News and Features

What's going on in the Central Piedmont community and what Central Piedmont is doing in the community.

  • CENTRAL PIEDMONT AND WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY PARTNER TO LAUNCH CATAMOUNT CONNECTION PROGRAM

    Central Piedmont Community College and Western Carolina University (WCU) announced today the launch of the Catamount Connection Program – a new direct pathway to a four-year degree for Central Piedmont students.

    Dr. Kelli R. Brown, Western Carolina University chancellor, and Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president, met at WCU to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions that guarantees admission to the university for Central Piedmont associate degree graduates who satisfy certain requirements.

    The memorandum launches the Catamount Connection Program. The program’s purpose is to create a direct pathway for Central Piedmont graduates to acquire an affordable and accessible four-year degree from WCU. As Deitemeyer announced, “Central Piedmont is excited and proud to partner with Western Carolina University to provide our students a seamless admissions pathway to the university. This program represents a wonderful opportunity for Central Piedmont students.”

    Brown said she wants to ensure students from Central Piedmont have immediate access to the affordability and quality of WCU. “It is so critical for students to see that if they want to go to a four-year college, but went to a two-year college, they have a pathway to that four-year institution,” Brown said. “Western Carolina University is an NC Promise school; the affordability is there and, of course, the quality is always there. There are great advantages for us to have this memorandum of understanding, given that we are a quality four-year institution.”

    Deitemeyer is equally thrilled to provide WCU as an option for their graduates. "We know our students will be well-prepared here and well-cared for at WCU,” she said. “In Cullowhee, they will enjoy challenging classes taught by superb faculty, a beautiful campus and a learning environment that fosters exploration, innovation and excellence. This program offers Central Piedmont students a great destination for pursuing a bachelor’s degree.”

    Students who wish to participate in the Catamount Connection Program must satisfy the following conditions:

    • Be a currently enrolled student at Central Piedmont, in a degree-seeking capacity
    • Submit a WCU application for admission and records by WCU deadlines
    • Submit the application fee or waiver, and fulfill all commitment action steps
    • Be in good standing at Central Piedmont and other institutions attended
    • Demonstrate good citizenship and conduct
    • Earn and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 at Central Piedmont and a minimum GPA of 2.20 in their most recent term
    • Earn an associate degree from Central Piedmont in a college transfer program or in an applied program for which an articulation agreement exists
    • Enroll at WCU within one academic year of completion of the associate degree

    “This transfer pathway also is a wonderful example of higher education partners in North Carolina working together to broaden access to a bachelor’s degree and greater opportunities beyond,” Deitemeyer explained. “It has been well documented that North Carolina and its workforce and economy need more individuals with bachelor’s degrees. The Catamount Connection program addresses this need directly.”

    Visit WCU's website for more information about how to transferLearn more about applying to Central Piedmont Community College.

  • Free App For College Turns Your Phone Into a Personal Security Device 

    As part of the Central Piedmont Risk, Safety, and Security unit’s ongoing commitment to campus safety, the Emergency Management department is offering Rave Guardian, a free mobile app that turns any smartphone into a personal safety device. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to download the FREE Rave Guardian safety app to check in with family, friends, campus security, or others they trust to help them stay safe on campus. 

    The Rave Guardian app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, or Google Play. You’ll use your Central Piedmont email address to create an account. You can also learn more at raveguardian.com

    With the Rave Guardian app, students and employees can:

    • Register and set up an account: They can add their name, campus address, medical notes and other pertinent information for campus safety in case of emergency.
    • Easy emergency communication: In an emergency, a one button call to College Security Services will display their profile and current location.*
    • Send anonymous tips: See something, say something. The app allows them to anonymously text suspicious activity to College Security Services, including photos.
    • Add and message Guardians: By adding roommates, friends, and family – called “Guardians” – to your network, they can feel safer when walking alone, on or off campus. Guardians can also be messaged directly through the app. 
    • Set a safety timer: In the event a student or employee feels unsafe, they can set a timer with their current location, indicating where they are going and their expected arrival time. In the event they do not make it there and deactivate the timer, Guardians or College Security Services will be immediately alerted. 
      • They can also call the college’s non-emergency line at 704.330.6632 for a safe escort to their vehicle on campus.

    Our students, employees, and community members are always encouraged to report any issues of concern: If you see something, say something. For more information, visit the college’s emergency communications webpage.

  • Central Piedmont to provide customized training for IPEX USA

    Central Piedmont Community College will provide specialized training for IPEX USA LLC., employees through funding from North Carolina’s customized training program. IPEX USA will receive approximately $345,500 in training value from Central Piedmont over a two-year period. The training will cover a broad range of skills building and be delivered by the college’s Engineering Technologies Division and other faculty and staff. The training and skills areas will include programmable logic controller, electrical circuit controls, electrical motor controls, Lean Overview, Lean Six Sigma, Root Cause Analysis, as well as multiple workplace and industrial safety courses. The N.C. Community College System’s Customized Training Program offers training services and specialized programs to assist new and existing business and industry to remain productive and profitable in North Carolina.

    IPEX USA LLC., was founded in 1992 and designs and manufactures thermoplastic piping systems. The company is increasing its Mecklenburg County footprint by building a new, state-of-the-art injection-molding plant in Pineville, N.C. The new 200,000 square-foot facility will encompass Industry 4.0, including artificial intelligence, and increase the company's ability to manufacture fittings for plumbing, electrical, industrial and municipal applications. This facility will become the company’s technological flagship operation and be one of the most advanced plastics manufacturing facilities in the industry. 

