Cosmetology Student Uses Knowledge for On-the-Job Training

Skylar Carroll

Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) second year Cosmetology student Skylar Carroll is bringing the skills she has learned at CATEC to her part-time job at a local hair salon. Carroll is an eleventh grader who has been excited to attend CATEC since she was in 8th grade. The Murray High School student says she has “always been interested in doing nails, makeup, and hair.” After waiting for two years, she began her Cosmetology courses as a tenth grader and will graduate from the program as an eleventh grader. Her current Cosmetology Instructor, Jaqueline Waller, says Carroll is “able to take the knowledge she learns and can perform tasks well.”

On-the-Job Training

Carroll has been working at Studio 3.6 Hair Salon on Greenbriar Drive for the last six months. She works as a receptionist four days a week after school and on weekends. She is responsible for answering phones, taking and stocking inventory, writing emails, and confirming appointments with clients. Additionally, on the weekends she works as a makeup artist, making wedding parties look and feel their best for their important day. Carroll hopes that as a senior in high school next year she will be able to continue working as a stylist in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends. She hopes to graduate from high school early.

Preparing for Her Future

At CATEC, Carroll has studied hair, skin, and nails. She has studied theory and practices procedures in the Cosmetology department’s classroom and clinical lab settings. When she finishes CATEC’s Cosmetology program she will have completed 840 hours of training. She has learned about safety and chemical processes related to permanent waves, relaxing, soft-curling, lightening, and coloring hair. The curriculum includes how to care for skin, hands, and feet and developing skills in performing facials, manicures, and pedicures. As a second-year Cosmetology student, she is continuing to build her skills as she prepares to take her Cosmetology State Board License in spring 2020.

Cosmetology Instructor Karen Brown, who has known Carroll for two years, says, “Skylar is always pushing for knowledge and striving to improve her skills, which will carry her far in the industry.” With a projected job growth of 11% in Virginia, Carroll is well positioned to have a career in the Cosmetology industry that she has desired since middle school. Carroll has her mind set on achieving her goals. In five years she says she will still be successfully working in a salon.

By: Amanda Jay

Jim Price Hyundai Donates Tucson to Auto Tech Program

On Friday, November 22, 2019 Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) received the keys to a 2016 Hyundai Tucson from Charlottesville’s Jim Price Hyundai.

Updated Technology Helps Program

CATEC’s Auto Service Technician program will use the compact sport utility vehicle to bridge the gap between real world industry needs and classroom curriculum. The two-year Auto Service Technician program will use the SUV to do hands-on projects, allowing them the access they need to rapidly-evolving automotive technology. Auto Service Technician instructor Matt Richardson says, “We will be able to look at the updated technology and features of a modern car. We will be able to put ‘bugs’ in the car and students will have to figure them out using a scan tool. It is a really great update for our program.”


Auto Tech Students Celebrate the Donation of a 2016 Hyundai Tucson

As a recently National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF)-accredited school, CATEC’s Auto Service Technician program is excited to use the car for classroom instruction. CATEC Director Stephanie Carter says, “Acquiring a vehicle that is only three years old is a great asset because it provides our students with updated training. This donation illustrates the importance and symbiotic nature of our business partnerships; generous donations, like this car, support our development of a well-trained, job-ready local workforce.”

CATEC as the Right Choice

Hyundai Service Training Instructor Rick Byrne and Jim Price Hyundai’s General Manager Chris Gleason think CATEC is the right choice to receive the SUV. Byrne says the CATEC students he encounters are a “step above average high school graduates. I think highly of CATEC.” Students can earn up to 10 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) industry credentials while in high school. This industry testing is specially designed to certify students studying the automotive service industry. Students are ASE-certified for two years, making them marketable entering the automotive industry as high school graduates and will allow them to continue their industry training as technicians. Byrne says ASE certifications allow career professionals to rise to the top of their professions.

Hyundai Tuscon

Hyundai Representatives Rick Byrne and Chris Gleason hand over the keys to the Hyundai Tuscon

Auto Service Technician students earning 25 dual-enrollment college credits from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. NATEF’s accreditation process is designed to evaluate the automotive service program’s structures and resources. Successful programs are built on collaboration between the instructor, industry experts, students, and community, like that from Jim Price Hyundai.

By: Amanda Jay

CATEC Recognizes Its Career Development Offerings

Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is proud to recognize its career development programming during November’s National Career Development Month. CATEC makes career readiness a top priority for all 300 of its students by integrating workplace readiness opportunities throughout its 12 program areas. Along with their industry training, students work with Career Development Specialist Amanda Jay and Career Center Specialist Shannon Tomlin to gain additional professional experiences that prepare them for employment during high school or upon graduation. These career planning activities help develop employability skills, creating goals, engaging students in career exploration activities, and expanding their post-secondary opportunities.

Nurse Aid Students

Nurse Aid students, dressed professionally with resumes in hand, gather before they begin interviewing

Workplace Readiness Skills

Jay works with students to help them develop habits-of-mind for beginning their careers and create strategies for a lifetime of working. Research shows that workers will have, on average, 17 jobs during the course of their careers. Millennials change jobs about every two years. As our work world changes, people should accept that changing and losing jobs is our “new normal.” Research shows that recognizing the importance of soft skills predicts long-term life outcomes. Companies and hiring managers often rank employee’s well-developed soft skills as the most desired traits in the workforce. CATEC recognizes that soft skills are better acquired with early practice, before students enter the workforce as adults. The classroom, group approach to teaching these soft skills require social interactions amongst students in a positive and accepting environment that promotes personal growth.

CATEC’s Career Development program helps students spend time throughout the school year gaining insight into their personal interests, values, and goals to identify their work preferences to deal with this changing work environment. They recognize qualities employers want employees to possess in their industry and create personalized branding strategies to market themselves. Students create industry-specific resumes and cover letters and participate in industry-specific interview experiences. All students leave CATEC with professional skills to gain employment in their industries of choice. A recent graduate from the Cosmetology program said of her two opportunities to practice her interviewing skills, “I really like the mock interviews because it gets our feet wet without the ‘consequences.’ I really like how the interviewers give advice on what we did well and what we need to work on. I hope we continue to do these mock interviews.”

Work-Based Learning

Tomlin organizes all student work-based learning experiences, including coordination of industry credentialing, guest speakers, field trips, internships, job shadows, and apprenticeships. Additionally, she coordinates all student participation in SkillsUSA competitions, with CATEC hosting this year’s competition events. These opportunities create real-life experiences for CATEC’s students. Last year, Tomlin arranged for CATEC students to receive 1825 college credits from local community colleges. She oversaw students earning 375 Virginia Department of Education-recognized industry credentials and organized additional industry credentialing in CPR and First Aid, ServSafe Food Handler and Fire Service certifications for students in select courses. Tomlin ensured that CATEC had 100 percent student participation in at least one work-based learning opportunities last year. She has arranged for 6 Youth Registered Apprentices and numerous job shadow and internship experiences this school year. CATEC Certified Nurse Aide Instructor Mary Lou Boyd says, “Shannon Tomlin is stellar at planning for and implementing opportunities for students to prepare for post-secondary employment. She does this by initiating and implementing opportunities to continue allowing students to excel at their trade through work-based learning experiences with our community partners. This in turn, often leads to full time employment.”

Profile of a GraduateProfile of a Graduate

Efforts to ensure all CATEC students are prepared to enter the workforce align with The Profile of a Virginia Graduate’s directive for students to receive “the knowledge, skills, experiences and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the work force and to be ‘life ready.’” Half of The Profile of a Virginia Graduate’s “life ready” requirement includes career exploration and workplace skills education. Career exploration aligns knowledge, skills, and personal interests with career opportunities. Workplace skills attain and demonstrate productive workplace skills, qualities, and behaviors.

By: Amanda Jay

CATEC Celebrates Its Culinary Arts Program

Thanksgiving Pie Fundraiser

Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center is celebrating its Culinary Arts program this month. CATEC’s Culinary Arts program is working hard this holiday season so you don’t have to. The program is preparing pumpkin and apple pies to help alleviate baking from people’s hectic holiday schedules. Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Carol Robbs says the sale benefits community members but is also a valuable learning opportunity for students.Students hand picked apples at Carter Mountain Orchard and prepped the apples themselves for pie making.

Students pick apples to make apple pies

Students Pick Apples at Carter Mountain Orchard to Prepare Apple Pies

The CATEC Culinary Arts program is a two-year course that prepares students for work as chefs/cooks, bakers/pastry helpers, pastry decorators, dietic assistants, food demonstrators, and work in the hospitality industry. Students can earn up to 20 college credits through CATEC’s dual-enrollment agreement with Piedmont Virginia Community College. Students graduate from the Culinary Arts program with many credentials, including ServSafe Food Handler and ServSafe Manager and CPR and First Aid.

Students Earn College Credits as They Cook

Students earning college credit study principles of Culinary Arts, sanitation and safety, nutrition for food science, preparations of stocks, soups, sauces, fruits, vegetables, and starches, and principles of baking. Students can easily transition to PVCC’s Culinary Arts program. This post-secondary program blends professional and technical courses with hands-on training. The 67-credit program allows students to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science. Graduates will be able to enter the workforce as chefs, sous chefs, pastry chefs, or personal chefs in restaurants, hotels, resorts, or country clubs. Nationally, including Virginia, prospective students in the culinary industry can expect job growth.

