The CPCC Alumni Blog has a new home. You’ll find the new alumni blog available at

In addition, we are excited to announce that we have added an alumni registry and an alumni directory at

We have not auto-populated the alumni directory, we’d like you to do that!  You can then decide what will be available to the public. It will be a great way to find those friends and classmates  and share your successes.


Mary Collin, CFRE

Director of Alumni Relations

The CPCC Dental Assisting program will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in June 2016. Mark your calendars. Save-the-Date reminders will be mailed to program graduates in the Spring.

Once again, this excellent  program saw its 2015 graduates earn a 100-percent pass rate on the General Chairside Assisting National Exam, administered by the National Assisting National Board, Inc. This certification is considered the highest credential for a dental assistant  and is recognized across the United States.

There will be plenty to celebrate and talk about when you return in June 2016!


CPCC Theatre, together with CPCC Opera Theatre and CPCC Dance Theatre, will join forces to present Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” a musical that has captivated audiences for more than 30 years, Nov. 13 22, on the Halton Theater stage.

This classic Broadway production tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House. Exercising a reign of terror, over all who inhabit it, the Phantom falls madly in love with an innocent soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents.

Don’t miss this opportunity to support local theatre; reserve your seat today!


November 13, 14 and November 20 and 21 at 8 p.m.

November 15 and 22 at 2:30 p.m.

November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Halton Theater, Overcash Center, CPCC Central Campus, 1206 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte, NC.
Individual tickets are $20 and $18, and a $10 ticket is available for children under 15 with the purchase of an adult ticket.
CPCC employees, as well as college and high school students who have a valid student I.D. can purchase a $5 ticket.
Tickets may be purchased online at, at the CPCC Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday or by calling 704.330.6534.

The second of  11 children born to Lamareste Francois Fleurisma and Orelia Saint-Louis, in Bayonnais, Haiti, Actionnel Fleurisma has been driven to transform his landscape since attending Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) from 1990-1992.

The Early Years

He grew up in the valley of Bayonnais, a region of Haiti surrounded by mountains, stricken by poverty and renowned for the practice of voodoo – a religion that didn’t leave much time for education. As a result, Actionnel didn’t attend primary school until the age of 12 when he entered kindergarten. In school at Eben-Ezer des Gonaives, a mission and orphanage in Haiti, Actionnel flourished. It was there that he first met Helen Hunter, a Charlottean and missionary with Calvary Church (Charlotte, NC), who would make it possible for him to attend CPCC.

A Haitian Son and His Second (American) Family

With each return visit to Haiti for mission work, Helen and her husband, Ernest, watched with pride as their new Haitian friend progressed through each level of his education. To ensure he didn’t slip through the cracks, they decided to sponsor Actionnel and help finance his education from the 10th through 13th grade. Thanks to their help, Actionnel was able to graduate high school. He was 26 years old.  While most Haitian’s educational journeys would end here, Actionnel’s continued on. The Hunters graciously offered to finance his education at CPCC in Charlotte, while also offering him room and board. For Actionnel, the offer was too good to be true. Says Actionnel, “The Hunters have done great things for my life. Their actions have taught me everyday what love is all about.”

The CPCC Experience

Actionnel arrived at CPCC in 1990. He found community in the college’s Baptist Campus Ministry, which hosted a monthly luncheon for international students where attendees share their experiences with others. He discovered the importance of timeliness and being respectful of others’ time. “My instructors were never late for class or meetings. That has been one of the many things I have taken with me in life,” explains Actionnel.  But most importantly, he built a foundation at CPCC that he credits for not only being responsible for starting his life and family, but also the ministry he now oversees as an official Minister of the Gospel and a Legal Pastor for the Christian Church of Bayonnais in Bayonnais, Haiti.

A New Generation

While Actionnel never earned his degree from CPCC (the Hunters had to unfortunately withdraw their sponsorship of Actionnel’s education in 1992 due to financial hardships as a result of the Gulf War), he is quick to point out the importance of his CPCC education to the four children he shares with his wife, Yolande. This may be why his eldest daughter, Ruth, studied for five semesters at CPCC – she is now studying at Queens University of Charlotte – and his second born, Dina, is in her third semester at CPCC. Both daughters are aspiring entrepreneurs and plan to return to Haiti after earning their degrees to open their own business and create employment opportunities in a country where less than 30 percent of the population have a job.

This last point is a source of pride for Actionnel. “Haiti is a country where more than 80 percent of the populace would flee or leave if a Visa from the United States, France, Canada or another wealthy country were granted,” says Actionnel. “But my children are not choosing this path. They plan to return home, to create jobs for Haitians in order to boost the country’s economy and overall health. Their plans not only make me proud as a father, but also build pride for Haiti among our countrymen.”

A Bright Future

Upon reflection, Actionnel can find CPCC within the many personal threads of his life. True, he studied at CPCC; but if he had never lived in Charlotte, he would have never become a charter member of South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church (SMPC) – the church he attended as a surrogate member of the Hunter Family. (The Hunters transitioned from Calvary to SMPC in the early 90s.) Today, members of the SMPC congregation can routinely be seen in Haiti, ministering to the Bayonnais people as missionaries.

