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The success of CATEC's High School and Adult Education and Apprenticeship programs relies heavily on CATEC's relationships with local organizations and our community partners. We strive to develop strong relationships with local businesses that provide guidance, support, and work and training opportunities for our students.
We work with Albemarle County Public Schools and Charlottesville City Schools to provide academically rigorous courses that seamlessly works with students' interests, career goals, and academic needs. High school students can successfully complete a hands-on learning experience through our programs, including opportunities for real-world, work-based learning experiences, including mentorships, job shadows, internships, and apprenticeships. Students can earn industry credentials, making CATEC students marketable upon graduation.
CATEC's High School program has dual-enrollment agreements with four local community colleges, allowing many students to earn free college credit while in high school. On average, CATEC students earn 11 dual enrollment credits. Working with Piedmont Virginia Community College, Reynolds Community College, Blue Ridge Community College, and Central Virginia Community College, students have opportunities to push their academic skills as well as prepare themselves for their post-secondary career path. These community colleges offer academic programs CATEC students can successfully transition into upon graduation. Additionally, some of our programs have articulation agreements with out-of-state post-secondary trade schools. For more information about education pathways for our programs, visit the High School page.
CATEC appreciates the time and dedication of the Charlottesville community organizations that have helped improve our facility and broadened our students’ opportunities. The following summarizes our most recent community partner contributions that positively impact our academic opportunities:
Each year, the Elk’s Lodge donates hundreds of pairs of safety glasses for student use. Safety glasses are distributed to students in CATEC’s skilled trade classes.
In spring 2018 and 2019, Charlottesville’s Rotary Club collaborated with CATEC’s Career Development program to provide mock job interview experiences for students. Rotarians volunteered to act as mock interviewers so students could practice their interviewing skills. The Career Development program is a school-wide endeavor that provides workplace readiness and career development training to all students.
In fall 2019, CATEC’s Culinary Arts program was the recipient of The Dominion Energy Foundation’s Environmental Education Stewardship Grants Program. This grant awarded the Culinary Arts program $5,000 for its CATEC Culinary Commons, an indoor-outdoor learning and community space designed to expand students’ experiences into indoor, hydroponic, and organic gardening.
In fall 2020, Management Service Corporation (MSC) continued work on the CATEC Culinary Commons by participating in the United Way’s Day of Caring. 15 MSC employees constructed garden beds and planted herbs behind the Culinary Arts kitchen.
In fall 2020, CATEC also established a relationship with Cultivate Charlottesville, a local nonprofit organization that engages youth and community in building equitable and sustainable food systems through community gardens. Cultivate Charlottesville will build additional gardens on CATEC’s land and provide produce to the Culinary Arts program.
Local employers help CATEC students graduate well prepared to compete in the local and global workforce. Each academic program relies on its Advisory Board, a group of local business partners, to ensure students are meeting industry needs, using up-to-date equipment and supplies, and accessing work-based learning opportunities, including Youth Registered Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships. Our local business partners make these experiences possible.
In the past year, our business partners have supported our students in a variety of ways. Our business partners donate their time and supplies to support our SkillsUSA District competitions. They also support our programs through our guest speaker series and interview experiences. Recent community support includes:
Equipment and Supplies
When business partners donate equipment and supplies to CATEC programs, students are guaranteed an enriched learning experience. Preparing students with the most up-to-date equipment gives them an advantage when entering the workforce.
Individuals living in our community who understand the value CATEC has in providing real-world training make donations to our programs as well. In the last two years, community members have donated six vehicles to CATEC’s Automotive Body Repair and Automotive Service Technology programs. These vehicles are used for students’ hands-on skills practice in the lab.
CATEC prides itself on ensuring that 100% of our high school students receive work-based learning experiences. Local businesses can partner with high school students through mentorships, job shadows, internships, or Youth Registered Apprenticeships. CATEC programs encourage local businesses to participate in guest speaker series to share information about real-life industry experiences and expectations. Businesses can also partner with adult students through CATEC’s Adult Education and Apprenticeship programs. CATEC consistently serves the academic needs of more than 200 apprentices each semester. CATEC’s Apprenticeship programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and provide employer-sponsors and their employees with required related technical instruction hours needed to satisfy a full apprenticeship program. There are currently 55 local businesses that send apprentices to CATEC for instruction. In recent years, 23 CATEC high school graduates have returned to continue learning through its adult Apprenticeship training courses.
Becoming a CATEC-affiliated employer benefits both CATEC students and local businesses. As businesses look to hire top-notch employees and build a strong local economy, they can become an integral part of sustaining the school-to-work pipeline at CATEC. Advisory Board members have opportunities to provide guidance and make curriculum recommendations that can help a business's potential new hires. CATEC programs work with local business partners to provide job interview opportunities for students as well. CATC consistently works to connect local businesses with ready-to-work students. High school students have internship and apprenticeship opportunities where they simultaneously receive high school and college credit, earn income, and receive post-secondary employment offers. Entering its third year, CATEC’s School-to-Work Signing Day event celebrates students’ hard work at CATEC and their continual professionalism in the workplace as they enter into formal commitments to enter employment with local businesses.
Building relationships with CATEC also affords training opportunities for a business's current workforce. CATEC is a certified training site for many continuing education exams and offers post-secondary education opportunities to employees through its Adult Education and Apprenticeship programs.
BECOME A COMMUNITY PARTNER
Becoming a CATEC-affiliated employer benefits CATEC students as well as local businesses. As businesses looking to hire top-notch employees and build a strong local economy, employers can become an integral part of sustaining the education-to-employment pipeline. Joining a program's Advisory Board allows employers to provide guidance and make curriculum recommendations that can help a business's potential new hires. Businesses can partner with high school students through mentorships, job shadows, internships, or Youth Registered Apprenticeships. Businesses can partner with adult students through its Adult Education and Apprenticeship programs.
To view our community partners, click here.
If you are interested in becoming a community partner, click here to complete an interest form and email it to one of the following:
Stephanie Carter, CATEC Director, by email or call (434) 973-4461
Shannon Tomlin, CATEC Adult Education and Apprenticeship Programs Manager, by email or call (434) 973-1945
CATEC is supported by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Foundation (CATEF). CATEF supports CATEC's mission through its School-to-Work Signing Day Event, scholarship opportunities, and various other activities. To learn more about CATEF, volunteer to supports its mission, or want to donate, visit the CATEF webpage here.