In October, the CATEC Culinary Arts program received a grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation’s Environmental Education Stewardship Grants Program. Culinary Arts will use the grant for its new learning space, CATEC Culinary Commons, a garden area that will include six raised garden beds, greenhouse, outdoor dining area, and indoor hydroponics garden. The organic produce grown in the gardens will be used by CATEC’s Culinary Arts program.

Exciting Work-Based Learning Events

CATECs Innovative Food Bus Travels to Local Events

CATEC Director Stephanie Carter says “like our food bus, Technical Eats, Culinary Arts is the hub of an exciting interdisciplinary project.” In 2017, the Culinary Arts program launched its school bus-turned-food bus project that allows students to prepare and serve food in a unique environment. Created as a schoolwide project, Technical Eats now travels to different community events around Charlottesville, including the TomTom Festival, Dogwood Festival, Albemarle County’s 275th Anniversary celebration, and scheduled fundraising activities at Whole Foods.

By: Amanda Jay

It’s National Apprenticeship Week! How CATEC Students Learn Through Apprenticeships

Male student uses electric drill on bottom of the table

Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is excited to highlight its adult and high school Apprenticeship programs during National Apprenticeship Week. Now in its fifth year, National Apprenticeship Week brings together businesses, communities, and educators to showcase opportunities available through apprenticeship programs.

Teenaged apprentice with instructor looking at car engineCATEC’s Apprenticeship programs consistently serves more than 200 apprentices each semester and the numbers are growing.  Apprenticeship coursework covers a range of technical education courses. Apprenticeship and Adult Programs Coordinator Deborah Gannon says “the training courses help apprentices learn the theory behind the trade while also increasing their technical skills and providing opportunities for hand-on learning.” The apprenticeship programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and provide employer-sponsors and their employees with required related technical instruction hours needed to satisfy a full apprenticeship program. There are currently 55 local businesses that send apprentices to CATEC for instruction. The largest number of apprentices attending CATEC’s Apprenticeship training courses are employed by the University of Virginia Facilities Management, Design Electric, Albemarle Heating and Air, Moore’s Electrical and Mechanical, and Robertson Electric. In recent years 21 CATEC graduates have returned to continue learning through its adult Apprenticeship training courses.

Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program

The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program is an employment training model that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of local employers. Through a combination of on-the-job training, work-based instruction, and industry-recognized credentials, the program meets the needs of nearly 2,000 Virginia employers using custom curriculum to train their workforce. Registered Apprentices complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and a minimum of 144 hours of related technical instruction for each year of apprenticeship, averaging four years. Successful completion of the Registered Apprenticeship Program earns the apprentice nationally recognized state certification as a Journeyperson. All apprentices are registered through the Department of Labor and Industry apprenticeship consultant.

Registered Apprenticeships are also available to high school juniors and seniors. CATEC currently has six students working as Youth Registered Apprentices, including four from its Electrical program, one in Carpentry, and one in the Auto Service Technology program. Additionally, CATEC has two high school Electrical students who, as 18-year-olds, are Registered Apprentices. Youth Registered Apprenticeships integrate school-based and work-based learning to help students gain employability and industry-specific skills. Students are enrolled in career and technical education classes and regular high school classes. Additionally, they are hired as registered apprentices and complete work-based learning experiences through their local employer. Businesses, workforce professionals, and educators see Youth Registered Apprenticeships as an effective way to start high school students on a career path that leads to good wages and advancement opportunities.

Helping Bridge Businesses’ Needs

High School Data Career Coordinator Shannon Tomlin says “our skilled trades industries are facing a severe worker shortage. The Youth Registered Apprenticeship program bridges the needs of our current business partners and our future workforce.” According to the Department of Labor, after apprenticeship completion, 94% of employees retain employment. Since January 2017, there have been more than 583,000 new apprenticeships.

By: Amanda Jay

UVA Historical Mason Fondly Remembers CATEC Education

Daisy works on masonry project

CATEC Masonry alumna Daisy Maine knew in seventh grade that she wanted to learn a trade. Recognizing early on that college was something she would not pursue, she understood that if she worked really hard to learn a skilled trade, she would be successful. In 2007, Daisy began studying in Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center’s (CATEC) Masonry program.

She says of her CATEC masonry training: “I truly enjoyed every moment and can never forget the wonderful friends and amazing support system I gained by being there that led me to where I am now.” Daisy fondly remembers her now-retired Masonry teacher Jesse Mills. She says, “Mr. Mills was the best. He was one of a kind and always knew what to say and how to teach every individual.” Mills remembers Daisy as a student who “was always eager and determined. She wanted to learn all that she could.”

Putting Her CATEC Masonry Training to Work

Upon high school graduation, Daisy says with her three years of CATEC training, she had enough experience and interest in the masonry field to easily enter the workforce. She remembers that current Apprenticeship and Adult Programs Coordinator Deborah Gannon, who in 2009 was CATEC’s Career and Instructional Technology Coordinator, “never gave up on helping me overcome life’s obstacles and was very persistent in helping me find a job. She was the one who found my first job opening at the University of Virginia. I never would have applied if it wasn’t for her persistence.”

Gannon has known Daisy for 12 years and says, “she is a strong woman, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. She ventured into a non-traditional career field while still in high school and excelled in that field.”

Daisy’s first job at UVA was as a Masonry, Plastering, and Drywall Apprentice. As an Apprentice through UVA’s Facilities Management department, she apprenticed for four year, studying masonry and plastering. She worked as a full-time University employee with salary and benefits while she gained on-the-job training with licensed journeymen, mentors, and supervisors and received classroom training.

Repairing Historic Buildings on “The Lawn”

Daisy working on a plaster project

Daisy’s first job at UVA was as a Masonry, Plastering, and Drywall Apprentice

Upon completion of her apprenticeship, she has continued working at UVA’s Facilities Management, first as a mason for two years and then as an Historic Mason. She says, “Every day at UVA is cool. I work with a small group of knowledgeable individuals.” Working as a team of seven, they repair 200-year-old brick, lime mortar and plaster around Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village. UVA’s “The Lawn,” part of the Academical Village, is designated a United States National Historic Landmark District and is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its architectural and cultural significance. She has also worked on masonry projects at UVA’s Scott Stadium. Daisy says an exciting part of this work is discovering and documenting “things most never will see and learning new things every day.”

As Daisy settles comfortably into her career, she has been able to translate her unique position as a woman in a male-dominated industry into advocating for other young women interested in entering the skilled trades. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports a 17 percent increase in women working in construction, the highest percentage the industry has seen in 20 years.

Daisy says, “I am a strong supporter for women in the trades. There aren’t enough in it today. But I know young women will see that construction trades are not just for men and we can do it too.” Daisy uses the positive mentorship she experienced herself to advocate for women entering the trades. She says, “I met some of the most influential and supportive people in my life at CATEC. It was the staff that cared and helped every student as much as they could.”

By: Amanda Jay

Design Electric and Square D Donate Materials to Electrical Programs

CATEC electrical students learn in an under construction house

Design Electric and Square D by Schneider Electric have generously donated electrical equipment to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center’s (CATEC) Electrical programs. The donations will allow CATEC’s Adult Education and High School Electrical programs to perform more hands-on activities.

Help Meet Programming Needs

CATEC’s original building design was not meeting current programming needs. However, the new equipment will allow CATEC to increase building power, making it feasible to add more HVAC units and electrical stations to classrooms for student use.

Design Electric donated a transformer, panel, disconnect, conduit, wire, fittings, mounting hardware, and installation materials. Design Electric is a growing electrical contractor specializing in large projects in central and western Virginia. It recently employed four CATEC High School Building Trades and Electrical students to work as Youth Registered Apprentices. These apprentices work for Design Electric, gaining real-world work experience while getting high school credit. Design Electric’s Casey Carwile says they donated the materials because “we are committed to hands-on electrical education in the area for apprentices and students who want to make a career of the electrical trade.” Square D by Schneider Electrical donated QO panel boards, interiors and trim, and breakers. Square D by Schneider Electrical is a national producer of electrical components including switchgear, breakers, transformers, and control systems.

Training a New Generation of Electrical Workers

CATEC’s Electrical programs provide students with skills to install, operate, maintain, and repair residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems. Students study electrical theory and navigate the National Electrical Code Book. Adult Apprenticeship Electrical students take coursework related to alternating current and grounding, load calculations and distribution, and practical applications and basic electronic theory. High School Electrical students receive 9 college credits from Piedmont Virginia Community College. Students in the Electrical program are OSHA-10 certified and receive certifications in NCCER curriculum.

Design Electric’s Carwile is thankful for all CATEC is doing to bring electrical workers into the workforce. He says “thanks for all that you are doing at CATEC to teach the next generation of workers. Thanks again also for the chance you have given us to assist with the electrical learning process.”

By: Amanda Jay

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week: Meet Our Newest Program

CATEC students pet goats on farms

CATEC is excited to be celebrating its newest program for National Veterinary Technician Week! CATEC’s Veterinary Assistant program is a natural step for students interested in becoming veterinary technicians. CATEC’s Veterinary Assistant class introduces students to the technical knowledge and skills necessary for success in careers pertaining to animals. This includes pet care industries, government agencies, laboratory research institutions, pharmaceutical occupations, veterinary medical assisting and technology, and postsecondary education. Students learn about veterinary science in a classroom setting, simulated small animal veterinary hospital, and on-site visits.

students dressed in scrubs and masks

Veterinary assistant students show off their scrubs.

