Coca-Cola Consolidated and College Launching Career Pipeline

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.

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as apprenticeship, scholarships.

Central Piedmont's RN Program Among Best in NC

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.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as nursing, scholarships.

Student Story: Jahmicah Miller

Jahmicah MillerIf Jahmicah Miller qualifies to sit for and passes the N.C. State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (BEEC) exam later this year, she could be the youngest licensed female electrician in the state of North Carolina. 

How did Jahmicah accomplish so much within her area of interest in so little time? She took classes through the Rebuilding Opportunities in Construction (ROC) program which boasts a Career & College Promise pathway in construction technologies at Central Piedmont. As a result, she was able to simultaneously graduate from Philip O. Berry High School and complete the ROC program in May 2021 with 49 free college credits and valuable hands-on experience.

"The knowledge I gained through the ROC program gave me the confidence I needed to serve as an apprentice for a Charlotte area electrical contractor after high school graduation," she explains. "After completing the company's apprenticeship program in fall 2021, I earned two professional certificates in electrical technology. I decided to return to Central Piedmont - after receiving the Culbertson Endowed Scholarship - to complete my education and obtain my associate degree in electrical system technology. It was a logical next step; the college's student support system, resources, and instructors are simply extraordinary."

At Central Piedmont, Jahmicah is fulfilling her life-long dream of working in a profession that allows her to both work with her hands AND give back to the community. These two concepts are important to the 19-year-old, who decided to pursue a trade after Hurricane Maria impacted Puerto Rico in 2017.

"Originally I thought about studying physical therapy or sports medicine," says Jahmicah. "But after seeing the devastation Hurricane Maria caused, I decided to start taking trade classes to better prepare myself to help with disaster relief. Helping others is important to me." 

The Charlotte native plans to graduate from Central Piedmont in spring 2023 and is appreciative of all the support the college has given her over the years. "I have bounced from home to home and school to school," she explains. "But Central Piedmont has been a constant in my life. This college has made my goals, its goals. It's unlike any other higher education institution, and I'm honored to be a part of its community."
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Students. Tagged as impact, studentstory.

Student Story: Jules Omakinda

Jules OmakindaJules Omakinda is a hardworking student who dreams of becoming a pilot one day.

Jules is currently pursuing his associate degree in cyber security at Central Piedmont Community College. "Central Piedmont has a positive reputation and offers many opportunities that students can take advantage of," says Jules. Jules enjoys feeling like he is a part of a community. As he explains it, "Central Piedmont is a place that truly feels like home, and I appreciate how the community works together to help me succeed in my career." 

Jules knew as early as he could remember that he would like to be a pilot someday. For him, Central Piedmont is the ideal place to begin his aviation goals. As a result of his cyber security associate degree, he plans to attend another institution to obtain his master's degree in cyber security. His goal is to secure a high-paying job that will help him pay for aviation school.

One thing Jules would like anyone reading this to remember would be to, "keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and utilize all that Central Piedmont provides you to reach your next chapter in life."
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Posted in Alumni, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as impact, studentstory.

Student Story: Derrick Miller

Derrick MillerDerrick Miller is a first-generation student and a Merancas Technical Scholarship recipient who has a true passion for helping individuals with disabilities.

After spending years away from school and having three adult sons, Derrick was hesitant to return, but his passion overruled his trepidation, and he is now studying Human Services Technology, concentrating in Developmental Disabilities.

"In my meeting with Dr. Sherina Dubose Tilman, chair of the department, she was incredibly persuasive and encouraging. There was never any doubt in her mind that I would not succeed in this program," says Miller. While pursuing his AAS degree, he also obtained a Community Health Worker Certification (CHW) from Central Piedmont. 

Derrick admires the professionalism of Central Piedmont's faculty. As he explains it, "The staff here have genuinely demonstrated that they care about the wellness and education of all students." 

Derrick and his family faced financial difficulties during the pandemic. In the nick of time, he received an email informing him that he had been awarded the Merancas Technical Scholarship.

