News & Events

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 pvcc.edu/kidscollege, email kidscollege@pvcc.edu 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.

Questions? 

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

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