Last year, students took a field trip to the Richmond Zoo so they could study the ethics of zoos and their wildlife programs. The class also visited Open Gate Farm to interact with chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and rabbits and students studied the farm’s heritage pork operation. Many animals also made guest appearances in the classroom, including a pigeon, family dogs, and pet goats.

Veterinary Assistant students receive 12 college credits through Blue Ridge Community College. Credits include coursework in veterinary assisting, care and maintenance of small domestic animals, veterinary office assisting, and companion animal behavior. Students who satisfactorily complete the program also receive the Blue Ridge Community College Career Studies Certificate in Veterinary Assisting concurrent with high school graduation. CATEC also supports student students as they take the Certified Veterinary Assistant test through American Allied Health. For the 2018-2019 school year, CATEC had a 93% pass rate.

CATEC’s Veterinary Assistant students pose with their homemade treats.

Upon graduation from the program, students can enter the industry as a Veterinary Assistant, assisting vets by setting up equipment, preparing animals for treatment, and keeping records. Projected job growth in Virginia for Veterinary Assistants is nearly 20% and Virginia wages align with the national wage average. Several students who graduated from the program last year are working in area veterinary clinics. Two alumni are working as Laboratory Animal Care Technicians for The McConnell Group, a company that supports media research for human and veterinary health and contracts with a UVA research lab.

By: Amanda Jay

See Something, Say Something Poster Contest

CATEC’s program areas are participating in its own See Something, Say Something campaign to help raise awareness about school violence. Based on the Sandy Hook Promise’s gun violence prevention program that trains schools and youth-serving organizations, CATEC’s See Something, Say Something campaign, promoted school-wide, is raising awareness and educating students about their power to prevent school and community tragedies.

CATEC programs have created posters that best exemplify to them what students can do to help prevent school violence. One poster will win for creativity, message, and design. The winning program will receive a pizza party. Check out this year’s entries below:

By: Amanda Jay

CATEC Celebrates Careers in Construction Month

CATEC is eagerly celebrating Careers in Construction Month, a month-long recognition of craft professionals and career opportunities in the construction industry. Sponsored by National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and Build Your Future (BYF), the annual event brings together organizations from around the country to work together to raise awareness of the great career opportunities in the construction industry. Careers in Construction events highlight skilled men and women, provide information and resources for educators, and help youth interested in becoming a craft professional.

Celebrating Careers in Construction Month at CATEC

This year, CATEC’s Building Trades and Electrical programs are celebrating in a big way. Career Center Specialist, Shannon Tomlin, organizes the event. She says “The goal of our celebration is to give students information, resources and mentoring that can inspire them to choose a rewarding career as a skilled trade professional. Our guest speakers and field trip opportunities expose them to different industries and pathways available.”

CATEC students working on electrical in building

CATEC’s Building Trades program prepares students to erect, install, maintain, and repair buildings and other structures.

CATEC students kicked off the month by participating in competitive events at the SkillsUSA State Fair of Virginia in Doswell. Students participated in its electrical event. CATEC will be hosting many guest speakers representing different aspects of the construction industry. Stanley Black and Decker, maker of DeWALT hand tools, Lenox cutting blades, Power concrete anchors, Proto Shop tools, and Irwin hand tools, is presenting a hand tool safety seminar. Moore’s Mechanical and Electrical and the University of Virginia’s Facilities Management department will both be speaking to students about opportunities in their fields. Students will be visiting Skanska’s University Health System’s multi-year hospital expansion project to learn about urban, commercial projects. At the end of October, students will participate in Piedmont Virginia Community College’s 10th Grade BizKid$ Career Pathways Expo, working with the representatives from the Associated General Contractors of Virginia and Build Your Future to promote the skilled trades.

CATEC’s Building Trades Programs

CATEC’s Building Trades program prepares students to erect, install, maintain, and repair buildings and other structures. Curriculum focuses on developing skills in safety for the masonry, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing professions. CATEC’s Electrical program provides students with skills to install, operate, maintain, and repair residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems. Students study electrical theory and navigate the National Electrical Code Book. Electrical students receive 9 college credits from Piedmont Virginia Community College. Students in both Building Trades and Electrical program are OSHA-10 certified and receive certifications in NCCER curriculum. In May, CATEC participates in the SkillsUSA and Klein Tools National Signing Day. Last year, CATEC recognized 9 students for accepting jobs or apprenticeships with local construction companies.

Skilled craftspeople are in demand nationwide. Seventy percent of jobs do not require bachelor’s degrees and with nearly 1.5 million craft professionals needed by 2023, it is more important than ever to get high school students interested in the industry. Associated Builders and Contractors of Virginia estimates that the workforce will demand 177,748 workers in Virginia by the year 2021. The projected job growth in Virginia in the construction industry is up 21%. Tomlin says “Careers in the construction industry offer financial freedom through high salaries and affordable education options.”

NCCER is an education foundation that offers training curricula, assessments, and credentials for more than 70 crafts, through 6,000 NCCER-accredited facilities. BIY is a recruitment initiative working to find the next generation of craft professionals and close the skills gap and labor shortage in the construction industry.

By: Amanda Jay

Malloy Ford Donates Auto Lift to Auto Service Tech Program

Malloy Ford donated an automotive twin post lift to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center’s (CATEC) Automotive Service Technology program in August. When Malloy Ford moved from its Pantops location to its new 2070 Seminole Trail space, it was an easy decision to donate to the Auto Service Tech program its retired lift. A CATEC Auto Service Tech Advisory Board member and Malloy Ford representative knew that the program’s current lift was not meeting the program’s needs and thought their lift would be a great addition to CATEC’s shop. Auto Service Tech Instructor Matt Richardson says the new lift will “bring real life experiences to students entering the automotive industry after graduation.”

Active in CATEC’s Auto Service Tech Advisory Board

Last year, Malloy Ford gave the Auto Service Tech program two complete engines on which students will practice their skills taking apart the engines. Malloy Ford is very active in CATEC’s Auto Service Tech Advisory Board, including participating in its interview events and hiring current and recent program graduates. In September, Malloy Ford hired current Auto Service Tech second year student, Alex Wiesniewski, to work in its service shop. CATEC’s Auto Service Technology classes use Ford’s Automotive Career Exploration program to educate students to service Ford vehicles. This web-based program gives students the opportunity to study a similar curriculum currently taught to dealership technicians. Ford has recognized CATEC as a school that has a 95% program participation rate.

The Auto Service Tech program boasts a robust enrollment, with students earning 25 dual-enrollment college credits from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Students earn college credits for curriculum including automotive systems, climate control, electricity, and engine repair, and braking systems. Students also earn up to 10 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) industry credentials. ASE industry testing is specially designed to evaluate and certify students who are studying in the automotive service industry. The ASE Education Foundation, in partnership with career and technical education advocate SkillsUSA, developed the exams to help students access professional credentials. They are a first step for students interested in building a career as an automotive service professional because they earn their first industry-recognized certifications before graduating from high school. These credentials make CATEC Auto Service Tech students marketable to local shops both during and after graduation.

A Newly-Accredited Program

CATEC’s Auto Service Tech program just completed its five-year National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) accreditation. NATEF’s accreditation process is designed to evaluate the automotive service program’s structure, processes, resources, materials, and mission. Successful programs are built on collaboration between the instructor, industry experts, students, and community support. CATEC’s Auto Service Tech Advisory Board, which Malloy Ford has been a strong supporter of, encourages our program and bridges the gap between real world industry needs and classroom curriculum. On average, Virginia boasts a higher annual income for automotive service technicians than the national average with a projected 11% job growth.

CATEC Registered Apprenticeship Student Example of Success in the Skilled Trades

Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) Second Year Electrical Apprentice Adrian Rosas is taking advantage of all career opportunities CATEC has to offer in the skilled trades. Rosas was a 2017-2018 Building Trades student who knew he had a passion for electrical work, having worked in the construction industry with his family. Building Trades and Electrical Instructor Sidney Trimmer says Rosas “told me the day he showed up for Building Trades he wanted to be an electrician.” Rosas was able to parlay his passion for electrical work into a Youth Registered Apprenticeship and has returned to CATEC for two more years as an electrical student. He is currently enrolled as an Electrical III student and works for Design Electric in its Prefab department.

Award-Winning Student

Rosas received college credit from Piedmont Virginia Community College while enrolled in the Building Trades program. During this time, he competed in SkillsUSA competitions and obtained his OSHA-10 certification. He studied the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core Curriculum, a program secondary career and technical education students take that cover topics related to safety, communication, and construction drawing, and earned the NCCER CORE credential. Success in this program affords students basic skills to continue their education in the skilled trades. Specifically, for Rosas, his NCCER training counts towards his Apprenticeship related technical instruction. 

In the spring of 2018, Rosas was encouraged take part in Design Electric’s “Boot Camp.” This event exposed CATEC Building Trades and Electrical students, as well as community adults, to various skills and professional qualities needed to be successful in the Electrical field. Students who attended learned a particular skill and then had to perform a task related to that skill. Attendees were required to show proficiency in reading a tape measure and knowledge in safety protocols. Select attendees were offered employment with Design Electric and would have the opportunity to be Registered Apprentices. Design Electric is a growing electrical contractor specializing in large projects in central and western Virginia. Design Electric’s Casey Carwile says “having skilled electrical workers is vital to the bottom line in providing our customers with good, quality commercial electrical installations. Producing great, quality workers is what we do at Design Electric.”

