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.”