September 1, 2017
AHK USA Skills Update
Successful start of new apprenticeship cohorts in IL, WI and GA

Dual apprenticeship programs are continuously gaining momentum in an economy that values skills-based qualifications more and more highly. As of August 2017, over 60 companies in 10 states are participating in apprenticeship programs certified by the German American Chambers of Commerce. On August 21, new apprentices started in the ICATT and GA CATT Programs in Illinois, Wisconsin and Georgia.

This monthly newsletter keeps you updated about all our activities in this field. If you would like to get involved in our programs, please feel free to reach out to me at any point.

Kind regards,
Mario Kratsch
Director, Skills Initiative
Nine Apprentices successfully complete Mechatronics examination in MI
On August 21 st , nine highly motivated Mechatronics apprentices from Brose North America, EMAG and ZF North America were tested over the course of three days based on the international standard of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). These exams are administered by GACC Midwest in cooperation with an exam board consisting of industry specialists.

The exam, which took place in the premises of Macomb Community College in Warren (MI), consisted of a written (1.5 hours) and a practical part (6.5 hours). The second part of the examination will take place at the end of their three-year-apprenticeship program in July 2018.

" The GACC administered exam is a great tool to test both the students’ theoretical and practical knowledge. It proves that my mechatronics apprentices can now “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”. It also gives our students an edge over external candidates at time of hire. This certification is heavily sought after within Brose.”
Chris Hunt | Technical Trainer
Brose North America

Congrats to our Volkswagen and MTU graduates!

Volkswagen Chattanooga launched the first GACC & DIHK certified program held to German standards in the U.S. in 2010. On August 10, VW celebrated their 10 Mechatronics and 4 Car Mechatronics graduates , together with their families. "We are all very proud of the accomplishments of our graduates and are excited to have them join our team here in the factory,” said Antonio Pinto, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “The value of a quality education is immeasurable, and I am confident that the education our graduates have received has properly prepared them for their future.”
The program partners with Chattanooga State Community College to implement the Automation Mechatronics, Car Mechatronics and Engineering Specialist Programs “We are thrilled to welcome our new graduates into the next step of their Volkswagen journey”, said Nicole Koesling, SVP Human Resources.
We congratulate MTU’s newest class of apprenticeship program graduates.
All five apprentices obtained the DIHK/AHK Certificate as a Skilled Metal Worker (Fachkraft für Metalltechnik) as well as the U.S. Industrial Mechanic (Basic) certification which is recognized by the State of South Carolina and the U.S. Department of Labor.
GACC South is very proud that all apprentices successfully passed their final exams after 2 years of training provided by Aiken Technical College and MTU America in Aiken (SC).
GA CATT Signing Ceremony at Atlanta State Capitol

On August 14, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle hosted the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT) Program signing ceremony. Eighteen Georgia manufacturing companies signed their apprenticeship acceptance letter with twenty-one incoming high school sophomores who are part of the 2nd GA CATT cohort of Industrial Mechanics apprentices.

The Lt. Governor and GACC South are currently working with 4 more counties in Georgia to launch additional manufacturing cluster as well as a new logistic program in 2018.
"Together, we are redefining the role of public education through innovative public/private partnerships that better equip our students for the modern, evolving workforce,” said Lt. Governor Cagle.
Phoenix Modular Elevator joins ICATT Apprenticeship Program in IL
Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) is the largest producer of quality, commercial modular elevators in the world. With a 20-year track record, they have installed elevators throughout the United States and Canada.

We are very happy to welcome Phoenix Modular Elevator to our ICATT Apprenticeship network to start building their own skilled workforce.
Mercedes Drives Skilled Workforce Development with ICATT
Thank you to Mercedes for providing us this fantastic car to spread the word about our dual-apprenticeship program ICATT to help train a skilled workforce for the US.

This generous sponsorship will allow GACC Midwest to reach more communities and collaborate with companies on standardized dual style apprenticeships.
Manufacturing Day 2017 is coming up - Get Ready!
October 6th is Manufacturing Day, when companies and educational institutions all over the US open their doors and show what manufacturing is really about.

ICATT participating companies like Principal Manufacturing and GF Machining Solutions will be showcasing their products and careers to young adults. The ICATT team will also inform students on career opportunities as an apprentice. ICATT will also be represented at Manufacturing Renaissance' event at the Austin College & Career Academy in Chicago.

If you would like to participate in one of these events as an attendee, please reach out to Sinan Ordu . We are happy to help!
September 11-13, 2017
'2017 International Skills Conference' in Atlanta, GA
The International Skills Conference aims to bring together business champions in  Dual Apprenticeship Programs  modeled after the German system with business, regional and state leaders who are interested in solutions for employers to grow a globally competitive, highly skilled workforce.

Some of the conference highlights include:
  • Evening Reception & Inauguration of the GACC South Skills Committee on September 11
  • Overview of the Skills Initiative in the United States
  • Exchange with stakeholders of our innovative and industry-led programs
  • Field trips to West Georgia Tech College and Grenzebach Corporatio
  • Optional: VW plant tour in Chattanooga, TN on September 13

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Event Fee:
$170 for Conference Only
$200 for Conference + Volkswagen Plant Tour
October 17, 2017
'How to Overcome the Workforce Crisis' in Chicago, IL
GACC Midwest is looking forward to a joint event on apprenticeships and workforce development with the Union League Club of Chicago (ULCC) on October 17, 2017. The program includes networking opportunities and a panel discussion with representatives from several apprenticeship partners, including manufacturing companies, apprentices, college and high school representatives. The event will be open to the press.

Event Location:
Union League Club of Chicago
65 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm

Event Fee:

While there is no charge for the program, registration is required. Those who are not members of the Union League Club of Chicago may register here or contact Sinan Ordu ( )

Please note: the Union League Club of Chicago maintains a “business casual” dress code – i.e.,
no jeans, denim or athletic wear.