News & Events

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:

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.

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.”

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.

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.

News & Events

  • November 25: Southwest Cosmetology Festival
  • November 27-29:  Thanksgiving Break
  • December 10: Center Board Meeting 6:00
  • December 23, 2019: January 3, 2020: Winter Break
  • January 17, 2020: End of Second Marking Period
  • January 20, 2020: No School
  • January 21, 2020: Teacher Work Day
  • January 21, 2020: Center Board Meeting