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: 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.

Honeywell Makes $1-Million Gift to Establish STEM Scholars Academy

Honeywell, a global leader in aerospace, building technologies, performance materials, and technologies, has made a $1-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College to establish the Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy at the college. The gift will come to Central Piedmont in annual installments of $200,000 over the next five years.

The gift and the creation of the Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy were announced during a Sept. 6 event , at Honeywell's global headquarters, in Charlotte.

The Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy will boost diversity among students enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs at the college who are pursuing a certification, degree, and careers in a high-demand STEM-related field. The college plans to involve 100 students in the academy, beginning in fall 2022, and seeks to engage 125 additional students each year, over the next four years.

"Many thanks to Honeywell for this generous gift that will help the college transform even more lives while filling a real need in this community -- graduating more students with a background in STEM," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "The STEM Scholars Academy will seek to recruit and retain students from populations currently underrepresented in STEM fields. This will help Central Piedmont better address the local workforce's demands and prepare our students for greater economic mobility and career prospects in the future."

As a Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy student, participants will have the opportunity to focus on one of three STEM academic pathways at Central Piedmont engineering, health sciences, or information technology and have access to a variety of Central Piedmont's student support services, including tutoring, coaching, peer mentoring, career counseling, and more.

"Honeywell's investment in STEM education is about helping to advance economic mobility for minority students by removing financial barriers to education and guiding them toward in-demand careers," said Karen Mattimore, chief human resources officer and senior vice president for Honeywell. "Honeywell is a key employer in STEM fields because we understand investing in education will contribute to a strong pipeline of career-ready graduates."

In addition to having the opportunity to take advantage of Central Piedmont's many academic resources, academy students will receive STEM education and training opportunities through the Carolina Youth Coalition, a non-profit organization that prepares high-achieving, under-resourced students to enter, excel in, and graduate from college so they can become full participants in society.

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

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.

College Named Metallica Scholars Initiative Recipient for Fourth Consecutive Year

For the fourth-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College was selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $10,000 in funding to support its career and technical education programs.

Funded by Metallica's All Within My Hands (AWMH) and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative was created in 2018 to fundamentally improve the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars.

Central Piedmont will continue to use the grant funds in addition to a $10,000 matching gift from the Central Piedmont Foundation to provide direct support for students enrolled in its healthcare career programs who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. The goal of the initiative is to ensure all graduating healthcare students have funding to pay for their licensure/certification exams so they can quickly enter the workforce fully licensed/certified.

"The Metallica Scholars program has proven to provide significant resources for community college students looking to learn the skills needed for today's workforce," said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC's president and CEO. "We are honored to partner with the All Within My Hands Foundation to continue to expand this opportunity for community colleges and their students."

Learn more about the Metallica Scholars Initiative at Central Piedmont.

View the complete list of new and returning schools selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative.

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News, Scholarships. Tagged as healthcare.

Associate Degree in Nursing Achieves Highest Three-Year Pass Rate in the State

Central Piedmont had the highest three-year pass rate in the state -- 98 percent -- along with Alamance Community College, for the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. The state pass rate average is 90 percent and the national pass rate is 82 percent.

Central Piedmont's nursing program is the oldest nursing program in the N.C. Community College System and has graduated more than 3,000 students since its inception in 1965. 

According to the North Carolina Board of Nursing, "A nursing program leading to an associate degree is generally two years in length and is offered by a college that awards associate and/or applied science degrees. The nursing curriculum includes classroom and clinical experiences for patients across the lifespan in hospital, long term care, and community settings.Graduates of approved associate/applied science programs earn a college degree and are eligible to apply to take NCLEX-RN. A Registered Nurse license is awarded upon successful "Pass" on NCLEX and satisfaction of other licensure requirements."

Learn more information about our Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in Nursing at cpcc.edu/nursing.

For more details about scholarships that are available for students pursuing a career in nursing,
visit our scholarship portal.

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

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.

College Recieves $10-Million Gift Commitment to Strengthen Arts and Humanities

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a $10-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College. The gift is the single-largest individual donation in Central Piedmont's 58-year history and among the largest gifts ever made to a community college nationwide.

Central Piedmont will use the gift to transform its role as a community resource for arts and humanities programming and learning. Plans for the gift include:

  • establishing an endowment that provides resources to attract and retain outstanding arts and humanities faculty members;
  • creating a scholarship endowment to provide Opportunity Scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in arts and humanities;
  • creating and launching an arts and humanities series which will bring renowned authors, artists, and performers to Central Piedmont for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community;
  • establishing a public art fund, which will provide resources to commission public art for the enhancement of outdoor spaces at the college, enriching the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis;
  • enhancing instruction in the visual arts; and
  • creating an endowment to support and expand instruction and learning in the arts and humanities at the college.

"This magnanimous gift will strengthen Central Piedmont's capacity to educate, train, and empower well-rounded individuals who will understand, appreciate, and participate in the rich and diverse cultural traditions that strengthen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The generous donor believes regardless of students' academic background and desired education and career pathway, their perspectives should include experiences in the arts and humanities to achieve a better comprehension of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. Through our conversations, it's clear the donor believes Central Piedmont is a critical community resource for Mecklenburg County residents beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or needing additional credentials for career growth.

"A gift of this magnitude will be transformative for the college and the community. As a result of this gift, Central Piedmont students will gain a greatly enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities, aiding them as they build productive lives of meaning and service. At the same time, Central Piedmont will be able to establish itself as a national leader in arts and humanities education among community colleges," Deitemeyer added.

The $10-million gift commitment comes to the college as part of its ongoing "Powering a Stronger Future campaign." Powering a Stronger Future is an ambitious, five-year, comprehensive, fundraising effort focused on providing students with greater access to outstanding educational and career-preparation opportunities, addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2022.

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

Strive Scholars Programs is Building Pre-K Educators

The Mecklenburg County Pre-K initiative, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Comprehensive Early Learning Center, and the Central Piedmont Foundation have awarded Central Piedmont's early childhood education program a $4 million grant to create the STRIVE Scholars program.

The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and materials funding to academically qualified students preparing to become educators of young children in Mecklenburg County.

According to research conducted by Mecklenburg County, Charlotte's workforce lacks the postsecondary education necessary to assure the quality of its lead and assistant Pre-K teachers in the classroom.

The college's STRIVE Scholars program seeks to address this workforce need by providing students who are pursuing an Associate in Applied Science or certificate in early childhood education with better access to a higher education and need-based support services, including:

  • technology
  • transportation
  • child care

In addition, the program will provide Scholars with comprehensive support services, such as academic advising, mentoring, and more, to ensure their academic success.

The early childhood education program is grateful and excited to be a part of this important initiative to bring universal pre-kindergarten to Mecklenburg County.

Learn more about the STRIVE Scholarship.

Attend a STRIVE information session virtually.

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as early childhood education.

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