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.