Becoming a Youth Registered Apprentice

Rosas was selected to be a Youth Registered Apprentice with Design Electric. Rosas says “I am very honored to have had the help from Mr. Trimmer, Mrs. Tomlin, and Mrs. Jay at CATEC. They really helped push me into a direction of the Apprenticeship program. Seeing how far I have come really amazes me.” Trimmer says Rosas was a good candidate for the program because he “doesn’t mind working hard.” Design Electric’s Carwile says Rosas has a “good work ethic, willingness to learn, and is teachable. Adrian is willing to try new things, is a good team player, and prides himself on providing quality electrical components.” In May 2019, Rosas and Design Electric participated in the SkillsUSA and Klein Tools National Signing Day. CATEC was selected as a hosting school to celebrate skilled trades students’ commitment to apprentice for local employers.

Working as a Youth Registered Apprentice requires a lot of commitment and hard work. But, Rosas approaches it as “hard work does pay off!” Three days a week he works 10-hour days at Design Electric. Two days a week he rises at 6:00 am and works for Design Electric until noon each day. In the afternoon, Rosas attends Monticello High School for his required academic classes. Then once a week for three hours, he takes Adult Education Electrical courses at CATEC. He receives high school credit for attending CATEC during his work day also gets paid for his work at Design Electric; a true “earn as you learn” model of instruction. Of all of this commitment, Rosas says “attending work, high school, and night classes for my Journeyman license can be a lot for someone, but I think about it as this is my goal and my future and something I look forward to doing.”

Getting on the Job Training

As a Youth Registered Apprentice, Rosas’s work experiences consist of on-the-job training, including 8,000 hours required for Electricians, and 144 hours per year of related technical skills instruction. Youth Registered Apprenticeships provide valuable work-based learning opportunities for youth with academic and workplace curriculum that leads to post-secondary education options and careers. Businesses, workforce professionals, and educators see Youth Registered Apprenticeships as an effective way to start high school students on a career path that leads to good wages and advancement opportunities. Carwile says the Apprenticeship program helps Design Electric because the company is “able to get a head start on training quality electricians that will be good installers of commercial electrical components.” 

A Licensed Electrician at Age 20

Carwile believes Rosas’s time at CATEC helped him transition to his apprenticeship experience easily because “CATEC and Design Electric work well together. CATEC is a good community partner because it takes students interested in the skilled trades and gives them a path to that job.” When Rosas graduates from high school in 2020, he will only have two years remaining until he is able to take his Journeyman exam to become a licensed electrician, a remarkable feat for a 20-year-old to accomplish. Rosas appreciates his time at CATEC saying it “is a great learning experience. It prepared me with skills to use out in the work field. It also offered a learning experience I couldn’t get at my base school. I got the opportunity to learn something that I was interested in making a career out of.”

By: Amanda Jay

How to Get the Most out of High School? Culinary Arts Students Ask This Recent CATEC Grad

Recent Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) Culinary Arts graduate Tyquan Alston visited its Culinary Arts I program last week to talk about the opportunities CATEC afforded him. Alston returned to CATEC to speak with new Culinary Arts students about taking advantage of every possible learning moment offered to them. As a May graduate, Alston spoke to students from the perspective of someone who had just recently been in the same position. He urged new students to brush off negative attitudes or preconceptions they may have.

He reflected on his relationship with lead instructor, Chef Carol Robbs, and said “when I started to pay attention, I realized how much I had to learn.” Chef Robbs says that she is very “proud of Tyquan. I could see the growth and maturity in him. I can see he found his humility and reflects on his time at CATEC very positively.”

Transferring to PVCC’s Culinary Arts Program

Culinary Arts graduate Tyquan Alston visits the Culinary Arts I program

At CATEC, Alston became CPR, First Aid, and ServSafe Manager-certified. The ServSafe program is developed by the National Restaurant Association with the help of the foodservice industry to help define food safety best practices. He received dual-enrollment credit through Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC), which allowed him to transfer seamlessly to PVCC’s Culinary Arts Program.

In late August, Alston began studying under Chef Eric Brekoff in the program that blends professional and technical courses with hands-on training. The 67-credit program will allow Alston to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science. When he completes the program, he will be able to enter the workforce as a chef, sous chef, pastry chef, or personal chef in restaurants, hotels, resorts, or country clubs. Alston is currently using his Culinary Arts skills by working in the food service industry at the University of Virginia while taking his classes at PVCC.

By: Amanda Jay

The Collision Repair Education Foundation and 3M Donate Thousands of Dollars in Supplies to Auto Body Repair Program

The Collision Repair Education Foundation grant program, through Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), generously donated thousands of dollars’ worth of 3M supplies to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center’s (CATEC) Automotive Body Repair program this past week.

CATEC auto body students and their new supplies

Introducing Auto Body Students to New Materials

Auto Body Repair program instructor Ronald Moore says the donation will enable his students to “do more projects and be introduced to many different types and kinds of sandpaper.” Moore says these products are not normally available to students because of costs. Donated items include many different types and sizes of sandpaper including wet sandpaper, dry sandpaper, and grinding sandpaper. Moore says the sandpaper is “needed for all areas of instruction from dent repair to color sanding final paint for polishing.”

Auto Body Repair program students take I-CAR Professional Development Program classes throughout the school year, earning industry certificates as they learn. Students can earn up to 20 certifications, making students more marketable when looking to begin their careers. I-CAR is an international not-for-profit organization focused on providing information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. I-CAR’s focus is to provide everyone involved in the collision repair industry with high-quality, industry-recognized training.

Making a Difference in Student Readiness

Shannon Tomlin, CATEC’s Career Center Specialist, says that the donated supplies will “make a difference in the quality and level of readiness for every student entering the industry.” CATEC’s Auto Body Repair program is a two to three-year course that covers competencies enabling students to enter the Auto Body industry after high school, or sometimes even before graduation. Students have opportunities to earn high school credit and income while attending CATEC when they enter internships with local Auto Body shops in Charlottesville.

By: Amanda Jay

Charlottesville Elks Lodge Donates 350 Pairs of Safety Glasses

The Charlottesville Elks Lodge once again generously donated safety glasses to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) for the 2019-2020 school year. Four of CATEC’s program areas will be able to use the 350 donated pairs. The Elks Lodge has been donating safety glasses to CATEC for many years.

Safety at CATEC

Practicing industry safety is an important aspect of training young professionals at CATEC. Built into their industry competencies, our Building Trades and Electrical, Automotive Body Repair, and Automotive Service Technical instructors strive to meet industry standards on day one. Building Trades and Electrical instructor Sidney Trimmer says the donation “helps us save about $200 a year for safety glasses. We use them every day.” CATEC will be able to use instructional funds to cover other essential needs that will prepare its students for the workforce.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is a regional technical education center, which helps high school students and adults obtain the jobs they seek. Our centralized, unified career development program helps students develop strategic approaches to cultivating their careers. CATEC was founded in 1973 and serves students from both Albemarle County Schools and Charlottesville City Schools.

By: Amanda Jay

CATEC Alumnus Uses EMT and Fire Knowledge in Maritime Engineering

Recent two-time CATEC graduate, Kenley Woods, began his newest academic adventure in August at Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan. Woods is studying Maritime Engineering for four years and will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Technology when he graduates. He is learning how to efficiently operate and maintain ship engines and support ship machinery. Woods will graduate with his Coast Guard license and will be an Officer, First Engineer. Graduates from this program leave as highly credentialed and experienced engineers with in-demand maritime experience.

Woods met a current merchant marine engineer who graduated from Great Lakes Maritime Academy at a CATEC Career Fair last January. Woods was immediately drawn to the college’s opportunities to study marine engineering and travel the world. Upon this encounter, he said his life took a “turn for the better” when he realized this job seemed “impossibly perfect.” He began the application process right away. Out of 400 applicants, Woods was one of 60 cadets accepted for the 2019-2020 year, and one of only 24 students studying engineering.

A Firefighter and EMT by Age 18

Woods graduated from CATEC’s firefighting program in 2019 and received his Virginia Fire I and II certifications

Woods attributes much of his success to his accomplishments at CATEC. Along with his application, Woods had an in-person interview with admissions officers in Michigan. Woods said he “realized how much CATEC had done for me” when the admissions offer said “you are only 18 and you are a firefighter and EMT.” He said CATEC has been a “rock in my life” because it provides real-world training for real-world certifications.

Woods first graduated from CATEC in 2018 when he completed the Emergency Medical Technician program. He returned for the 2018-2019 school year to take CATEC’s firefighting course and was a volunteer firefighter in Charlottesville. He graduated from the program in 2019 and received his Virginia Fire I and II certifications. All together, he earned 24 college credits as a dual-enrolled student at CATEC. Woods was a featured student speaker at CATEC’s graduation last year. This experience helped him earn acceptance at Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

CATEC: Career Training for Students & Adults

The Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is a regional technical education center, which helps high school students and adults obtain the jobs they seek. Our centralized, unified career development program helps students develop strategic approaches to cultivating their careers. CATEC was founded in 1973 and serves students from both Albemarle County Schools and Charlottesville City Schools.

By: Amanda Jay

Cville Weekly: CATEC Helps Women Break into Trade Careers

A CATEC student works on a class project, a modular house that will be auctioned off as a fundraiser.

A new article from Cville Weekly looks at women breaking into building trades in Central Virginia — and how CATEC is helping jumpstart their careers.

Nationwide, women represent only 3.4 percent of the construction trades workforce. And it’s not for lack of jobs. Construction in Virginia has rebounded, and many workers are nearing retirement age. More than 90 percent of construction firms report difficulty finding employees, and Virginia’s demand for trade workers will create almost 218,000 jobs between now and September 2020.