    The IPEX expansion project will create approximately 230 jobs, including warehouse, production, maintenance, and production supervisor positions. Central Piedmont will provide the main training component, with the Polymers Center of Excellence providing injection-molding and extrusion training to support the 67 new machines that will be in the new facility. Both new and current Pineville employees will receive the training.

    “Central Piedmont is excited to work with IPEX USA as the company expands its operations in Mecklenburg County. The college is eager to assist IPEX as it creates hundreds of new jobs and gives incumbent workers opportunities for growth within the company,” said Allison Bowers, Central Piedmont director corporate learning and economic recruitment. “The college, through our Corporate Learning Center, will work hard to develop and deliver the customized training IPEX USA
    will need to achieve its expansion goals.” 

    Central Piedmont’s Corporate Learning Center is the college’s single point of contact for serving the wide range of learning and development needs of businesses and organizations in Mecklenburg County, including customized training. The college’s span of learning, expertise and experience make Central Piedmont a uniquely positioned workforce development resource to help meet the performance and organizational needs of local companies.

    To talk with a Corporate Learning Center team member, call 704.330.4660, or visit www.cpcc.edu/clc.

  • 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 paid apprenticeships at Central Piedmont Community College to spur interest in high-demand positions in manufacturing, equipment repair, and logistics at its Charlotte-area facilities.

    Paid Apprenticeship: Earn and Learn

    Students will “earn and learn” with a paid apprenticeship with Coca-Cola Consolidated. 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 get paid experience through part-time positions at Coke Consolidated while receiving financial support to pay for career certificates in fields to prepare you for careers such as:

    • Manufacturing / warehouse mechanic
    • Diesel mechanic (Red Classic Transportation - RCT)
    • Equipment Services Reconditioning Technician (HVAC and electrical skills)

    Next Steps

    The application process will begin in February 2023 so interested applicants can fill out the inquiry form now to be on the list to receive updates as soon as they’re available. Targeted start for selected candidates would be late May or early June 2023.

    Basic qualification for the Coca-Cola Consolidated apprenticeships is a high school diploma or equivalent.

    To learn more about the careers you could pursue with Coca-Cola Consolidated, visit Coca-Cola Consolidated.

    Manufacturing Careers in Demand

    Coke Consolidated, Central Piedmont, and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (CLT Alliance) are collaborating on this effort to foster economic mobility in our area by highlighting opportunities in the local manufacturing sector and promoting 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.

    "Commitment to Empowering the Next Generation" 

    “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 paid 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.”

    "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."

    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 online.

  • Central Piedmont holds first-ever December commencement ceremony 

    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.

  • New Nursing Program Graduates First Class

    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.

  • Central Piedmont will use $500,000 Duke Energy grant to create utility line worker training program

    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, or call 704.330.4451.

  • Central Piedmont to provide customized training for RGA Enterprises

    Central Piedmont Community College will provide specialized training for RGA Enterprises Inc., employees through funding from North Carolina’s customized training program.

    Charlotte-based RGA Enterprises, will receive $87,500 in training value from Central Piedmont over an 18-month period. The training programs will include a broad range of skills building, including root cause analysis, 5S implementation, electric motor controls, and electric control circuits, with an emphasis on leadership development for team leaders and supervisors. The N.C. Community College System’s Customized Training Program offers training services and specialized programs to assist new and existing business and industry to remain productive and profitable in North Carolina.

    RGA Enterprises was founded in 1977 by Ed Barker and acquired by the Fidler family in 2016. The company manufactures and packages household cleaning products and has a rich history in servicing the consumer packaged goods industry.

    “RGA Enterprises is grateful to work with Central Piedmont Community College to support the ongoing education and training of our employees,” said William Fidler, company president and CEO. “The college has been instrumental in helping RGA through the process and tailoring an exciting program. Our employees are foundational to RGA’s success, and I am excited for the opportunity this program represents for them and the company as a whole.”

    The training provided by Central Piedmont will serve as a productivity enhancement project for the company. The training is aimed at developing the skill sets of the existing employees that result in promotion opportunities and ensure important machinery and equipment can be troubleshooted and maintained properly.

    “Central Piedmont is honored to work with RGA Enterprises as the company pursues continuous improvement through the development of its current employees. RGA Enterprises is a long-time corporate citizen and community neighbor in Mecklenburg County, and we are delighted to partner with them,” said Allison Bowers, Central Piedmont director corporate learning and economic recruitment. “The college, through our Corporate Learning Center, will work hard to deliver the customized training RGA Enterprises team members need now and as the company continues to grow in our community.”

    Central Piedmont’s Corporate Learning Center is the college’s single point of contact for serving the wide range of learning and development needs of businesses and organizations in Mecklenburg County, including customized training. The college’s span of learning, expertise and experience make Central Piedmont a uniquely positioned workforce development resource to help meet the performance and organizational needs of local companies.

    To talk with a Corporate Learning Center team member, call 704.330.4660, or visit us online.

  • College's Board of Trustees Chair named Charlotte Woman of the Year

    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.

  • Titan Solar Power Gives Central Piedmont STEM Grant

    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.