It was also upon returning to Haiti, after leaving CPCC in June 1992, that Actionnel married Yolande. The two have built a beautiful life together that has grown to include four children: Ruth, 21; Dina, 20; Christina, 17; and Valery, 16.

But perhaps where CPCC can be found most in his life is in his daily communication with those he is surrounded by each day. The English as a Second Language (ESL) skills he gained while at CPCC gave him the opportunity to progress from serving as an English teacher, educating 7th through 13th graders, to Headmaster of the Institution Classique de Bayonnais (ICB). While he left this role in 2012 to pursue being a pastor full time, Bayonnais saw great progress under his leadership – the country’s infrastructure improved; a bridge, medical clinic and community bank were built; the school grew from 105 students in 1994, to more than 2,500 students housed at three campuses, and consistently achieved many of the highest scores on the National Exams for 13th grade.

“My going to community college has been a great blessing for thousands of people in the country,” adds Actionnel. “In addition to creating communities that include new roads and bridges, my work has helped send hundreds of students to college in the capital to become nurses, engineers, teachers, dentists and more, all committed to returning to Bayonnais to serve its people through their skills.”

So to say that  Actionnel has led a life fulfilled is an understatement. He continues to minister, teach and guide, transforming his landscape and the lives of others in the process. Needless to say, CPCC is proud to have him as a member of its distinguished alumni.


Apprenticeship can be ticket to solid job


Special to the Observer

 The White House has declared the week of Nov. 2 as National Apprenticeship Week. Across the United States, industry and education leaders will celebrate their apprenticeship success stories, plus advocate for a system that trains workers for skilled, well-paying jobs in a variety of industries.

We hear often about the “middle skills gap” in the workforce – those jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. This lack of skilled workers affects businesses in advanced manufacturing, IT, logistics, construction and in some financial service businesses.

It is estimated that more than 8,000 jobs in manufacturing are unfilled in just the Charlotte area. Many of these jobs pay family-sustaining wages and often have overtime options, where salaries can reach up to six figures.

Smart companies are investing in their talent pipelines – a broad, strategic system of ensuring skilled workers. At least 20 companies in the Charlotte area have invested in apprenticeships, a form of work-based learning, combined with community college courses. Read more…

The “Talent Pipeline Partnership,” including member Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), will host a Nov. 4, National Apprenticeship Week breakfast and panel discussion to inform and encourage local employers to consider apprenticeship programs.

Nov. 2-8, is the inaugural National Apprenticeship Week, so designated by the U.S Department of Labor and President Obama. National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for colleges, companies, workers, students and economic development representatives to tell the story of apprenticeships. The week also is an invitation to business and industry, career seekers and community-based organizations to learn about the real-world advantages of developing careers and worker pipelines through the apprenticeship model.

The Nov. 4, National Apprenticeship Week breakfast will take place at the Charlotte Chamber, 330 S. Tryon Street, starting at 7:30 a.m. Representatives from companies participating in the Apprenticeship 2000 and Apprenticeship Charlotte initiatives will join the panel discussion. Charlotte-area employers who have an interest in learning more about or launching an apprenticeship program are invited to attend. Registration is required; please contact Ed Injaychock at 704.330.6132 for details. For more details …

Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) Small Business Center is excited to partner with the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina to present “A New Mission: Military Women as Entrepreneurs,” a FREE conference focused on moving women in the military forward with their “new mission” to become entrepreneurs in the civilian world.

More than 100 women veterans and active-duty service members are expected to attend this event, which will feature an energizing keynote addressStephanie Brown, CEO of The Rosie Network; a panel discussion with successful female veteran business owners; networking opportunities; a resource expo; and more.

CPCC to train workers for new Huntersville manufacturer

Central Piedmont Community College has a $126,324, two-year grant to train workers for the new Bürkert Fluid Control Systems plant in Huntersville.

Lori Dorcik, Bürkert human resources manager, says the college and its instructors will train workers in leadership, project management, welding and other skills. Read more …



The past six months has seen Central Piedmont Community College’s public visual arts offerings take a distinct upward turn in terms of both quality and, thanks donors Bill and Patty Gorelick, quantity as well.

Bill Gorelick announced recently that his family plans to pay for new galleries – and donate the art therein – at each of the six main CPCC campuses by the year 2020. Gorelick runs a family investment company and is one of the founding members of Shalom Park.

Just a year ago, CPCC President Tony Zeiss and Gorelick discussed their mutual admiration for the latter’s art collection. Since then, after an initial loan of 30 artworks to the Levine Campus (along with an assortment from the collection of Carol and Shelton Gorelick, Bill Gorelick’s sister-in-law and late brother), the family has made a magnanimous gift to the college in an effort to expose students to art.



At just 18 years of age, Nemechek worked closely with his private high school in Davidson, North Carolina to complete his education while pursuing his dreams of big time auto racing. The school developed a program in which Nemechek worked one-on-one with two teachers for four hours a day, which also allowed him to have Fridays off to travel and compete in races around the country.

This let Nemechek work at his own pace, all while completing his graduation requirements. In order to set the program up, Nemechek had to have multiple people within the NASCAR industry send letters to the school explaining his potential in the sport.

Now racing full-time in the NCWTS, Nemechek is continuing his education, taking two mechanical engineering classes at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

“You have to have a backup plan,” Nemechek said. Full article

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