Central Piedmont Community College has been around almost 50 years, and with six locations throughout Mecklenburg County, it offers programs in everything from accounting to welding – with lots in between — in fact, more than 100 programs in all.  And if you’re not quite ready to go back to school, CPCC also offers business development classes and recreation programs for the public. Courses like golf, cooking, exercise, language and arts.

One of the classes offered is a certificate program in motorsports. Run by Laurie Walker and Jeff Kirby, students spend one semester learning about motorsports in general and hands-on fabrication and welding.

Students have ranged in age from 16 to 67, and concentrate on mig and tig welding, chassis fabrication and sheet metal. When completed, students hope to find work in entry-level positions at fabrication shops, or within the HVAC industry.

Kirby has been at CPCC for 15 years, and has taught auto body and heavy equipment classes. His knowledge helps students with direction and possibilities as they move on in their careers.

Walker is the face of the program, always promoting, always looking for internships for her students and for advisors within the motorsports industry. Walker credits Rick Hendrick for his help; he donated funds for the Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Training, which trains CPCC students in automotive technology.

To learn more about CPCC, visit here.

Corinne Economaki