CATEC is one of the biggest players working to promote the trades in Charlottesville. CATEC serves nearly a dozen high schools in the region, and works in partnership with local community colleges and employers to offer workforce education programs for both high school students and adults.

CATEC Team Speaks to Girls’ Experiences?

Debbie Gannon, CATEC’s apprenticeship and adult programs coordinator, weighed in on girls’ experiences in CATEC’s building trades programs:

“For the construction trades specifically, girls may count themselves out because they think the jobs require massive muscle power. But nowadays, the trades are as technological as they are manual­—and that includes the attention to detail and planning skills in which females, especially in high school, often outpace their male peers.

Besides that, Gannon says, “Sometimes the girls feel they have more to prove—and that makes them work harder and smarter.”

Attitudes can be hard to change even when a girl is attracted to skilled trades work, Shannon Tomlin, CATEC’s career coordinator for high schools, told Cville Weekly. Tomlin said she knows at least one student who was interested in masonry training and had to convince her parents to let her pursue it.  

Getting More Girls to Think Trades

CATEC is doing a lot help get all kids thinking about trades as a career. Their efforts start in the local elementary schools. The school always includes women, by bringing tradeswomen from local employers along on CATEC’s school visits, or having girls already enrolled in the skilled trades classes present on CATEC tours.

Read the full story on

CATEC Recognizes 40 Students with Signing Day Events

At its second annual School to Work signing ceremony, CATEC recognized the nearly 40 students graduating this spring with a full-time job already secured.   The students will be working in local hair salons, auto shops and health clinics, among other area businesses.

“It’s a nice recognition for kids,” said Shannon Tomlin, the career coordinator at CATEC, told the Daily Progress. “They feel like their hard work has paid off, and their parents like employment.”

Tomlin said the number of students honored doubled since last year’s ceremony. She attributes the increase to a push in the Charlottesville and Albemarle school divisions to expand work-based learning opportunities. Tomlin organized the ceremony as a way to recognize the students and to highlight career and technical education.

“There’re always these pushes for kids going to college,” she said. “College just isn’t for everyone … There’s something to be said for these kids who can go through a trade program. They can still go to college. This doesn’t limit them to just leaving us and going directly to work. This gives them another avenue to support themselves, whatever path they take.”

Read the full article on Daily Progress’ website.

CATEC Awarded Grant from Dominion Energy to Build Gardens & Greenhouse

CATEC was recently awarded a grant from Dominion Energy to create CATEC Culinary Commons!

The Culinary Commons will help students learn about growing their own food. It will feature six raised bed gardens, a greenhouse, an outdoor dining area, and an indoor hydroponics garden. The organic produce grown in the gardens will be used by CATEC’s Culinary Arts program. Next summer, CATEC also plans to offer a gardening camp, which will use the commons as an outdoor classroom. 

This project will be a true team effort. Students from the Culinary Arts, Building Trades, and Electrical programs will work together to create the space. Building Trades students will build picnic tables for the outdoor dining area. Culinary Arts and Building Trades students will work together to build the raised bed gardens and assemble the greenhouse. Electrical students will wire grow lights in the greenhouse and assemble the indoor hydroponic system.

By creating both an indoor hydroponics garden and an outdoor, traditional garden, Culinary Arts students will be able to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of the two systems. They will compost food scraps to use for fertilizer and create a truly organic garden. They will also learn about the benefits of farm-to-table cooking!

End of Year Events at CATEC

Join CATEC in congratulating our students and celebrating their accomplishments! We are wrapping up the 2018-2019 school year with several events to wish our new graduates good luck. Below is everything parents, caregivers, friends and students need to know about events for CATEC’s new grads.

Completers’ Ceremony

For high school completers and adult apprenticeship graduates
Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.
Monticello High School (1400 Independence Way in Charlottesville)
Can’t make the event? Stream it online here.

The Completers’ Ceremony starts with a dinner reception from 5:00-6:00 PM in the cafeteria at Monticello High School. Students need to arrive no later than 6:00 PM and should dress in professional attire (business or business casual). High school seniors who are also graduating from their base schools must bring their graduation gowns, but not their caps, to wear during the ceremony. CATEC will provide gowns for undergraduate and homeschooled students who do not already have a graduation gown. Loaned gowns must be returned after the ceremony.

Signing Day Events

Similar to “National Signing Day” for high school student athletes, these events are a celebration and recognition of students, parents and employers who have committed to “school to work” partnerships. These partnerships bridge school and industry to give students the most current and relevant education and workplace experiences possible.  The events recognize CATEC students’ hard work and dedication to their training program. They also emphasize the value of the career training they have received at CATEC that has led directly to apprenticeships or employment.

2019 National Signing Day
May 8th at 7:30AM
At CATEC (1000 East Rio Road)

This event is presented by Klein Tools and SkillsUSA. CATEC students who have chosen to pursue a career as a professional in Electrical or Building Trades pathways will be honored.

CTE School to Work Signing Event
May 14th at 5:30pm
At CATEC (1000 East Rio Road)

This events honors CATEC students and the local employers who have hired them.  All student honorees – along with their parents and guardians — are invited to the CATEC Center Board reception at 5:30 p.m. The signing event will begin at 6:30 p.m. during the Joint Board meeting.

Please wear something with your employer’s logo on it if you have it. RSVP by Wednesday, May 8, 2019 to Leslie Chisholm

CATEC’s Veterinary Assistant Program Featured in Daily Progress

Interested in a veterinary career, but don’t want to attend eight extra years of school?  CATEC’s new veterinary assistant program could be a good way to explore career options and get valuable skills.  CATEC’s veterinary science instructor Dr. Kim Smyth helped start the program in August 2018. She recently wrote in The Daily Progress about how CATEC can help students who love working with animals get started in the veterinary field.

Students in CATEC’s year-long Veterinary Science course are trained as veterinary assistants. Five days a week, they leave their base schools and spend the entire afternoon learning from lectures, hands-on activities and labs. Live animals make frequent appearances. This semester, each student also will spend an afternoon shadowing in area veterinary clinics.

CATEC’s goal in each of its programs is to graduate students who are workforce ready. At the completion of the Veterinary Science course, students have a basic understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, animal behavior, clinical exams, animal skin and coat care, performing basic lab tests, nutrition and more. Students who complete the course are qualified to be hired immediately in area veterinary clinics,

Read the full article on The Daily Progress. (Photo courtesy of The Daily Progress)

Congrats to our 2019 Poster Contest Winner!

The winning “See Something, Say Something” poster

Congratulations to the Building Trades class for creating the winning poster!  Students submitted seven posters in the 2019 “See Something, Say Something” contest.  The winning poster was selected based on creativity, craftsmanship, and overall message.

Congrats to CATEC’s 2019 Golden Apple Award Recipient

Congratulations to Ms. Megan Panek, CATEC English/Exploratory Instructor and Instructional Coach, for being selected as CATEC’s 2019 Golden Apple Award Recipient!  Ms. Panek will be honored and recognized for her outstanding contributions to the education of students at the 2019 Golden Apple Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 16th beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Albemarle County Office Building on McIntire Road.  Light refreshments will be served in the second floor lobby with the presentation of awards immediately following.

During the awards ceremony, the recipients of the Golden Apple Grants will be randomly selected.  As part of the grant award, eight candidates (3 elementary, 2 middle, 2 high of the public schools in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, CATEC, as well as 1 candidate from the schools that are members of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools) will be selected in a random drawing to receive a Golden Apple Award Grant ($1,000).  This grant award will be used to support the recipient’s continued professional development.

The Daily progress will also announce the ceremony which will include a photograph of each of the Golden Apple Award recipients, as well as a few words from their nomination letter.

Daily Progress Article Features CATEC Instructors

two students learn how to hold a dog while teacher looks on

Cheers to the CATEC instructors recently featured in the Daily Progress. The newspaper interviewed Kim Smyth, CATEC’s veterinary science teacher, Sidney Trimmer, who teachers building trades. The two spoke about their careers and how their class curriculum incorporates their real-world experience.

“I had no clue about the workload, nor the frustrations and heartbreak they encounter so often throughout the school year,” Smyth told the Daily Progress. “As a veterinarian, I am used to heartbreak and know that it’s the success stories that pull those of us in that profession through the hard times. I’m finding the same is true in my new career, as well.”

Director Daphne Kaiser and Human Resources Manager Leslie Chisholm were also featured in the article. Chisholm spoke about the challenges of finding instructors who are both experts in their field and great teachers. Kaiser highlighted the importance of technical education in today’s economy.

“It gives our students a tremendous advantage,” Kaiser said. “They walk out of here and walk into a job with all the skills to jump right in.”

Read the full article here.

Register Now for CATEC’s Summer Programs

CATEC summer camps

Plumbing, HVAC, Carpentry, & Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Earn your OSHA10 certification, workplace readiness credentials, and learn from industry professionals! Students will be engaged in group projects and take field trips to explore careers in plumbing, HVAC, carpentry and electrical (PACE).

PACE is a partnership between CATEC, Central Virginia Apprenticeship Council, and other business partners to help students learn skills in the construction trades and prepare for the workforce. Participants ages 16 and up may be offered an apprenticeship or internship after the program ends.

What: 4-week program
When: June 17—July 12th (closed July 4-5) from 8:30am-12:30pm weekdays.
Ages: Rising 9th -12th grade
Price: FREE of Charge for Albemarle County and Charlottesville City students
How to register: Download the application packet and mail/deliver to CATEC. The address is: 1000 East Rio Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, ATTN: PACE Program Call

Any question? Call 434-973-4461 for more information.

