectory for many of its students."
"Central Piedmont Community College is a treasured asset to Charlotte, not only as a solid workforce partner, but also as one of the key contributors responsible for our city's prospering economic mobility," shared Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "By offering careers, collaboration, and higher learning to our residents, this institution is a shining illustration that our city continues to flourish."
Bank of America, in partnership with the Charlotte regions' corporate community and local public sector, will continue to work to ensure the workforce development programs target specific hiring needs to create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.
"We're incredibly grateful for our partnership with Central Piedmont Community College, as academic medicine continues to grow in importance for Atrium Health," said Atrium's Jim Dunn, Executive Vice President & chief people and culture officer. "The workforce development programs at Central Piedmont open up tremendous opportunities for local students to obtain the skills and experience to secure fulfilling and rewarding careers. From Certified Nursing Assistant training, to Nursing and Allied Health career pathways, the Charlotte area is fortunate to have such a local talent pipeline partner to help fill a variety of roles within our Atrium Health enterprise."
The most recent financial commitment builds on support the bank has provided to other area higher education institutions focused on serving students of color and strengthening community economic mobility. Recipients include historically Black institutions of higher education, Johnson C Smith University and Livingstone College, as well as UNC Charlotte, Queens University and Johnson & Wales University.
"Central Piedmont provides much-needed opportunities for underrepresented populations to access higher education and acquire the skills needed to establish meaningful careers," said President and CEO of myFutureNC Cecilia Holden. "The college's short-term certificate and two-year degree programs are aligned with the needs of employers and offer direct pathways to in-demand jobs and greater economic mobility. Expanding higher education and career preparation access to underserved, low-income individuals will have immeasurable impact on their lives and the economic vitality of North Carolina."
Additionally, as part of its "Executive on Loan" program, Bank of America executive Anna-Maria (Ria) Nicholls serves as Chief Diversity Officer to Central Piedmont and plays a key role in helping them shape an institutional vision for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Central Piedmont's Opportunity Scholarship Initiative provides low-income students with a pathway to a degree and greater economic mobility by covering the full cost of attendance tuition, books, and fees for two years. Recipients also receive a notebook computer to meet their digital needs.
Central Piedmont's $52,500 grant is part of a larger, $9.25 million commitment the Lowes Foundation made to the greater Charlotte region on Oct. 13, to support some of the most critical challenges facing Charlotte today: providing safe affordable housing, continuing to grow the skilled trade industry, ensuring access to technology, and boosting small businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Central Piedmont will use its grant funds to support students participating in the ROC (Rebuilding Opportunities in Construction) program an initiative that trains and certifies high school students for in-demand trade skills in the construction industry and/or students who are interested in pursuing a construction-focused career pathway.
NC State's Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research recently released its International Education at North Carolina Community Colleges report, and Central Piedmont's efforts in providing international education opportunities to its students were featured in the report's findings.
The report is a collaboration between the Belk Center and the North Carolina Community College System Office and uses data collected during the 2019-2020 academic year to explore how North Carolina community colleges address the system's mission to "develop a globally and multi-cultural competent workforce."
The report provides a broad overview of what sorts of international education opportunities are available at NC community colleges and suggests that international education is much more prevalent at NC community colleges than national data indicates.
Central Piedmont has been offering study abroad experiences to its students and members of the local community in for more than 20 years. Each year, during spring break and the summer term, Central Piedmont faculty members lead short-term study abroad excursions to a variety of locations across the globe, including: Ecuador, Italy, Greece, Japan, Thailand, Peru, Tanzania, and many others.
Since the college's 2020 study abroad programs were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Learning Office has turned its attention to:
- providing students with virtual, international exchange experiences
- encouraging students to apply for the Scholars of Global Distinction program
- ensuring the college's curriculum includes a global learning perspective
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, through its charitable giving arm The Dowd Foundation, has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $1-million grant to support plumbing and pipefitting scholarships and instruction at the college.
