The Pennsylvania School Code of 1949, as amended, authorized the formation of area vocational technical schools. The Altoona Area Vocational-Technical School was founded in 1966 by agreement between the Altoona Area School District and the Bellwood-Antis School District. Thirty years later in 1996 an institutional name change took place. The school is now known as the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center (GACTC). There are currently eight school districts that jointly sponsor the GACTC.
The board of governance, known as the Joint Operating Committee (JOC), is comprised of twenty members representing the respective school boards of the eight sponsoring school districts.
The GACTC offers twenty-seven approved secondary programs on a half-day basis and a number of full time adult "Career in a Year"; programs. An intergenerational initiative also allows adults to enroll in secondary programs.
The GACTC has institutional accreditation through the Middle States Association of Secondary Schools. A number of individual programs meet specific industry skill standards and hold additional certifications.