Career Exploratory Camps

Save the date for CATEC’s summer camp programs. Explore careers in a skills-based, hands-on environment. Career Camps cover many different jobs, from veterinary science to culinary arts to information technology. Download the application here. Use this Career Camp schedule to see when each camp is available and select which camp(s) your student wants to attend.

Dates: July 1—July 12, 2019 (closed 4th-5th).
Time: Full and half-day options available. Sessions from from 8:30am—12:30 p.m. and 1:00pm—4:30 p.m.
Ages: Rising 7th -10th grade
Price: FREE of Charge for Albemarle County and Charlottesville City students

KidsCollege @ CATEC

Kids learn a wide range of new hands-on, skill-based, fun STEM and technical academies. Enroll by April 1 for an early bird discount. Download the brochure for registration and more details
June 17-28, 2019
Time: Full and half-day options available. Sessions from from 9am—12:15 p.m. and 1:15pm—4:30 p.m.
Ages: Rising 7th -10th grade
Price: Starting at $139 for a half-day session

Congrats to District SkillsUSA Winners!

Congratulations to the following CATEC students! These students placed in the local SkillsUSA competitions at Massanutten Technical Center on Feb. 8th. Thank you to all participants for fabulously representing CATEC .

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit that supports career and technical education. In these competitions, students compete to showcase their technical skills, and industry representatives evaluate student performance. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.  These winning students are eligible to attend state competitions in Virginia Beach on April 12 – 14th.

Emergency Medical Technician 

1st Place:
Blaine Sandridge – WAHS
Virginia Clark – WAHS

2nd Place:
Jessica Walker – WAHS
Lauren Tipton – WAHS

First Aid/CPR

1st – Brianna Smiley – AHS
2nd – Rebecca Gimbert – MHS
3rd – Bailey LaPrade – MHS 


2nd – Jonathan Pace – MHS

1st – Autum Woodson – MHS
2nd – LaAsia Thomas – CHS

Fantasy Manikin
2nd – Neve Karasz

Firefighting Student Earns Emergency Vehicle Operation Certifications

Congratulations to Holly Jenkins, a current CATEC Firefighting student, for earning her Emergency Vehicle Operation – Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 certifications through the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and the Virginia Fire Services Board. Last year, Holly was a Monticello High School student and was enrolled in CATEC’s Emergency Medical Technician program.  We’re very proud of you, Holly!

Earning her National Registry EMT and EVOC certifications is a major accomplishment. Only a few states allow high school students to take the EMT program.  These certifications are nationally-recognized career-level certifications that will allow Holly to pursue her Fire/EMS career goals.

“Holly Jenkins was an exemplary student in EMT class, and quickly rose to be a leader in the classroom both in academic achievement and work ethic,” says Holly’s EMT instructor, Catherine Gardner. “Many adults who have been hired by Fire Departments struggle to obtain all of these certifications; it says a lot about Holly’s persistence and dedication that she earned them all by the age of 18.”

Celebrate Career & Technical Education Month with CATEC’s Community Night

February is Career & Technical Education Month, and we are celebrating with a special event! Bring your family to tour CATEC, learn more about our career and technical education programs and enjoy dinner on us.

When: Tuesday, February 5th, 5pm-7pm
Where: 1000 East Rio Road, Charlottesville, Va. 22901

Join CATEC at Barnes & Noble on February 8th

stacks of books on shelf

Support CATEC, learn about our programs, and meet the team at our upcoming Barnes & Noble bookfair.

Where: Barnes & Noble’s Barracks Road Location
Friday, February 8th from 10 – 11:30 & 1:45 – 3:00

  • CATEC staff and students will be in store providing demos, services, and giveaways.
  • Come out and support your regional CTE center and learn about our programs for Albemarle County and Charlottesville City high school students AND adults!
  • A percentage of sales through 2/13/2019 will go towards CATEC if you mention us at checkout or use the online code below

Help us spread the word by downloading the flyer & telling your friends.

Can’t attend in person?

Visit BN.COM/bookfairs to support us online from from February 8 – 13, 2019. When you make a purchase, enter Bookfair ID 12486379 at checkout. A percentage of your Barnes & Noble purchases will benefit CATEC.

CATEC Student Awarded Outstanding EMT of the Year

Amanda GimbertCongratulations to CATEC student Amanda Gimbert! Lake Monticello Rescue Squad awarded her the W.R. Copeland Memorial Award for 2018 Outstanding EMT of the Year.

Amanda has served on the Lake Monticello Rescue Squad for the past two years. She is currently a Monticello High School senior enrolled in CATEC’s firefighting class and was in the EMT program last year. Amanda intends to use her EMT and firefighting skills to purse a nursing degree through PVCC.

Here’s what Amanda’s teachers have to say about her:

Amanda was a bright, enthusiastic student in EMT class. She consistently encouraged her classmates to do their best, and pushed herself to do the same. She has excellent teamwork skills and performs equally well as team member and team leader. Amanda did not give up when the course challenged her, instead she pushed harder and worked with her classmates so everyone benefitted and improved. It came as no surprise that Amanda passed her certification test and earned her National Registry EMT certification.” — Catherine Gardner, CATEC EMT instructor

“Amanda is a great student and a leader with excellent firefighting and EMT skills. She has even taught some EMT skills to her firefighting classmates.
– Bobby Elliott, CATEC Firefighting instructor.

Earn to Learn: Construction Expo

Are you 16-18-years-old and interested in the construction trades? Come to CATEC’s “Earn to Learn Construction Expo”! Meet potential employers, learn about career opportunities and plan for your future. Join us for:

  • Hands-on activities in electrical, carpentry, masonry, HVAC, plumbing, and solar
  • Learn about career opportunities, including internships, apprenticeships & full time employment
  • Meet experts in the field
  • Learn from the pros

DATE: Wednesday, November 14
PLACE: CATEC 1000 East Rio Road
TIMES: A.M. 9:30—12:00, P.M. 1:30—3:30

Transportation will be provided for students in Albemarle County and Charlottesville City

For more info or to register for the event talk, to your high school Career Specialist or contact Debbie Gannon at  (434)973-1945

Buy Your Thanksgiving Pie and Support Our Culinary Students

It’s time for the 17th Annual CATEC Culinary Arts Thanksgiving Fundraiser! Treat your family to a delicious pumpkin or apple pie and support our culinary students.

How Do I Get My Pie? 

Place your order by completing this form. Be sure it’s in by Thursday November 14 at 12:00 PM. (Sorry, no exceptions!). Then, pick up at the CATEC Culinary Arts Classroom 1000 Rio Road East at the following times:

  • Friday, November 16, 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
  • Monday, November 19, 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
  • Tuesday, November 20, 9:00 AM-5:30 PM

Payment can be made by cash, check (Made out to CATEC), or credit card.

Questions or Comments?

Please email or leave us a voicemail.
Chef Carol Robbs
Sous Chef Christina Rizzo
(434) 973-4461 ext. 69104

Back to School Open House & Dinner

Join CATEC staff for 2018 Back to School Night! Come tour our facility, meet the instructors, learn about programs, participate in hands-on activities, and enjoy dinner while getting to know the CATEC community. CATEC Instructors are experts in their industry and teach students skills for a lifetime. All students get actual work experience while at CATEC!

Event details:

Time: Wednesday, September 26th from 5:00PM – 7:00PM
Location: CATEC, 1000 East Rio Road Charlottesville, VA

From 5pm to 6pm:
Dinner and an informational session about CATEC offerings:
• Apprenticeships, internships & job shadows
• Dual Enrollment College credits
• PACE Pre-Apprenticeship Summer Program
• School-Wide “Mobile Maker Space” Project

From 6pm-7pm:
Hands-on activities and demonstrations in the program areas

New Grant Helps CATEC Launch New Pre-Apprenticeship Summer Program for Students

A $50,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Education will fund a new summer program designed to expand opportunities for students at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) to earn paid apprenticeships while they also are earning academic and professional certification credits.  

The four week Pre-Apprenticeship PACE program will allow students to gain hands-on experience working with experts in the local construction industry. The program will focus on four areas:  plumbing, air conditioning, carpentry and electrical (PACE).  Students will be paired with professionals, who will serve as mentors to the students.  They also will receive instruction on the Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills as part of their career development training.

CATEC’s Current Apprenticeship Program

Last year, CATEC debuted an apprenticeship program, matching a dozen students with a like number of local companies.  A recent change in state regulations allowed students as young as 16 to participate in apprenticeship-related programs.

“We are excited about the opportunities that our new program will produce for CATEC students,” said Dr. Daphne Keiser, CATEC Director.  “Not only will this program allow us to expand the benefits of hands-on experience and career development to more students but this is another strong step forward in implementing our strategic plan,” she said.  That plan calls for CATEC to work more closely with the business community to meet workforce needs. Many of these positions, Dr. Keiser said, offer both job security and competitive pay rates.

In the current year, CATEC will develop the curriculum and recruit the businesses that will participate in the pre-apprenticeship program

One of those business already is on board.  “The youth apprenticeship program is extremely valuable to any student with an interest in the building trades.  This program takes this interest and turns it into reality by providing an opportunity to learn something practical in the real world and valuable to not only themselves, but for their communities,” said Nathan Dowdy, the Talent Acquisition Manager for Moore’s Electric & Mechanical Construction.  “Completing this program also gives them a leg up on the competition when it comes time to find a company to embark on their career journey,” he added.  

