Duke Energy Grant Creates Lineworker 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, at 704.330.4451 or Stephen.Gerhardt@cpcc.edu.

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Posted in Announcements, Foundation News, Students.

Board of Trustees Chair Named 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. 

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News. Tagged as trustees.

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.

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.

Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Dietemeyer and DJ Harris, Team Solar, hold the Titan Solar presentation check for $15,000 surrounded by other college and Titan Solar representatives. 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.


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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News. Tagged as STEM.

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.

Call for Alumni Award Nominations

2019 Alumni Award winner Chris Coleman speaking at graduation.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.





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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News.

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.

Record $66.3 Million Raised During Campaign

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.

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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News. Tagged as poweringastrongerfuture.

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