Career Tech Academy

Explore Opportunities. Empower Your Future.

The Career Tech Academy (CTA) is a year-long, hands-on training program for high school juniors and seniors from Charlotte, Halifax, and Mecklenburg Counties. Through hands-on training, students gain in-demand job skills in Automation & Robotics, Energy Systems Technology, Information Technology (IT), HVAC and Welding (currently welding is only available to Halifax County students). After completing year one training as juniors, students may return for their senior year to enroll in level 2, Work-Based Learning or they may pursue a different level one training program.

Students may earn high school and community college credit, a Career Studies Certificate through Danville and Southside Virginia Community Colleges, and industry recognized certifications. The CTA experience follows the framework of the Virginia Department of Education’s requirements for Profile of a Virginia Graduate, incorporating the 5 C’s: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Citizenship.

This roadmap illustrates the many opportunities available to students through the Career Tech Academy.

Year 1 CTA Student Experience

Year 1 students work in real workplace labs and utilize soft skills to prepare them with the knowledge and certifications required for employment in southern Virginia’s manufacturing and technology industries. Students attend classes at the SVHEC from 8:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m., Monday-Friday, then return to their home high schools for the remainder of the instructional day. In the Career Tech Academy we don’t sit–we do. That means students are engaged in active, hands-on learning working with their mind and their hands. We provide students with the freedom to explore career opportunities and the support they need to be successful.

Year 2 CTA Student Experience

The focus of a Year 2 CTA student (seniors only) is to enhance the hands-on experience in the workforce through apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing or mentoring. Year 2, Work-Based Learning students are matched with regional employers, and go to their work sites three days a week to participate in a hands-on, real-world work experience. While at their work site, students function as employees applying the knowledge and skills gained in their Year 1 training, and learning new workplace success skills.

Automation & Robotics

Automation & Robotics teaches the principles of robotic technology and the integration of robotics into automated systems. The program’s curriculum is vendor-neutral meaning students learn how to apply the principles taught no matter what equipment they encounter in the workforce. Students may earn 19 college credits from Danville Community College, and a Career Studies Certificate.

In-demand skills acquired include:

  • Installation and configuration
  • Programming and coding
  • Troubleshooting automated and robotic systems

Automation & Robotics training will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs, including:

  • Robotics Technician
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Manufacturing Troubleshooter

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

**HVAC is currently only available to Halifax County students

In this program you’ll learn HVAC principles and processes, and develop in-demand skills that will last you a lifetime. Students will earn 19 community college credits and have the opportunity to earn several industry recognized credentials including NCCER HVAC Level 1 & 2, EPA 608 Refrigeration, and OSHA 10.

In-demand skills acquired include:

  • Heating & Cooling
  • Air Distribution
  • Basic Maintenance
  • Refrigerants & Oils
  • Compressors
  • Leak Detection, Evacuation, Recovery, and Charging
HVAC training will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs, including:
  • HVAC Repair Technician
  • HVAC Installation Technician
  • HVAC Mechanic
  • HVAC Helper

Information Technology

Real workplace labs and soft skills prepare individuals with the knowledge and certifications required for employment in Southern Virginia’s growing information technology industry. Students can earn their CompTIA IT Fundamentals, CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Server+ certifications.

In-demand skills acquired include:
  • Hardware Repair
  • Installing & Configuring Operating Systems
  • Cable Termination & Testing
  • Wireless Networking
  • Configuring Servers
  • Managing Servers & RAID
  • Security
  • Virtualization
Information Technology training will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs, including:
  • Data Center Technician
  • Network Administrator
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • IT Specialist
  • Help Desk Support
  • PC Technician

Energy Systems Technology

In this program you will learn about all modes of energy and energy transmission used in modern technology. Training in Energy Systems Technology gives you the skills needed to pursue a career in one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States. Possible career opportunities include energy, automation, industrial maintenance, and utility technician. Explore other energy careers through the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium.

In-demand skills acquired include:

  • Energy Generation, Transmission, & Distribution
  • Electrical Circuits & Theory
  • Conductors & Cable
  • Electrical Drawings
  • Residential Wiring
  • Motor Controls
  • Principles of Energy
  • Hydraulics & Pneumatics
  • PLCs
  • Electrical & Mechanical Components
  • Digital & Analog Fundamentals

Energy Systems Technology training will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs, including:

  • Electrical & Electronics Engineering Technician
  • Electrician
  • Industry Machinery Mechanic
  • Maintenance & Repair
  • Smart Operator


**Welding is currently only available to Halifax County High School students.

Welding introduces students to the fundamentals of welding principles and processes including Stick, MIG, and TIG welding. A heavy emphasis is placed on safety and students receive OSHA-10 General Safety instruction.

In-demand skills acquired include:

  • Stick welding
  • MIG welding
  • TIG welding
  • Construction math
  • Blueprint reading
  • Safety

Pursuing welding training will open the doors to a variety of careers including:

  • Welder in the Construction Industry
  • Pipe Welder
  • Underwater Welder
  • Welding Educator
  • Welding Inspector

Contact Us

To learn more, please contact:

Mecklenburg County Public Schools

Krystal Patton, CTE Coordinator
(434) 447.1295

Halifax County Public Schools

Rebecca SaundersCTE Coordinator
(434) 575.2013

Charlotte County Public Schools

Julianna Reeves, Guidance Counselor
(434) 542.4111 ext. 4120

For all other questions and concerns, please reach out to:

Rosa Dunn, CTA Director

(434) 572.5506