Filling an Industry Need

Shannon Tomlin, the school’s Career Center Specialist, who wrote the grant application, noted that “an overall shortage of workers in the construction trades have left contractors in serious need of qualified men and women who can contribute to a business their first day on the job.  The average age of many of those presently working in the trades is 55 years of age and older. Introducing young people to the skilled trades industry is imperative if we are to continue our community’s economic growth,” she said.

Students in the pre-apprenticeship program will be able to earn the Workplace Readiness Credential from the Career and Technical Education Consortium of States.  They also can test for their Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s OSHA 10 certification online.

Tomlin said the average age of apprentices in the local area is 28 years old but through CATEC’s Youth Apprenticeship Program, a student can become an apprentice as early as their 20th birthday.  

CATEC’s current building trades classes are dual enrolled, meaning that in addition to high school credits, students can earn up to 12 college credits with Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC).   The school also is working on a similar arrangement with John Tyler Community College for budding electricians.

The new program will be available next summer to any CATEC high school  student from either Albemarle County or Charlottesville City public schools.

Make a Wind Turbine at the Wind Energy Challenge

Get a taste of Girl Scouting! Come out to the Wind Energy Challenge and try your hand at building a wind turbine on Saturday, September 29th. Girls will have the opportunity apply their STEM skills to design, build, and test a wind turbine in a wind tunnel. They will also learn about wind energy and talk to industry professionals about what they learned. Awards will be given for the turbine that produces the most energy among other things. Want more fun? Information will also be provided on how you can join a Girl Scout troop in your area.

Registration extended to September 21st!

For more information:

To learn more about the event download the flyer or see the Girl Scout website.

Who: Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors
Fees: Free for Albemarle County and Charlottesville City students. $7 for all others. Adults are free.
When: September 29 from 9am-5pm
Patch/Badge Included: Yes, participants will receive a patch
Registration Closes: September 21, 2018
To Register: Visit the event website

New Video Shares What Our Students Love about CATEC

Watch the video below and hear students from across CATEC describe what they love about their school. They talk about progressing from book work to hands-on experience with CATEC’s auto repair, nursing and culinary programs.  The video also helps younger students understand what to expect from their time at CATEC.  This video was created by a class at Albemarle High School.

Apprenticeship Job Fair on July 18th

student and teacher measure board

Looking for a job that pays well and offers opportunities for growth? Like working with your hands, creating and fixing things? Then a job in the construction trades may be for you! Join us at the Apprenticeship Job Fair at CATEC on July 18th from 4pm-7pm.

Talk to employers about the tremendous amount of opportunities that are available in the local construction industry. Many employers offer paid on-the-job training and benefits. Learn about the fields of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, carpentry and masonry

Employers join us and reserve a table, it is free!

For more information call CATEC: (434) 973-1945. 

CATEC is located at 1000 East Rio Road in Charlottesville VA and is on the Charlottesville Area Transit Route 11 bus route

Sale! Take $10 Off Summer KidsCollege Academies at CATEC

Searching for summer activities for your rising 7th-10th grader? Check out KidsCollege at CATEC and take advantage of our Mother’s Day sale.

From May 13th-31st, register for a STEM or technical academy at CATEC and get:

  • $10 off each academy
  • Free early and late care

Also, scholarships are available for rising tenth graders. Scholarships are based on financial need and funded through the CATEC Foundation.

KidsCollege at CATEC provides students with an in-depth exploration in STEM and technical areas. Hands-on academies will include engineering, auto tech, cooking, firefighting, hair styling, first aid and biology. The academies are held June 18-22 and June 25-29. They are offered as full and half-day options, running from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Check out the full schedule and academy descriptions. To register or learn more about PVCC’s KidsCollege summer STEM, arts and technical academies, visit, email or call 434.961.5354.

You’re Invited! CATEC’s 2018 Completers’ Ceremony

2017 graduates from the CATEC dental program

You are cordially invited to attend the Completers’ Ceremony honoring
2017-2018 CATEC High School Completers & Adult Apprenticeship Graduates

When: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m.
Where: Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center
Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901

The Completers’ Ceremony is CATEC’s graduation acknowledging students who have completed their CATEC trade program. No invitation or ticket will be required for friends and family members to attend.

Family Dinner Reception

There will be a dinner reception for students and family members at 5:00PM in the Charlottesville High School cafeteria (B Commons). Please park in the Performing Arts Center parking lot and walk around to the main entrance of CHS.

Student Attire

Students need to arrive for the Completers’ Ceremony no later than 6:00 PM and should dress in professional attire (business or business casual). High school seniors who are also graduating from their base schools must bring their graduation gowns (but not their caps) to wear during the ceremony. CATEC will provide gowns for undergraduate and homeschooled students who do not already have a graduation gown. Loaned gowns must be returned after the ceremony. There will be a photographer available to take pictures of your child during the ceremony and you will be able to purchase those at a later date.


Please call 434-973-4461 if you have questions. We hope you will join us for this very special event!

CATEC Receives Virginia Dept of Edu Grant

Governor Ralph Northam recently announced $600,000 in competitive grants to help schools upgrade equipment for their career and technical education programs.  CATEC was one of 16 Virginia high schools and technical centers to receive $37,500 to purchase new equipment and to make other necessary improvements.

“These grants will allow students to experience and explore 21st-century career and technical programs and provide valuable opportunities to learn on up-to-date technical equipment,” said Governor Northam. “This is a great step forward in our mission to train Virginia workers for the good jobs that are available now and build an economy that works for every family in every corner of the Commonwealth.”

“We have long recognized the value of CTE programs in providing our students with knowledge and skills to prepare them to be career-ready,” said Acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven M. Constantino.

Learn more about the grants on the Virginia Department of Education website.

CATEC Student Featured by VA Department of Ed

jonathan hughes in firefighter uniform interview

Congrats to Jonathan Hughes! This CATEC grad was featured by the Virginia Department of Education as a “Career Success Star.” Jonathan took CTE courses at CATEC, and he is now a firefighter with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Check out Jonathan’s interview below. He talks about what he enjoys most about his job, how he uses skills from his CATEC training and the challenges he faces every day.

Looking for fun summer activities? Check out KidsCollege at CATEC

This summer, CATEC is offering a wide range of hands-on, skill-based, STEM and technical academies for rising 7th-10th graders. Learn everything from making cupcakes, to firefighting, to splicing DNA. The academies at CATEC run the weeks of June 18-22 and June 25-29.

  • Morning and/or afternoon academies
  • STEM & technical programs
  • Located at CATEC on Rio Road
  • NEW! CATEC Foundation Scholarship

Register by April 2 for an early bird discount:  $10 off every class.

Download the brochure for details on KidsCollege@CATEC

KidsCollege@CATEC is a collaboration between PVCC and CATEC. Visit for more information.

Apply for CATEC Scholarships: Deadline March 29

Planning to continue your studies after CATEC?  If you are currently a senior, post-grad, or adult who is completing a program at CATEC, you are eligible to apply for a scholarship. To be considered, download and complete this packet.

Five of these scholarships are provided by the CATEC Foundation Board and are one-time awards in the amount of $1,000 each.  The two additional scholarships, The Leslie Hughes Walton and Rotary Scholarships, are awards of at least $1,500.

The evaluation criteria include academic success, community service, demonstration of technical skills within your trade, work ethic, teacher recommendation, and financial need.

Complete one application to be considered for the following scholarships:

  • Leslie Hughes Walton ($1,500) — The award is based on grades, what the student intends to do with their education, and financial need.
  • Albemarle County Rotary Club ($1,500) — Financial need, in order to continue the student’s education at a university, college, or technical school, is the one of the main criteria.  There is also a heavy emphasis on community service.
  • CATEC Foundation (4 for $1,000)These scholarships are based on academic success, community service, demonstration of technical skills, work ethic, and financial need.
  • Lance Van de Castle ($1,000) — This recipient must be a Building Trades student in high school or apprenticeship program who is pursuing post-secondary or additional training in that particular trade area. In Mr. Van de Castle’s memory, the student needs to have a “clear desire to do what is right and accept nothing but the best.”

If you have any questions, please contact the front office at 434-973-4461.

Download the application here..

Celebrate GO Skilled Trades Academy Graduation

Join us as we celebrate the graduation of our inaugural GO Skilled Trades Academy cohort! Graduates will offer presentations about their experience in the program, and certificates will be awarded. Food will be provided.

When: March 12, 2018

Where: Charlottesville Area Transit
1545 Avon Street Extended

Parking available in CAT parking lot. Overflow parking in school bus lot.

Please RSVP to Cory Demchak at by Thursday, March 8th.

Learn More about UVA’s Apprenticeship Program

Interested in a career in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, masonry, plumbing or other building trades? Check out UVA Facilities Management Apprenticeship Program.  This four-year program offers highly motivated applicants an opportunity to learn through a combination of on-the-job training, technical education and classroom instruction. Attend the Apprenticeship Job Fair to learn more.

Apprenticeship Job Fair

Interested applicants are invited to attend UVA’s Apprenticeship Job Fair and learn more about the program. Current and graduate apprentices as well as members of facilities management team will be available to share insights and answer questions.

When: March 6, 2018 from 9-11 a.m.
Where: UVA Alumni Hall
211 Emmet St. South, Charlottesville


Applicants must be able to meet the physical requirements for their prospective trades. They must be a high school graduate or hold a General Educational Development (GED) certificate and be at least 18 years of age by the time new apprentices begin work.