Miller's greatest joy is serving others. Central Piedmont has opened up countless opportunities for him, and he is extremely grateful for them.

"You can do it," says Derrick, echoing the words he was told at the beginning of his educational journey. "Taking advantage of Central Piedmont's resources and opportunities will help you succeed."
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Students. Tagged as impact, student highlights, studentstory.

Student Story: Veronica Jones

To culinary arts student Veronica Jones, food is life. 

Before enrolling at Central Piedmont in 2021, Veronica was a law enforcement officer for 25 years, serving the Charlotte community not only in uniform, but also as a servant-leader, stocking food pantries and cooking meals / delivering groceries to the elderly, the homeless, and local families in need. 

"Preparing food perfectly combines my life-long passions of serving others with entertaining family and friends," explains Veronica. "Central Piedmont's culinary arts program is exposing me to new, interesting dishes, as well as different cooking techniques. This aligns well with my future career goals to become a food blogger who shares dishes from across the globe with others so they can learn to appreciate other cultures' cuisines." 

But before she starts collecting stamps in her passport, she has to complete the culinary arts program. That means focusing on her education a mantra that was instilled in her by her parents as a child.

"My mother grew up in the segregated South during the 1940s and 1950s, picking cotton as a sharecropper in Johnston, South Carolina," explains Veronica. "Sometimes, months went by when she didn't attend school. She and my father didn't want the same thing for me and my eight siblings. So, they reminded us daily how 'a lack of education can lead to a life of poverty.' I've never forgotten that saying; in fact, it's one of the many reasons I take my education so seriously today."

With her parents words in her head, Veronica searched for a quality educational institution, that could not only provide her with the learning schedule she needed, but also a financial aid package that wouldn't cause her to break the bank. She found both at Central Piedmont.

"Central Piedmont has a unique eight-week class schedule that coordinates well with my schedule, giving me the quality time I require with my family," she says. "In addition, the college offered me THREE scholarships that have allowed me to concentrate on my college studies instead of worrying about how I'm going to pay for tuition and books." 

That said, Veronica is on track to graduate from Central Piedmont in May 2023, and her parents will be extremely proud yet again.  Read more

Posted in Announcements, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students.

Central Piedmont Offering New Certification Program in Massage Therapy

Central Piedmont Community College will launch a nine-month, non-credit Massage Therapy Certification program on June 27, through its Corporate and Continuing Education division.

The certification program will offer students a hands-on education and extensive training in therapeutic and medical massage techniques to prepare them to sit for and pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), a license all professional massage therapists must earn to legally practice their craft in 49 of the 50 states across the country.  

"Our massage therapy certificate program is an attractive career path for individuals interested in securing a healthcare-related position, in a short amount of time, that offers an earning potential of $42,750 a year," said Roschella Stephens, associate dean, therapy and acute care division at Central Piedmont. "This program also will be the least expensive massage therapy program in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, which aligns well with the college's mission to provide an affordable education to all." 

Sixteen students are expected to be in the program's first cohort this summer. During the program, they'll learn about the fundamentals of massage therapy, anatomy, physiology, and advanced modalities in the field, and have the opportunity to engage in 114 hours of hands-on training through the program's built-in clinical rotation.

For more information about the new certification program in massage therapy at Central Piedmont, including its program requirements, class days/times, course sequencing, and more, contact Marcus Caldwell by emailing marcus.caldwell@cpcc.edu, calling 704.330.2722, ext. 7234  or visiting cpcc.edu/programs/healthcare-continuing-education.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News, Resources, Students.

Female Veterans Connect to VA Healthcare Benefits

On May 11, Central Piedmont hosted a "VA Women's Health Reengagement Training" event on its Cato Campus to give women veterans in the Charlotte region an opportunity to mingle with their peers and to learn more about the Veteran Administration's (VA) veteran- and women-centered healthcare services.

