Trade Nov-Dec Interactive - page 12

he U.S. Department of Labor’s
Office of Apprenticeship (OA) has
been working with the German
Embassy, German-American manu-
facturing companies and the German
American Chambers of Commerce to
assist with the advancement of the
German Skills Initiative. The U.S.
Registered Apprenticeship system,
with either federal or state staff in
every state, is somewhat similar to the
German Dual System (but with
important differences as well). We
work with all companies that are
interested in developing an appren-
ticeship program which includes
on-the-job learning and related
instruction. The focus of our partner-
ship with German officials is to
develop state-based industry consortia
to aid them in addressing their
specific skill needs. In particular,
many states are working on efforts to
prepare U.S. workers for the field of
Mechatronics. Through partnerships
that include the Registered Appren-
ticeship, workforce and education
systems, as well as local and state
governments, program participants
can access both theoretical and
practical skills training that helps
address identified skill shortages in
this growing sector of the manufac-
turing industry.
Progress in these efforts is visible in
multiple locations across the country,
including North Carolina and
Michigan leading the way in progres-
sive approaches to attract business
and ensure they are capable of
meeting German employers’ need for
highly skilled, well trained workers. In
Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder is
helping drive the Michigan Advanced
Technician Training (MAT2) Program.
This is a collaborative effort, which
brings together both German and
American employers, including ZF,
Detroit Diesel, Brose, Kostal, Heller,
EMAG, New Center Stamping, FTE
Automotive, Inergy, Proper Group,
and Cadillac Products. The partnership
also includes the Michigan Registered
Apprenticeship office, the Michigan
Workforce Development Agency
(WDA) and the Michigan Economic
Development Corporation (MEDC), the
German American Chamber of
Commerce of the Midwest, along with
Oakland Community College (Michi-
gan’s largest community college) and
the Henry Ford Community College,
located in, Dearborn, MI.
German American Trade Nov/Dec 2013
Growing a 21st Century
Manufacturing Workforce
By John V. Ladd
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