For the first time in its 59-year history, Central Piedmont Community College held a December commencement on Dec. 13, in Charlotte. Approximately 510 students walked across the Bojangles Coliseum stage to receive their earned credentials. More than 1,200 students had completed their programs of studies since Central Piedmont's May graduation.
Linda Nelson, a 2022 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. Nelson, an adult student who holds an MBA, is a new graduate from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science degree in horticulture.
Central Piedmont was excited to offer a winter commencement this year to honor its graduates who completed their programs during the 2022 summer and fall semesters. The addition of a winter ceremony allows the college to honor and celebrate its summer and fall graduates in the same timely way as its spring graduates.
For more information about Central Piedmont's nearly 300 degree, diploma and certificate programs, including GED and adult high school, visit the college website.
Central Piedmont Community College has graduated its first class of practical nurses from the Dickson Practical Nursing Program. The 10 graduates from the newly-established one-year program are now eligible to sit for the national licensure exam to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
The new graduates participated in a nursing pinning ceremony on Dec. 6, and will walk in Central Piedmont's first-ever winter graduation ceremony on Dec. 13, at Bojangles Coliseum.
The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte awarded Central Piedmont a $500,000 grant in 2021 to develop a new LPN program at the college to provide students an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address specific employment needs within the Charlotte region's healthcare sector.
The Dickson Practical Nursing Program enables students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median LPN salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for lower-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
LPNs work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), with employment opportunities available immediately in hospitals; rehabilitation, long-term care, and home health facilities; clinics; and physicians' offices.
Central Piedmont will expand the second class to as many as 24 seats and then monitor local needs for LPNs and adjust the size of future classes to meet demand. The program is based on the college's Central Campus.
16-week program to launch in spring 2023, produce a pipeline of skilled line workers
Duke Energy has given Central Piedmont Community College a grant of $500,000 to create a utility line worker training program at the college's Harper Campus. 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 partnership seeks to develop a pipeline of diverse, skilled, and talented utility line workers by investing in the education and career development of local citizens.
"Our most valuable asset is our people, and line workers are the foundation of our company especially as we modernize our grid and integrate new technologies," said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy's executive vice president of customer experience, solutions and services. "Recruiting through the Central Piedmont line worker program and other similar high-caliber community college programs will help ensure we develop a skilled workforce that meets our candidates' expectations."
Central Piedmont will use the grant to provide instructional support and purchase some of the equipment, materials, and supplies needed to launch and sustain the new 16-week training program. The new program will open in spring 2023, with the first of three planned cohorts of 12 students. Once the program is up and running at capacity, overlapping and staggering the program's start dates throughout the academic year will enable the college to produce as many as 144 graduates every 12 months.
"This partnership program will give our diverse student body the opportunity to learn about and engage with a career pathway they may not have considered previously," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "This is a high-demand, specialized field with enormous growth potential. With utility line workers earning an estimated starting annual salary of $74,000, this is a career that can transform the lives of students and their families."
As part of the program, participants will complete 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, Trenching/Shoring/Confined Space Training, and Work Zone Flagger.
Duke Energy and Central Piedmont leaders announced plans for the program during a Nov. 29 event, at a Duke Energy operations center, in Charlotte.
"Without Duke Energy's financial support, as well as their technical expertise, the college would not be able to launch this program. This is a true partnership, and I commend and thank Duke Energy for coming alongside the college to make this much needed program a reality," Deitemeyer remarked. "We are eager to open the program, and we thank Duke Energy for their support and collaboration."
For more information about Central Piedmont's new utility line worker training program, contact Stephen Gerhardt, senior program developer, at 704.330.4451 or Stephen.Gerhardt@cpcc.edu.
Linda Lockman-Brooks named Charlotte Woman of the Year
Linda Lockman-Brooks, a well-respected Charlotte leader and chair of the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees, has been named the 2021 Charlotte Woman of the Year. This prestigious award, now in its 66th year, is given for exceptional community service and exemplary leadership.
Lockman-Brooks is a Charlotte business executive with extensive leadership experience at large public companies. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, she is the founder and president of Lockman-Brooks Marketing Services, which provides strategic marketing and communications services and executive talent resources to a diverse book of clients.
In July 2021, she was elected to chair the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees by her fellow board members. A college trustee since 2016, Linda is the first female and the first Black person to chair the board in Central Piedmont's 59-year history.
Linda also co-chaired the "Powering a Stronger Future Campaign," Central Piedmont Foundation's most ambitious fundraising effort. Raising more than $66 million in gifts and commitments, the campaign surpassed its $40-million goal and supports students, programs, and faculty development, providing even greater access to underrepresented persons.
The Charlotte Woman of the Year was established in 1955 to recognize an individual woman who has distinguished herself through civic leadership and service in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community. The recipient of the Charlotte Woman of the Year award epitomizes the values for which the Charlotte Woman of the Year organization stands and represents the best of who we are as women and as leaders. Past Charlotte Women of the Year honorees vote on nominations to choose each year's winner.Read more
Nation's Largest Coca-Cola Bottler, Central Piedmont Community College, and Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Collaborate to Foster Economic Mobility
Coke Consolidated is funding up to 30 apprenticeships at Central Piedmont Community College to spur interest in high-demand positions in manufacturing, equipment repair and logistics at its Charlotte-area facilities.