The event was part of Women Veterans Health Reengagement Training's (heaRT) initiative to raise awareness of the VA's healthcare policy changes so more female veterans will enroll and take advantage of the healthcare benefits that are available to them.

"Women veterans are one of the largest demographics to not utilize VA healthcare benefits," said Richard Bartell, director of Central Piedmont's Military Families and Veterans Services. "Many of them don't know that even if they have TRICARE or private insurance, they're still eligible. That's why this event is so important, it's connecting our veterans to the benefits they need and deserve."

During the four-hour event, participants networked with one another and learned more about:

  • women's health services
  • whole health and mental health services
  • how to determine their VA care eligibility
  • how to enroll in VA

Central Piedmont was one of two sites in North Carolina to host a Women Veterans heaRT event this month. A total of 13 Women Veterans heaRT events are scheduled to be held throughout the Southeast and the Midwest during May and June.

Learn more about Central Piedmont's Military Families and Veterans Services.

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Posted in Community, Foundation News, Students. Tagged as military, veterans.

Central Piedmont Holds 2022 Commencement

Central Piedmont Community College today hosted its 2021-2022 commencement ceremony at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. Almost 900 students "marched" and received their college degrees. More than 2,300 students were eligible to graduate this year.

During the morning festivities, Mr. Kevin Tobin, a 2022 graduate, addressed his peers by delivering this year's commencement address. Ms. Evelyn Hill, also a 2022 graduate, was the commencement speaker at the 2 p.m., ceremony. This is the fifth time Central Piedmont has had student keynote speakers at graduation. Evelyn and Kevin both graduated from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science degree in human services technology substance abuse.

Students matriculating from Central Piedmont with a curriculum degree, diploma, or certificate had the option of participating in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. This is the first year Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit programs into a single ceremony, giving graduates the choice to "walk" in the graduation ceremony that better fit their families' schedule.

In addition to hearing Evelyn's powerful message during the 2 p.m., ceremony, attendees also saw Dr. Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, confer an Honorary Associate Degree in Arts to Mr. Wilton L. Parr, a long-time Central Piedmont student, volunteer, and donor.

Central Piedmont will offer two commencement ceremonies this year to honor its graduates. 2022 summer and fall semester graduates will participate in a special commencement service on December 13, 2022, at 10 a.m., at Bojangles Coliseum. The addition of a fall ceremony will allow the college's summer and fall graduates to be honored in the same timely way as its spring graduates.

View photos from the day's festivities in our online gallery.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News, Students.

Second Cohort of STRIVE Scholars Graduates

Central Piedmont is excited to announce that its second cohort of STRIVE Scholars graduated yesterday during a special commencement ceremony on the college's Harris Campus.

The STRIVE (Strengthening Teachers. Reaching Individuals. Valuing Everyone.) Scholars program is a joint early childhood education initiative between the college, Mecklenburg County, The Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council that seeks to address a local shortage in the public Pre-K teacher workforce. The program accomplishes this goal by removing the many financial and personal barriers students who are pursuing an associate degree in early childhood education may face by providing them with better access and the support services they need to succeed.

Founded in January 2020, the STRIVE Scholars Program has graduated 38 students to date. Twenty-five scholars graduated from the program during the May 10 ceremony, and more STRIVE scholarships are set to be awarded to eligible students in summer and fall 2022.

The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and materials funding to academically-qualified applicants preparing to become educators of young children in Mecklenburg County. In addition to receiving financial assistance, scholars also receive access to mental health supports, professional and personal development opportunities, and can apply for need-based support, including assistance with transportation and child care.

"The STRIVE Scholars program supports higher education access by removing barriers that may cause a student to lose focus and not be able to give 100 percent to their studies," said Toria Grant, STRIVE recruitment project manager and an early childhood education instructor at Central Piedmont. "This program helps us produce graduates who are prepared to serve the county's ever-growing pre-k population by providing Mecklenburg's youngsters with a high quality pre-K education that will better prepare them for their primary education and achieving academic success in the future."

Learn more about the program or attend a virtual STRIVE information session.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students.

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