CATEC students learning skills by working on a food truck

CATEC students learning skills by working on a food truck

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Students at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) are celebrating Career and Technical Education Month by showcasing their culinary skills on the center’s Technical Eats Food Bus, preparing meals for teachers and community members. The skills they learn on the bus, however, will translate when students are off the bus, into any job they choose.

“We’ve learned a lot about teamwork and working together when we’re preparing recipes, which is really great for when you really do go to work, because you have that teamwork already,” Kaitlyn Bishop said.

Bishop is one of several students manning the bus, serving Cuban sandwiches and berry hibiscus teas.

“The Technical Eats Food Bus is a food truck, essentially, and it travels around the city,” CATEC Director Stephanie Carter said. “Students prepare the food and they expedite the food, and they get to practice customer service in a restaurant-type of experience that’s not stationary in one place.”

Not only are they learning how to whip up a good meal, they’re also learning how to craft a good resume, too.

“Our students today will be able to put on their resumes that they are serve-safe certified. So they can work on the food bus, and we actually count this as work experience because they are planning, making, serving, utilizing money skills that all make them marketable to get employed in this industry, but any industry beyond this one,” Amanda Jay, coordinator of CATEC’s Career Development Program, said.

Jay says most people will have at least 17 different jobs in their lifetime, and what students are learning at CATEC now is beneficial for any job they’ll hold in the future.

“What makes people most marketable and satisfied in their job is having really strong workplace skills, and those are the transferable skills that allow them to move from job to job and have the job satisfaction that they’re looking for,” Jay said.

As a CATEC student with a resume that could get her anywhere, Bishop said, for now, she’ll stick with culinary arts.

”I hope to stick with culinary, I don’t know in the future though, but I think I’m going to work with that a lot more,” Bishop said.

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