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July 2002
Pledge Your Support to Our Community and Our Economic Recovery
By John Paul Galles

At a time when economic slowdown has constrained fiscal budgets most critically, it is more important than ever to replenish the resources of our workforce to hasten economic recovery. The general slowing of the economy means out-of-work employees are seeking retraining for new occupations, pushing enrollments up at schools across the country as much as 15 percent. This is especially true for our area in light of the significant number of layoffs in textiles and manufacturing. With unemployment up, demand for the educational services at community colleges is at an all-time high.

            Enrollment at CPCC and other regional community colleges is rapidly escalating; CPCC’s enrollment has grown by over 10 percent in the last year and preregistration for fall courses is up 120 percent already. At the same time, CPCC has lost 4 percent of its budget in cuts this year and 2 percent the year before, and is facing cuts of up to 10 percent from Raleigh and 5.5 percent at the county level. Last year it trimmed over 250 courses from its schedule, this summer about 200, this fall another 500, and it may be necessary to make as many as 1,000 more reductions!

            Fortunately, community college presidents like Tony Zeiss at CPCC, are being proactive and challenging the community to meet the costs of rising enrollment. The CPCC Foundation is actively soliciting contributions from area businesses and entrepreneurs, asking them to sponsor classes for the $1,650 cost of a part-time instructor for each three-hour, semester-long class. That $1,650 may help teach a student to speak English as a second language. That $1,650 may teach a student to use a computer. That $1,650 may educate a student to draw or write or speak or think in a new way to be productive in a changing job market. And, that student may be a current employee of yours or may become an employee of yours. Of course, as a nonprofit organization, contributions to the CPCC Foundation are tax-deductible.

            Any business or individual may contribute any amount in cash as a lump sum or make a pledge of payments to be made by December 31, 2002. By making an unrestricted pledge, you give CPCC the ability to apply those dollars to the highest priority classes needed. Your contribution will serve your business, your customers, your employees and your community as a whole.

            A number of Charlotte businesses have already stepped forward to sponsor CPCC classes including: Loftin & Company Printers, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Charlotte, Harper Corp. of America, Epley Associates, and First Trust Bank. Nearly every business in this community has benefited from the education and training that community colleges have delivered to employees in our enterprises. Your contribution will place your name on their honor roll or you may choose to remain anonymous.

            Your pledge or contribution now can help thousands of potential students prepare for their next jobs or improve their performance at their current jobs. To find out more about this worthy sponsorship opportunity, simply call Brenda Lea or Reade Baker at the CPCC Foundation. Their number is 704-330-6869. Or, fax or write using the form below. Or even better, send them a check for $1,650 now!  


John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.
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