Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College has served as the community’s premier technical educator for many years. Originally funded by a bond election, the institution was established on April 3, 1958 and began serving students September 1, 1959 as the Asheville-Buncombe Industrial Education Center.

Following legislation creating the North Carolina System of Community Colleges that was enacted in 1963 by the General Assembly, the name was changed on January 9, 1964 to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute. This legislation enabled the College to confer the Associate in Applied Science degree for the first time at graduation ceremonies in August 1964.

The Board of Trustees approved a third name change to Asheville-Buncombe Technical College on August 6, 1979. A final name change occurred November 2, 1987 when the Board of Trustees approved Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, an action that became official when endorsed by the Buncombe County Commissioners on November 3, 1987.

In October 1988, the College received approval to offer associate degree programs. In September 1989, the College enrolled its first class for the Associate in Science degree. The Associate in Arts degree was first offered during summer quarter 1990-91.

On January 18, 1990, A-B Tech officially opened a site in Madison County. The College had served the county out of temporary quarters at the Marshall Elementary School since December 12, 1984.

By the fall term of 1997, the College had reengineered all programs and converted to the semester system.

On October 23, 2000, BASF Corporation donated nearly 37 acres and three buildings to A-B Tech to establish a satellite site in Enka that includes a Business Development and Incubation Program, a Small Business Center, pro bono professional services, a student incubation program, a technology training and conference center, a bio-business center, an institute for sustainability and technology, and a commercial kitchen.

On November 8, 2011, voters approved a quarter of one cent sales tax increase to fund a $129 million construction campaign to provide 21st century facilities to train students for 21st century jobs.