Skills Update
February 2019
Recruiting Season is Upon Us!
Even though 2019 is still young, there are exciting updates from our Skills Initiative to share . The very first spring cohort of "Advanced Manufacturing Technician" ICATT Apprentices started in January at  McHenry County College  and  Elgin Community College in Illinois . We wish all new apprentices the best of luck and much success on the innovative career path they have chosen!

All interested employers please note that recruiting season for the upcoming fall cohort of 2019 is upon us. Now is the perfect time to start promoting your available spots and start vetting applicants.

Upcoming timeline:

  • February 6. 2019: HR Roundtable for ICATT Network Companies, Wheeling, IL
  • February 15, 2019: ICATT and WI DWD Signing Ceremony, Franklin, WI
  • February-April, 2019: Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting
  • March 2019: Train the Trainer in Illinois, date TBD
  • May 2019: Window of opportunity closes for reaching high school graduates
  • May/June 2019: Apprentices begin trial employment period (recommended)
  • July 2019: Commitments signed
  • August 2019: Semester begins 

Kind regards,

Virginia Attaway Rounds
Director, Skills Initiative & ICATT Apprenticeship Program
Record Numbers MAT2 Apprenticeship Program in Michigan
Great news for the development of apprenticeships in Michigan! MAT2 or "Matsquared" , the Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program, experiences further growth. At the end of January, a record number of 93 reservations were made by employers, who see a great value in hiring apprentices for the upcoming cohort of 2019.

In Fall 2018, GACC Midwest was selected to support the management of MAT2. Prior to that, GACC Midwest had already certified company-specific apprenticeships at several of the MAT2 participating companies.

Save the Date: International Skills Conference May 6, 2019
The German American Chambers of Commerce are proud to host the International Skills Conference of 2019 in Charleston, SC. The conference brings together business champions in dual apprenticeship programs based on the German apprenticeship system. Furthermore, business, regional and state leaders will work together to grow a globally competitive, highly skilled workforce.

Join us on May 6 to enjoy discussions on how to improve and build apprenticeship programs, to learn about best practices with experienced program leaders as well as to get the latest news from Washington D.C. on the topic.

For more information, please contact Nicole Heimann .
Welcome to Our New ICATT Network Companies
CLAAS of America Inc. is one of the world's leading manufacturers of agricultural engineering equipment. The company is the European market leader in combine harvesters. CLAAS is the world market leader in self-propelled forage harvesters. CLAAS is also a top performer in world-wide agricultural engineering with tractors, agricultural balers and green harvesting machinery.
Fabrik Molded Plastics Industries is a full service custom injection molding manufacturer of thermoplastics. Providing the latest molding and automation equipment, Fabrik Industries has the ability to compete in plastic engineering and design services at a global level.
Graepel North America Inc. is a highly innovative specialist for pre-finished solutions made of sheet metal and has successfully established itself on the international market. Graepel North America Inc. was first established in 2006 as a sales office and has developed into a production facility producing and offering Graepel products and components for the American market.
NTN Bearing Corporation of America is a leading manufacturer of anti-friction bearings and constant velocity joints in the United States. NTN provides products for automotive and industrial markets around the world. The company is focused on developing unique technical solutions.
TC Industries Inc. is a worldwide industry leading manufacturer of cutting edges, wear parts, and fabrications, as well as one of the premier providers of commercial heat treat services, in North America. The company has more than 80 years of experience in the industry.
Thermoform Engineered Quality LLC delivers innovative and sustainable design, engineering and manufacturing solutions to the medical and commercial markets for thermoformed packages and specialty products.
To join the ICATT Apprenticeship Program or for more information, please contact Joshua Seeberg
or call (312) 494-2170.
Open Positions: Join the GACC Skills Initiative Team
GACC Midwest is looking for two new team members: 

  • Account Manager & Technical Training Advisor - Skills Initiative; located in our Chicago, IL office, focusing on consulting and advising for on-the-job training, as well as coordinating core competencies and college coursework to ensure successful apprenticeships at companies participating in ICATT, MAT2 and other relevant programs.

  • Company Outreach Manager, MAT2 and ICATT Apprenticeship Programs; located in our Detroit, MI office, focusing on recruiting employers to participate in the apprenticeship programs in Michigan managed by GACC Midwest, with additional responsibility for neighboring states such as Indiana & Ohio.

GACC South is looking for three new team members: 

  • Koordinator(in) Berufsausbildung USA (Produktion/Fertigung); in unserem Büro in Atlanta, GA, mit Fokus auf der Umsetzung von Ausbildungsinitiativen in verschiedenen Bundesstaaten sowie der Unterstützung der beteiligten betrieblichen und schulischen Partner.

  • Coordinator Skills Initiative (Georgia); located in our Atlanta, GA office, focusing on building new apprenticeship programs modeled after the German system, as well as identifying and involving share and stakeholders in the state of Georgia and other areas.

  • Consultant Skills Initiative (Texas); located in our Atlanta, GA office, focusing on building new apprenticeship programs modeled after the German system, as well as identifying and involving share and stakeholders in the Southeast.

GACC Midwest Welcomes New Skills Team Member
Our GACC Midwest Skills Team welcomes Ian Ducan as Manager, ICATT Apprenticeship Program. As an ICATT Apprenticeship Program manager, Ian works with all ICATT Applicants and Apprentice Candidates in guiding them through the ICATT application and placement process. He engages with various academic, military and CTE institutions throughout the Midwest to raise awareness of the program and recruit interested applicants to the ICATT Apprenticeship Program.

Prior to joining the ICATT Apprenticeship Program team in 2019, Ian served as the Assistant Manager of Corporate Outreach at German American Events, LLC (GAE). Ian holds a bachelor’s degree in German Language and Literature from the University of Notre Dame.

You can reach Ian at or (312) 561-9794.
Enjoy this episode of The Big Pond   podcast series, discussing the labor challenges US-based manufacturers are facing. Listen to  executives and apprentices   from  Diemasters Manufacturing
WITTENSTEIN , BBS Automation , and  Herrmann Ultrasonics who share their experiences and perspective on growing their workforce through the  ICATT Apprenticeship Program , the only program in the Midwest benchmarked on the German Dual Education System.
Recap: US Ambassador Grenell Visits GACC South
After his visit in Illinois, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell visited the GACC South on December 13. Next to State Senator Matt Brass, industry giants like Volkswagen Group of America, Mercedes Benz U.S. International, Inc. and BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC joined the roundtable.

Nicole Heimann, Director Skills Initiative, and GA CATT representatives shared their experiences in building apprenticeships. They further discussed how to create more apprenticeships based on the German model.

For more information please contact Nicole Heimann.
Recap: Train the Trainer Courses, McHenry County and Vernon Hills, IL
On January 7-11 and January 14-18, the ICATT Apprenticeship Program hosted two other valuable Train the Trainer courses at McHenry County College and ZF Services North America . Both courses covered a variety of different teaching methods and gave a detailed insight into the specifics of communication and on how approach various challenging scenarios in the workplace.

Congratulations to our participants from Scot Forge, Watlow Electric, Unicarriers Americas Corp., Fabrik Molded Plastics, Thermoform Engineered Quality, Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corp., Seyer Industries, Inc., Krones, Inc., BBS Automation, American NTN, ZF Services North America, LLC for sending their trainers to these courses.