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Founded in 1973, Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is a regional technical education center that helps high school students and adults obtain the jobs they seek. To learn more about our High School and Adult Education and Apprenticeship Programs, visit our CATEC Promotional Videos page. You can view our local media coverage and read our monthly newsletters here.


The High School offers 9 programs wherein students have opportunities to practice hands-on and work-based learning activities alongside academically-driven curricula that prepare students to enter the workforce and/or continue their education. This is enhanced through partnerships with post-secondary institutions and employers. Students have opportunities to enrich their academic learning by participating in work-based experiences that include job shadows, internships, and apprenticeships.

Students who attend and complete CATEC programs have the opportunity to receive recognized certifications or credentials in their industry. These credentials are a valuable tool to gain full-time employment in growth industries with livable wages. Students finishing select CATEC programs receive, on average, 11 dual-enrollment college credits from local community colleges. Additionally, each CATEC program integrates career preparation through its workplace soft skills curriculum, providing students with professional development designed to help them begin their careers work-ready.

High School programs are currently offered at CATEC's main campus and at satellite campuses, with transportation to and from base school provided. Because CATEC is jointly owned by the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville, it serves students from both school divisions free of charge.

Click here to visit our High School page.


Adult Education and Apprenticeship programs are offered at CATEC's main campus. Training covers a range of technical education courses. The career and technical offerings will help lifelong learners: enhance current skills, gain new knowledge for increased job marketability, continue life-long learning, make life more enjoyable, or simply have fun. CATEC provides a positive place for post-secondary learning. Apprenticeship programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and provide employer sponsors and their employees with the required related technical instruction hours needed to satisfy a full Apprenticeship program.

Click here to visit our Adult Education and Apprenticeship Programs page.


CATEC prides itself on its built-in value, equity-based programs, and contribution to students' learning journeys.


CATEC provides built-in value. Students obtain work-based and project-based learning opportunities, workplace readiness training for a 21st century workforce, and industry-recognized certifications and credentials. 100% of our students receive work-based learning experiences, whether it is through field trips, guest speakers, internships, job shadows, Youth Registered Apprenticeships, or workplace readiness lessons.


CATEC is equitable. Our diverse learning community offers access to industry training, professionalism, and credentialing to all students, preparing them for living-wage and growth-driven careers in our community. Reflecting Charlottesville’s diverse population, CATEC allows all students opportunities for academic training in the industries of their choice.


CATEC is an important step in a student’s learning journey. A CATEC education links students’ previous learning experiences to their life goals by providing quality and affordable learning opportunities. CATEC offers programs that provide dual-enrollment opportunities for students through local community colleges. These credits allow students to seamlessly matriculate into college coursework when they choose.


CATEC, in partnership with local community colleges and major employers, will serve as part of the regional training ladder across a range of CTE academies designed to result in employability within regional businesses and to give access to continued post-secondary training.


CATEC’s mission is to develop workforce skills and careers for both high school students and adults. CATEC is dedicated to preparing its students for quality career employment and lifelong learning.


CATEC programs are offered in conjunction with academic courses at area high schools to broaden students' learning experiences and meet the needs of our local community. Programs are competency-based and provide opportunities for students to gain new knowledge and skills. In order to complete a program at CATEC, students must master specific competencies or tasks as identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Competencies for each program have been reviewed and approved by business, trade, and education representatives. This review ensures that CATEC students are adequately prepared to enter the work force and are ready to continue to study further in a specific technical area and/or college. State competencies may be found at: http://www.cteresource.org/verso

The student will:

  • Become skilled in a career area of personal choice.

  • Develop creative and critical thinking skills.

  • Accept personal responsibility for behavior and learning.

  • Continue to learn and adapt to change.

  • Learn to respect the rights of others.

  • Gain self-esteem through achievement.

  • Prepare for licensure/certification where appropriate.

  • Learn to work in teams and develop leadership skills.

CATEC is operated by Albemarle County Public Schools and Charlottesville City Schools. Our center serves students in central Virginia from nearly a dozen schools:


Stacey Heltz

Dr. Stacey Heltz

Kyle James

 Kyle James
Assistant Principal

Shannon Tomlin

Shannon Tomlin
Adult Education and Apprenticeship Program Manager



The Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Foundation (CATEF) supports CATEC High School and Adult Education and Apprenticeship Programs. To learn more and to support CATEF in its mission to provide support to CATEC by advancing career and technical education training, job placement opportunities, meeting professional needs, and helping aspiring tradespeople in Central Virginia, click here.



Piedmont Virginia Community College is a nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia – principally residents of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson.


Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge Community College serves the residents of the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Comprehensive programs of instruction include associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in occupational/technical and college/university transfer programs.


Established in 1966, Central Virginia Community College is a two-year state community college located in Lynchburg, Virginia and is part of the Virginia Community College System. CVCC offers 80 associate degree and career certificate programs.