Do you experience difficulty in attracting skilled labor?  Our post-election survey  German American Business Outlook  shows that 69% of German companies in the US cannot find the skilled workforce they need! For perspective, in 2011 it was only 59%. 

Naturally, the skills gap and potential solutions is a topic prioritized by many organizations. Some believe the school system needs to be restructured, others blame the new generation. Many attempts to adress this challenge are pilot projects and only time will tell if they will be successful. However, a lot of companies don't have the time to wait and see -  they want a sustainable solution now

We, at the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC), take a different approach: High quality  apprenticeship programs , aligned to industry standards. Those programs  have been practiced and perfected for hundreds of years in Germany, resulting in one of the best qualified skilled workforce in the world. It is also this asset that makes companies competitive in a global economy. Just 2 months ago, the Department of Commerce in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University published a study with the title "The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships: A Business Perspective", featuring the ICATT Apprenticeship Program of the German American Chamber of Commerce as a best practice example.  We are bringing this concept to the US to prepare the new generation for fast-paced industries and high expectations from employers.
Having a skilled workforce will be one of the key competitive factors in many industries for years to come. Therefore, we encourage companies to create a mid to long-term strategy for success and to give future generations the opportunity to have a promising career path through investing in apprenticeships.
Yours sincerely,
Mario Kratsch
Director, Skills Initiative
GACC Midwest

Now is the perfect time to sign up for 2017 
Emo Tra ns Inc., Tox Pressotechnik LLC and Wise Plastics Technologies joined the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical (ICATT) Training Program and are planning to start with their first apprentices in August 2017. We are very happy to see more and more companies deciding to tackle the skills gap with the ICATT apprenticeship program as a solution. We are thankful for your trust and are looking forward to many years of great apprentices and employees.


ICATT is expanding to Wisconsin
Our ICATT apprenticeship program is excited to announce our official expansion into Wisconsin. Our newest ICATT partner, Hermle Machine Company, LLC located in Franklin, WI is a high precision machine manufacturer specializing in 5-axis milling machinery.  Manuel Merkt, V.P. of Operations, completed such an extensive apprenticeship himself and looks forward to bringing this quality training system to their facilities in Franklin. In Germany, Hermle has hired and trained hundreds of apprentices over the years, which has been essential to developing and keeping local talent.  Hermle's apprentice will complete a structured 3-year program as an employee of Hermle, while earning an associate's degree to prepare them for a rewarding hands-on career in manufacturing.  As an ICATT partner, Hermle also benefits from company training development support, train the trainer courses, a network of ICATT companies and HR services, such as high school outreach and access to an apprenticeship applicant pool.


ICATT is reaching out to Indiana and Ohio


ICATT announces new fee structure


DIHK Annual Conference for Dual Education in Berlin, Germany

On November 10th & 11th, six representatives of the GACCs were invited to the DIHK Annual Conference for Dual Education in Berlin, Germany. More than 80  representatives attended this event and discussed common issues and success stories. With a network of more than 90 countries around the globe, the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry is a global player when it comes to unified standards and quality of dual education/ apprenticeship programs.  The German American Chambers of Commerce are very proud to be part of this network and to have established the dual model of education with programs like ICATT or GA CATT all over the US.


Apprenticeship Week Recap

Nov. 14 - Principal Manufacturing, Broadview IL
Nov. 15 - Herrmann Ultrasonics, Bartlett IL
Nov. 16 - Felsomat, Schaumburg IL
Nov. 17 - Richard Wolf Medical Instruments, Vernon Hills IL
Nov. 17 - ZF Services, Vernon Hills IL


Workshop of the Transatlantic Core Group on Innovation in Vocational Education and Training Program (i+VET) in Charlotte, NC
Germany's  small and mid-sized enterprises ( SMEs) are heavily invested in and committed to work-based, "dual track" vocational training in which they team up with local educational institutions to train the next generation of skilled workers. Today, 64% of vocational training in Germany is undertaken by SMEs, not by the large global players.  On the other side of the Atlantic, US jurisdictions are just beginning to understand the importance of vocational education and training. Few have formal vocational training strategies in place to grow employment in skilled trades, but even the first movers have yet to scale-up and realize their full potential and impact. There is a lack of knowledge about the concept and the qualifications required to become an apprentice, as well as the opportunities, advantages and benefits of apprenticeships. The lack of national standards for apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing as well as the perceived lack of benefit leads to a poor recognition on behalf of most companies.  i+VET aims to foster future talent in the US and Germany by leveraging the innovative strength of vocational training experts and innovative entrepreneurs. By bringing together thought leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, i+VET serves as an innovation hub for vocational training which seeks to identify best practices and innovative solutions at the intersection of vocational training and talent recruitment, cultivation, and retention. Program objectives explore the theme of "Talent for the Future" and seek to enhance the image and improve the narrative around apprenticeship programs in the US as a viable and rewarding educational and career option and alternative.

Program Structure

Learn about the concept, time frame and responsibilities
Return on Investment

See why an investment in skills is a competitive HR strategy
Our Services

See why companies all over the US are joining or programs
Why dual system?
Find out why a dual apprenticeship program is the  sustainable solution for the skilled workforce crisis

Did you know?

GACCs are licensed to process apprenticeship program certifications to German standards and have developed a far-reaching model for nationwide implementation.

"The ICATT apprenticeship program is an excellent opportunity for both, the apprentice and the company!
The program was long overdue and urgently needed to build up a highly skilled workforce."

Hans Kraus
Corporate Director of Mfg. 
R. Wolf Med. Instr. Corp.
For more information & testimonials visit our website