This year, UVA is accepting applications for apprentices in the following fields:

  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Masonry
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing

Apply at Learn more about the program at

CATEC’s EMT Program Featured on Local News

CBS News 19 recently covered the return of CATEC’s EMT program. The story features video and interviews with the program’s students and teacher Catherine Gardner, who relaunched the course for the 2017-2018 school year.

“They’re getting an education that’s a little different from high school classes,” Gardner told CBS News 19. “They’re going to get a whole lot of critical thinking, very hands on and a lot of adult experiences.”

Check out the full story here.

Teen Job & Internship Fair

Teen Opportunities Fair is a great chance to learn about jobs, internships and volunteer experiences. Get help lining up opportunities for this summer. Be sure to bring copies of your resume and dress professionally.

March 22
at CATEC (1000 East Rio Road)

Don’t have a car? Don’t worry. CATEC is accessible by bus route 11.

This event is brought to you by:

Community Night and Soul Feast

Travel through CATEC and feed your soul!  Community Night is an excellent opportunity to learn about CATEC’s programs and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018,
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

1000 East Rio Road,
Charlottesville, VA 22901


You will be given a CATEC passport that will get stamped at each program stop. Be sure to check out the progress on Technical Eats’ CATEC Food Bus!

Use your competed CATEC passport to enter a raffle & dine at the “soul food” dinner buffet. The meal is catered by Angelic’s Kitchen and CATEC Culinary! Enjoy music from the Music Resource Center (MRC) student band.

Find out if you are a lucky winner of one our program area raffle items!

Place Your Order for CATEC’s 16th Annual Thanksgiving Fundraiser

Happy Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, this year’s ordering deadline has passed. Please keep CATEC in mind for your 2018 celebration.

CATEC’s Culinary Arts students want to take the stress out of your Thanksgiving. Order your favorite Thanksgiving dish and support our culinary program.

How to Order and Pick-Up

To place your order, complete this online order form. All orders must be placed by noon on Thursday, November 16th, 2017. Supplies are limited and no late orders will be accepted.

Pick up is located at the CATEC Culinary Arts Classroom at 1000 Rio Road East. Pick-up times are:

  • Monday, November 20 from 3:30 PM-7:00 PM
  • Tuesday, November 21 from 3:30 PM-7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017 from 7:00a-11:00a.
    Have questions? Email CATEC Culinary Arts program.

Instructions for reheating will be provided.

Side Dishes

Apple Walnut Sausage Stuffing: $11.25 2lbs (serves 6-8)
Fresh Mashed Potatoes: $9.75 2lbs (serves 4-6
Green Beans with fresh herbs/nuts: $11.25 2lbs (serves 6-8)
Macaroni and Cheese: $10.75 2lbs (serves 5-7)
Homemade Cranberry-Apple Orange Relish 1 lb: $ 8.75 (serves 6-8)

Main Dishes

Sliced All White Meat Roasted Turkey Breast w/gravy: $22.00 2lbs (serves 4-6)


No time to bake your favorite pie for Thanksgiving? Let the Culinary Arts students at CATEC do it for you!
Pecan Pie: $13.25
Pumpkin Pie: $10.50
Traditional Apple Pie: $10.50


Country Ham Biscuits w/ Dijonaise sauce (2”): $9.00 per dozen

Announcing Parent Teacher Conference Week

November 6th-10th is Parent Teacher Conference Week at CATEC. (Albemarle County and Charlottesville City are holding conferences on Tuesday, November 7).

CATEC teachers will be available for conferences during the school day (8:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m.) on Tuesday, November 7. However, if you cannot make November 7,  please make an appointment to meet with your student’s teacher another time during the week.

To do so, please download, print and complete this letter with your preferred date and time.  Then, detach the bottom and ask you student to return the slip to his/her CATEC teacher. The form will also be sent home with all CATEC students on Monday, October 30.

School Bus to Food Truck Project Awarded $25K Grant

The SkillsUSA grant program, which funds projects for students learning trades, awarded CATEC $25,000 to help pay for the conversion of a retired school bus into a food truck.

The grant puts CATEC well on its way to funding the school-bus-turned-food-truck project. CATEC was also awarded a $5,000 grant from the Shannon Foundation in August.

CATEC’s food truck project involves students from the school’s many different programs. Culinary students will prepare the food, and auto tech students will outfit the bus for service.  The bus project will also involve health and medical students, who will plan the menu, and students in the Cisco lab, who will design a program to track sales. Students will also host a “fill the bus” food drive benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

CATEC is one of 31 schools nationwide to receive a SkillsUSA grant. This year’s SkillsUSA’s grants were funded by Lowe’s and given to projects that build the skills of students learning trades. To apply for a grant, students completed a written application, detailing why their project is important, how it will be conducted and the outcomes and benefits. Finalists were selected based on their proposal and plans.

To learn more about the SkillsUSA, see their website. 

Blood Drive to Benefit American Red Cross

CATEC’s Health and Medical Science Academy students are hosting a blood drive to benefit the American Red Cross. Help save lives by donating blood. Please call 434-973-4461 or email to schedule a time. Walk-ins are welcome, but there may be a wait.

When: October 24, 2017, 9am-3pm

Where: CATEC Auditorium, 1000 East Rio Rd., Charlottesville, Virginia



Join CATEC’s Back to School Community Bash

Celebrate back to school at CATEC. Bring a friend and tell your neighbors. They will not want to miss the fun!

Back to School Bash

Saturday 9/23 (rain or shine)


  • Antique car show by the Charlottesville chapter of the Piedmont Antique Auto Club of America
  • Free bouncy house, face painting and popcorn and snow cones
  • The Mighty Joshua Band performs 10:00 am to noon
  • Food Trucks
  • Enter for a chance to win gift baskets. ($1 each or 6 for $5). Winners announced at 12:30 a.m. No need to be present to win.
  • Local fire, police and Air Force simulator on-hand
  • Yard and craft sale

We are looking for sponsors, vendors and community organizations.

We are having a yard and craft sale. Register for space by calling (434) 973-4461 or visit $20 for space with no table and $25 for space with 8’ table.

CATEC’s Culinary Class Hosts Hurricane Harvey Relief Benefit

Join us on Thursday, September 7th from 5-8 p.m. at CATEC. Our Culinary Arts class is offering a spaghetti supper to the community. All net proceeds will benefit the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Dine with us, or order it to go. Cash or checks only, please.

RSVPs preferred, but walk-ins welcome. Call 434-973-4461 to RSVP.

Dinner includes spaghetti (meat or meatless), salad, dinner rolls, assorted desserts, water, coffee & tea. Prices are:

Family of 4: $20.00
Adult: $7.00
Children under 10: $4.00

CATEC Students Transform School Bus into a Food Truck

Work on CATEC’s new school-bus-turned-food-truck will begin in earnest next month, but the program is already attracting attention from the Charlottesville community.  The project has gotten coverage in local media, such as Charlottesville Tomorrow and Newsplex, and been awarded a grant.

The new project reaches across disciplines at CATEC. Culinary students will prepare the food, and students in the auto technician program will prepare the bus for service.  Health and medical students will plan a nutritious menu, and students in the Cisco lab will design the computer program to track sales and plan business. The truck should  be ready to serve the public next spring.

Shannon Foundation awarded the program a $5,000 grant, and CATEC is exploring additional fundraising options.

Read more about the new program on Newsplex’s website.

CATEC Selected for Dominion Energy’s Solar for Students Program

CATEC recently joined Dominion Energy’s “Solar for Students” program, which gives students the chance to learn firsthand about harnessing solar energy from a solar array installed outside the school.

CATEC was one of five public schools in Virginia, as well as one children’s museum, to join the program this year. Four public schools piloted the program in 2015.

Dominion Energy’s “Solar for Students” presents an exciting opportunity to teach students about renewable energy.  Through this program, CATEC and PVCC (Piedmont Virginia Community College) will provide specialized, hands-on solar training, enabling program graduates to pursue careers in the growing renewable energy sector. 

CATEC will use on-site educational photovoltaic and on-line display systems to train students in solar system installation, maintenance, and energy usage monitoring and analysis.  The system will be an addition to CATEC Building Trades Labs, which currently offer electrical, plumbing, HVAC, masonry and carpentry training.
solar-presentaionBoth Albemarle County Schools and Charlottesville City Schools have embraced solar energy and expanded what students learn about renewable energy.  The program will give CATEC students a strong start towards a career in renewable energy, a fast-growing industry in Central Virginia.

To learn more, visit Read the full news release on Dominion Energy’s website.

CATEC to Receive Shannon Foundation Grant

CATEC is pleased to announce that it has been selected to receive a $5,000.00 SHANNON FOUNDATION grant for the 2017-2018 school year for our project, CATEC Food Bus. The Foundation has scheduled an awards ceremony for Friday, August 18th at 10 a.m. at CATEC. The Edgar and Eleanor Shannon Foundation for Excellence in Public Education ,Charlottesville/Albemarle exists to help outstanding educators model and inspire a love of learning in their classrooms.

CATEC Scholarship Winners Announced

At the CATEC Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2017, the following students were announced as recipients of the following scholarships for the 2017-18 school year:

  • Albemarle County Rotary Club Foundation Scholarship – Mark McGill
  • Leslie H. Walton Memorial Scholarship – Skye Taylor
  • Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Foundation Scholarship – Grace Feazell, Nicholas Green, Leanna Knisley, and Liam Kidd

A big congratulations to them all!