Skills Update
February 2018
Full Steam Ahead for the GACCs' Apprenticeship Programs
Congratulations to Jahi Taylor, the first apprentice hired for the GACCs’ 2018 apprenticeship cohorts! Jahi was hired by BBS Automation in Bartlett, IL as an apprentice to become an Advanced Manufacturing Technician.

Whether you’re joining one of our clusters, or we’re helping you set up and certify your own program, the next few months will be busy! Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Feb. 2018: Interviews with potential apprentices; recruiting continues with high school presentations and career fairs
  • Mar. 2018: Potential jobs/internships for apprentices; existing apprentices receive exam preparation materials; development of company-specific training plans
  • Apr. 2018: Train the Trainer workshop in Chicago
  • May 2018: Window of opportunity closes for effectively reaching high school graduates
  • Summer 2018: Potential jobs/internships for apprentices; finalizing company-specific training plans
  • June - July 2018: Exams for apprentices completing years 2 and 3
  • Aug. 2018: Start of cohort 2018

Kind regards,

Virginia Attaway Rounds
Director, Skills Initiative & ICATT Apprenticeship Program
BBS Automation Hires First Apprentice of 2018
Last week Jahi Taylor became the first apprentice of the 2018 cohort. Before applying to the ICATT Apprenticeship Program, Jahi was a student at Triton College and Peer Mentor to other students in the engineering tech division. He also mentored middle and high school stud ents through AmeriCorps .

Why did you decide to apply to the ICATT Apprenticeship Program?
Jahi: "I applied because I saw an opportunity to both further my education, and get the work experience I would have normally lacked upon finishing school. I have several friends who’ve recently graduated from 4 year institutions, but have struggled to find employment due to lack of actual job experience."

What excites you about the program and BBS Automation ?
Jahi: "The uniqueness of what the company does. Working on custom machines, means constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s new and what’s familiar. To come to work with a new problem to solve every morning is something I’ve always had as a personal goal for my career. It keeps every day fresh and interesting. My father and grandfather always told me to find something that I’m passionate about, and then make a career from it. With the help of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program and GACC Midwest, I may have found what I was looking for. To be trained to do something I love, and to the highest standard possible, is truly a privilege. An opportunity I intend to take full advantage of, and make sure I learn everything I can."

We are very glad that Jahi is joining BBS Automation through the ICATT Apprenticeship Program and look forward to working with him. Contact us to get in touch with more great apprentice candidates.
Join the Employer Summits at ICATT Network Companies
ICATT Network Company, Wise Plastics Technologies , located in St. Charles, IL, will be hosting an employer summit on February 15 in an effort to inform other manufacturers in the surrounding industrial park about the ICATT Apprenticeship Program. Similar employer summits will take place over the next months at the facilities of various ICATT Network Companies.

Companies interested in learning from their peers on how the ICATT Apprenticeship Program works are invited to join this or other summits. Contact Joshua Seeberg for more details.
Get Certified: Train the Trainer Seminar
Creating a comprehensive apprenticeship program also means qualifying trainers to be able to transfer their knowledge and skills to the apprentice.

The GACCs are excited to announce our upcoming Train the Trainer Seminar for ICATT and GA CATT Network Companies. The seminar is meant for trainers who interact directly with their apprentices. Its goal is to prepare trainers for the training situation with apprentices from different generations. This seminar will result in an international certification based on German standards and issued by the German American Chambers of Commerce.

For more information on the seminar, please contact Sinan Ordu .
Open Position: Join the ICATT Apprenticeship Program Team
GACC Midwest is looking to expand the ICATT team in Chicago, IL and is looking for:

This position will assist our Director, Skills Initiative & ICATT Apprenticeship Program, in our efforts to create new apprenticeship programs as well as manage existing programs in order to meet the skilled workforce needs of industry.

For further information and the complete job description, please click here .
Looking Back: Apprenticeship Briefing in Washington, D.C.
Making connections and talking about apprenticeship programs that are already up and running was on the agenda for Nicole Heimann, Director, Skills Initiative at GACC South and Mario Kratsch, Head of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program , on Jan. 17 in Washington, D.C.
While joining a briefing on the Hill together with the Congressional Career & Technical Education Caucus , German Embassy and Representative of German Industry and Trade , we were able to showcase how we run our successful ICATT and GA CATT Apprenticeship Programs. This included insights on how we work with companies, develop customized company training plans, vet and recruit apprentices, collaborate with community colleges on classroom training, and provide on-going program management and support.
GACCs Apprenticeship Programs in the News

  • The ICATT Apprenticeship Program set a new record and doubled its size in 12 months with more than 30 apprentices and 35 companies. Read the full success story.
  • Watch our video with ICATT Network Company BBS Automation and find out why their president believes in apprenticeship programs. 
  • Georgia embraces German-style apprenticeship model GA CATT. Listen to the story.