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, founded in 1901, has a deep and ongoing interest in strengthening Charlotte's construction and infrastructure sectors. Charlotte Pipe, the nation's leading manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings for plumbing applications, has been working for more than a century to ensure the plumbing and pipefitting trades remain viable career paths for future generations.
"Charlotte Pipe and Foundry and The Dowd Foundation are proud to support the plumbing and pipefitting trades," said Hooper Hardison, president of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry. "We know how essential these career paths can be for young people, as well as for our nation's infrastructure. We are delighted we have resources like Central Piedmont in our region to provide an education pipeline for the construction trades."
Central Piedmont will allocate Charlotte Pipe's gift in the following ways to recognize the company's important role in the region's plumbing and pipefitting sectors:
- Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company Scholarship Fund ($500,000)--This is a permanently endowed scholarship fund that will provide support for financially needy students enrolled in Central Piedmont plumbing and pipefitting courses.
- Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company Instructional Fund ($500,000)--This fund will support instruction in plumbing and pipefitting at Central Piedmont, providing the resources needed to purchase equipment and materials, invest in faculty development and address instructional capacity.
"We are so grateful to Charlotte Pipe and The Dowd Foundation for this generous and impactful grant," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The Charlotte region needs many more skilled tradespersons, such as plumbers and pipefitters. These are stable, sustainable, and well-paying careers. This grant will help the college recruit and educate more individuals, setting them on a path to career success and economic mobility."
About Central Piedmont
Central Piedmont Community College is highly accessible and convenient to 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. Central Piedmont is also a smart investment. At a fraction of the cost, students learn by doing, receiving a combination of technical and soft skills training from quality faculty who prepare them to enter the workforce and make a difference in their family, business, community, and world. Founded in 1963, Central Piedmont Community College has eight locations throughout Mecklenburg County, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. For more information, visit cpcc.edu, or connect with the college on social media at cpcc.edu/social.
About Charlotte Pipe and Foundry
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and has seven plant locations across the United States. The nation's leading maker of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings for plumbing applications, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry has been in continuous operation since 1901 and remains privately held. charlottepipe.com
Fall semester classes at Central Piedmont Community College will begin on Aug. 10, and be taught in multiple formats online, hybrid, blended and face-to-face. (Hybrid and blended courses include both online and some face-to-face instruction.)
For the safety and well-being of the campus community, the college will complete the vast majority of face-to-face instruction prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. After Thanksgiving, remaining class work will be finished online. Fall classes will end Dec. 11.
"Over the past several weeks, Central Piedmont Community College has been preparing for a safe and successful fall 2020 term," said Jeff Lowrance, vice president of communications, marketing & public relations at Central Piedmont. "Through numerous discussions and detailed planning across all units of the college, Central Piedmont seeks to provide a safe environment for its students to learn and faculty and staff members to work.
The majority of Central Piedmont students will come to campus a minimal number of times during the semester, with the rest of their instruction occurring online. The college is updating class schedules and information, so current and prospective students should check the college website periodically for updates.
"Central Piedmont is committed to delivering a high-quality educational experience regardless of the program or courses a student selects," Lowrance said. "The college is working hard to protect the well-being of everyone in our campus community and help students stay on track in their degree, diploma or certificate programs."
For students who attend classes on campus, the college has adopted a number of safety protocols. Current and prospective students should read the college's Student Guide to Returning to Campus carefully. It will be important to know and follow all of the safety practices detailed in the guide. These include wearing a face covering, keeping a social distance from others, washing hands frequently, monitoring possible COVID-19 symptoms and staying home if one feels ill at all.
The college offers nearly 300 programs to get students real-world ready. Affordable and flexible Central Piedmont classes can help students earn the skills to fast track into a career pathway or lay the foundation for a four-year degree. Registration for the fall term is now open. The college looks forward to welcoming new and returning students on Aug. 10.
