HEIMAT abroad | Sommer 2019


Apprenticeship in the US
James Freeman | German American Chamber of Commerce New York
Beschreibung: German-style apprenticeship programs are coming to the U.S.

Companies thrive when they have long-term, skilled employees, but the manufacturing industry has been struggling to find skilled workers for quite some time. Apprenticeship programs are a potential solution to this problem. In Germany, such programs are common practice, but German-style apprenticeships are a relatively new idea in the U.S.

Programs such as the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) are offering such employment and training opportunities. ICATT is the leading apprenticeship program in the Midwest for high-tech manufacturers and companies with complex technologies or logistics. Its mission is to provide companies with skilled talent, increase employee retention and harness growth opportunities. Apprentices receive a salary, a debt-free associate degree, industry-specific certifications and the opportunity to full-time employment directly after graduating and pursuing a career with upward mobility.

About half of all jobs created by German affiliates in the U.S. are in manufacturing. Yet, manufacturing companies struggle to fill open positions with skilled workers, partly due to the retirement of older workers and economic expansion. A study from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte predicts that by 2025, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled. Another problem that workers in the U.S. face is student debt. Massive debt accumulated through an education at an expensive four-year college is a big concern for many in the U.S. According to Forbes, the total student loan debt in the U.S. exceeds $1.5 trillion.

Benefits of Apprenticeship Programs Apprenticeship programs address both of these concerns head-on. Most ICATT Network Companies offer a two-year employment guarantee after the apprentice completes the program. The ICATT Apprenticeship Program is the first in Nebraska to be fully benchmarked on the renowned German Dual Education System. The program has tripled in size since its inception in 2015, adding 26 companies and four colleges in 2018. The first cohort of apprentices graduated last year. Nebraska joins Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin as states with companies participating in the program.

Eastern Millwork Enters Partnership to Develop Joint Apprenticeship Program

GACC NY member Eastern Millwork (EMI) has forged a partnership with Hudson County Community College (HCCC) and Pittsburgh State University (PSU) to develop and implement a joint apprenticeship program.

GACC NY CEO & President Dietmar Rieg attended a May 15 ceremony at EMI‘s Jersey City, NJ facility to mark the launch of the partnership. NJ Governor Phil Murphy, David Gill, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany and Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop also participated in the event.

EMI‘s five-year, dual-education program kicks off this July. Apprentices will have a starting salary of $24,000 and earn up to $70,000 after the fifth year. They will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Architectural Manufacturing from HCCC in four years and have their Bachelor’s degree in Advanced Manufacturing Management (AMM) from PSU in the fifth year. As full-time employees, the apprentices will receive full benefits – paid vacation and holidays, 401K plan and health insurance.

The Holz Technik dual-education model is based on proven European forms of education. In the model, apprentices hired by EMI will devote three days a week to practical experiences and two days a week to coursework for their degree. One day of coursework will occur at HCCC facilities and one day EMI’s Jersey City interactive classroom with PSU. The interactive classroom will allow the apprentices to engage with the professors in Pittsburgh, Kansas, along with fellow classmates in Kansas, Florida and California.

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