Qualified applicants will receive financial support for career certificates in fields such as HVAC repair and manufacturing, while gaining experience through part-time positions at Coke Consolidated. The application process will begin in early 2023.
"These scholarships exemplify our commitment to empowering the next generation of diverse servant leaders," said Dave Katz, President and Chief Operating Officer at Coke Consolidated. "We're looking for talented candidates who want to grow their skillsets and their careers."
"Coke Consolidated is dedicated to providing opportunities for new and existing teammates to continuously learn and grow," said Brent Tollison, a Senior Vice President at Coke Consolidated and member of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Board of Trustees.
"We want to invest in people and to provide the resources and encouragement they need to achieve their goals," he said. "These aren't job opportunities. These are career opportunities."
Coke Consolidated is committed to workforce development and economic opportunity in the communities it serves. Applicants selected for an apprenticeship will have ongoing training and leadership development opportunities as part of their employment experience.
Central Piedmont's credentialing programs are flexible and designed to meet the needs of students who also are working part-time. Coke Consolidated's apprenticeship program targets the more than 65% of adults in the region who don't have a bachelor's degree.
"Central Piedmont is pleased and proud to partner with Coke Consolidated to offer students a pathway to invaluable work experience and rewarding, high-demand careers in manufacturing," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont President. "We are eager to open the program, and we thank Coke Consolidated for their support and collaboration."
Coke Consolidated is working with the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (CLT Alliance) to highlight opportunities in the manufacturing sector and to promote scholarships for interested applicants. Charlotte is home to more than 3,600 manufacturing companies, which together employ over 145,000 people. 7,500 new manufacturing jobs have been announced in the region since 2020, according to CLT Alliance.
"Manufacturing is integral in the Charlotte Region, and the industry and next generation of talent are poised to shape our future economy," said CLT Alliance President and CEO Janet LaBar. "We applaud Coke Consolidated's commitment to strengthening our workforce and believe collaborations like this will strengthen our pipeline, enrich our economy, and provide a pathway to opportunity for our region's residents."
Coca-Cola Consolidated currently has open positions in the Charlotte area, including many technical jobs. Learn more by visiting Careers.CokeConsolidated.com.
About Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc.
Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Our Purpose is To Honor God in all we do, To Serve Others, To Pursue Excellence, and To Grow Profitably. For over 120 years, we have been deeply committed to the consumers, customers, and communities we serve and are passionate about the broad portfolio of beverages and services we offer. We make, sell, and distribute beverages of The CocaCola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia to approximately 60 million consumers. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Coca-Cola Consolidated is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "COKE." More information about the Company is available at www.cokeconsolidated.com.
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.
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 https://www.registerednursing.org/state/north-carolina/#rankings. 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 at https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/.
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.
For information on financial assistance available through Central Piedmont Foundation scholarships for nursing students, visit our scholarship portal.
Nominations are being accepted now through October 31 for the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and the Young Alumni Award of Excellence. These awards recognize a Central Piedmont Community College graduate who has significantly benefited from their experiences at the college and whose efforts have helped the community.
Nominate an outstanding alumnus using our nomination form.
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.
View photos of the event.
View our campaign highlight video.
Thanks to a $10 million gift from Bank of America last month, Atrium Health has brought its Meaningful Medicine program to Central Piedmont Community College with the opening of a community-based virtual clinic. The clinic will provide health opportunities for students and staff, in addition to providing career pathways for students at Central Piedmont.
"Atrium Health's belief that care should be 'for all' is taking place at Central Piedmont Community College with the opening of this new, community-based virtual clinic," said Dr. Scott Rissmiller, enterprise executive vice president and chief physician executive for Atrium Health. "With the generous gift from Bank of America, Atrium Health's Meaningful Medicine supports improved access to health care and expands health equity and helps grow our next generation of health care workers in our community."
The new virtual care clinic at Central Piedmont aims to unite the best innovations within health care, social impact and workforce development to directly target health equity and economic mobility goals within Charlotte. With improved access to health care, the clinic will help mitigate disease progression, reduce missed class days due to illness and optimize access to primary care and a medical home.
Utilizing innovative technologies and digital diagnostics, the clinic will offer a variety of services, including: evaluation and treatment of common medical concerns; point of care testing and sample collection, such as strep throat testing, COVID testing, etc.; electronically prescribe medications to a pharmacy that's convenient to the patient; care coordination and support for patients to establish or reconnect with a medical home; coordinating follow-up appointments with primary care providers; and, connecting students and families to a host of community resources through Atrium Health's Community Resource Hub from food pantries to housing and financial assistance needs.
"Atrium Health's Meaningful Medicine program is a wonderful partnership that will create accessible, community-based virtual-care sites at Central Piedmont Community College and YMCA locations," said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "We are excited the community-based virtual clinic at Central Piedmont will be available to students, their family members, college employees and our community neighbors. We believe the clinic will provide a much needed and appreciated service."
Meaningful Medicine is a highly collaborative program uniting the best innovations within health care, social impact and workforce development all with the objective of directly targeting health inequality in Charlotte. The Atrium Health, Bank of America and Central Piedmont partnership will allow for the evaluation and development of a replicable, scalable and successful model for other cities across the United States. This investment will serve two valuable purposes: providing health care access to our most vulnerable communities and offering a pathway to a health care career for students and, for many, providing the opportunity to end the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
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