The PNC Foundation has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $25,000 grant to support the college's Single Stop program, an initiative that connects students to the support services they need to succeed in college and administers the college's Emergency Fund.
"Our entire community has been affected by COVID-19, and the pandemic has been particularly difficult for students who have lost employment and income -- and who depend on campus resources for access to learning and technology," said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas and a Central Piedmont Foundation board member. "During this challenging time, we want the Central Piedmont student community to know that we understand and are committed to helping address some of the hardships they are facing."
Since 2016, Central Piedmont's Single Stop program has served as a free, on-campus resource, removing barriers for students with critical needs by connecting them with resources to help them flourish academically, obtain good jobs and achieve financial stability -- through one-on-one meetings with experts representing the financial, tax and legal fields.
In addition to matching qualifying students with specific tools to help fuel upward mobility in their lives, Single Stop administers monies available through the college's Emergency Fund, which provides one-time support of up to $500 for students who have emergency needs related to housing, utilities, medical expenses, food, technology and more.
The PNC Foundation's gift is timely. The college will use the grant to help purchase the following items, which have been identified as students' most pressing needs during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Grocery/food gift cards. These items will allow students to purchase food, medicine and other essential products.
- Technology access (laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots). The college has witnessed a surge in students needing laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots since it moved much of its course instruction online.
- Resources for budgeting during a crisis. Single Stop's financial counselors are implementing and delivering online and virtual sessions for individuals and groups who need crisis budgeting assistance. Each emergency grant recipient is contacted by a financial counselor with tips on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic from a financial perspective.
"As a result of the pandemic, the college has witnessed an increase in the number of students needing resources to sustain their everyday lives in addition to their studies," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "Many agencies in the Charlotte area have had to close temporarily, limiting the resources students can turn to for emergency crisis assistance. The PNC Foundation's gift will help us streamline the connectivity process, ensuring resources such as nutrition assistance, technology support and financial aid reach the students who need them most in a critical time of need."
Learn more about Central Piedmont's Single Stop program. If interested in supporting the college's Emergency Fund, visit https://secure.cpccfoundation.org/donation/.
Since early March, the college has worked hard to remain safe during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, while also continuing to help students stay on track and complete their programs of study. Central Piedmont employees and students have contributed to these efforts in many ways:
- Central Piedmont has entered the first phase in bringing employees and students back to campus. Starting in May, some health careers and commercial driver's license (CDL) students have the opportunity to resume and complete their spring semester classes that were suspended in March. Student Affairs also plans to have some staff members available in Central High and Levine I at limited times to serve current students. In addition, the college plans to bring some construction technologies students back to Harper Campus in June. While on campus, everyone will be working together to remain safe by following new COVID-19 guidelines. Read more about our return to school and what we are doing to protect the health and safety of our students and employees: https://www.cpcc.edu/news/may-8-2020-update-message-college-coronavirus
- Dr. Jacob Garbini, chair of Central Piedmont's engineering program, and a select group of Associate in Engineering students are working to develop a new face shield prototype for nurses and other health professionals that is based on utility but also includes comfort, cleaning, and assembly: https://www.cpcc.edu/news/engineering-students-help-develop-face-shield-prototype-healthcare-workers-use
- The Small Business Center at Central Piedmont launched a new initiative -- the Small Business Rebound Program -- to provide small business owners impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with access to advisors who can assist with loan opportunities, new business model designs, and budget evaluations. The program will be available May 11- July 3, 2020: https://www.cpcc.edu/news/small-business-center-launch-c-19-small-business-rebound-program
- Opportunities to see art in person is limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Central Piedmont is continuing to find ways to provide virtual access to its galleries and events. Many Sensoria events have been adapted for online access and participation (https://sensoria.cpcc.edu/events) and the Gorelick Galleries are being featured in a Happy #FineArtFriday social media blast each Friday afternoon.
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