DATE: February 2, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Career Readiness and Career Options Are on the Menu When CATEC Opens Its Doors to the Community on Tuesday Evening, Feb. 6

CATEC Food Bus, Technical Eats
CATEC Food Bus, "Technical Eats"

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – A recent community survey revealed that among the top educational priorities for both parents and students are programs that prepare students for a wide range of high-potential career options. Next Tuesday evening, between 5 and 7 p.m., visitors will get an up-close look at how program offerings at CATEC are meeting this objective.

The evening is called “Community Night and Soul Feast,” and in addition to a buffet, complete with music, the menu will include information on CATEC’s highly popular program offerings. February is CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month across the nation, and guests will be able to see how CATEC is developing its high school and adult education experience for students with the workplace skills that will continue to be in high demand.

“We are calling our family event “Travel CATEC and Feed Your Soul,” says Dr. Daphne Keiser, the Center’s Director. “Visitors will be able to travel around CATEC to learn more about the outstanding educational options linked to our programs.” Dr. Keiser noted that these programs prepare students for success in such high-demand fields as IT, dentistry, pharmacy, emergency medical, firefighting, medical careers, building trades, electrical, and automotive.

Many of the programs offer paid apprenticeships and community college dual enrollment so that students earn both high school and college credits. Programs offer career training and certifications that allow students to enter the workforce or continuing education at more advanced levels.

One of this year’s newest projects is CATEC’s food bus, “Technical Eats,” which will be on the road later this spring. On Tuesday evening, visitors will get a glance at the retired Albemarle County school bus that has been transformed into a traveling café. The food bus comes from a collaboration of students and staff in culinary, automotive, building trades, electrical, IT, and other CATEC program areas.

In addition to information on the various courses and career opportunities offered by CATEC, community members will be able to sample a “Soul Food” buffet dinner prepared by local caterer, Angelic’s Kitchen, and CATEC culinary students. Entertainment will be provided by the Music Resource Center students, and there will be program area raffle prizes.

CATEC’s mission is to develop workforce skills and careers for both high school students and adults. In partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College and major area employers, the school provides students with a wide range of academic and technical skills that prepare them for success in college and/or immediate high-quality professional opportunities with regional businesses.

“Recent economic data show that in our Charlottesville-Albemarle region, and throughout Central Virginia, we are making impressive gains. We live in an area that is continuing to grow. This not only increases our ability to partner with local businesses, but also expands the career options that are available to our students after graduation,” Dr. Keiser said.

The number of Albemarle County Public Schools students who took a career and technical education class either at CATEC or their base school increased by 18 percent last year. There are now nearly 4,000 students enrolled in a CTE class, and in 2016-17, these students took almost 6,000 CTE courses.

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