Building Trades

High-Demand Careers

All October CATEC celebrated 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.

Skilled craftspeople are in demand nationwide. 70% 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 construction 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%.

CATEC Building Trades and Electricity

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 Electricity 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.

Academic Integration

The 2021-2022 school year has kicked off academic integration into the Building Trades program. Students enrolled in Building Trades have the option of taking Geometry embedded into their class. Students use geometric concepts and formulas to solve practical programs related to the core building trades of masonry, carpentry, electricity, and plumbing. During semester 2, students will prepare for the Geometry SOL. Electricity students also have the option of embedding Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis into their class. Students use algebraic functions and analyze data to solve practical problems related to installing and maintaining residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems.  

Electricity students receive 9 college credits from Piedmont Virginia Community College. Students in both Building Trades and Electricity program are OSHA-10 certified and receive certifications in NCCER curriculum by the end of the school year. 

Community Partnerships

Local businesses are constantly seeking out students to intern and hire for their companies. The construction industry is robust in the Charlottesville area and CATEC students are in high demand. Each May, Building Trades and Electrical students participate in CATEC’s School-to-Work Signing Day, an event that celebrates students who commit to entering the workforce with local companies. In 2021, five students from these programs participated in Signing Day, with work commitments to local HVAC, electrical, and construction companies. Students received a free pair of Red Wing Shoes and received recognition on local media.


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.


CATEC is a regional technical education center that helps high school students and adults obtain the jobs they seek. Students have opportunities to practice hands-on and work-based learning activities alongside academically-driven curricula. CATEC prides itself on its built-in value, equity-based programs, and contribution to students' learning journeys.