German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, Inc. Hosts 2017 International Skills Conference

11/07/2017 GACC South Atlanta - News-Hauptkategorie, GACC South News, Member News

Dual Apprenticeships Seen As Model of the Future

Oct. 31, 2017, Atlanta, GA -- The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, Inc. (GACC South) today hosted its 2017 International Skills Conference. The conference aimed to bring together business champions in dual apprenticeship programs across the Southern region modeled after the German system. The conference held panel discussions as well as traveled to Newnan, GA to see the GA CATT apprenticeship program in action. 

In the United States, there is no federal competency for education and training. States can introduce programs; however, the qualities of those programs are difficult to evaluate because there is no uniform structure nationwide. The German model of the dual apprenticeship combines practical on the job training and experience in the companies along with vocational training in school. The curriculum is industry driven, competency based and standardized. This means that all apprentices in the United States -- and for that matter anywhere in the world -- are all trained on the same standards, core competencies and undergo the same exams. By doing this, the program produces highly skilled and ready to work graduates.

“The main goal of our conference is to address the shortage of skilled labor that exists in the United States today,” said Stefanie Jehlitschka, President and CEO, GACC South. “We brought together the best minds from the business community, and regional and state leaders to have an open and honest conversation about skilled labor -- as well as looking at solutions that can grow a globally competitive, highly skilled workforce in the United States.”

Dual apprenticeship programs are a win-win for the participating students. During their time in training, students are guaranteed employment, an opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree with no debt to pay off once completed and a German DIHK certification. The German DIHK certification shows that its recipients are trained according to standards set by the German government. This certification demonstrates to companies that the apprentice was trained under internationally recognized industry defined standards, and that the student has been qualified to adequately perform the skilled work needed in most industrial manufacturing settings.

Jehlitschka added, “In the United States today, it is becoming increasingly important that dual apprenticeship programs exist; more and more businesses are realizing that something different and new needs to be done in order to solve the skills gap.”


About the GACC:

The German American Chambers of Commerce (GACCs) with their main offices in Atlanta, Chicago and New York, as well as branches in Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, work together under the network of the German Chamber Network (AHKs). With approximately 2,500 members, an extensive international network, and their broad spectrum of activities and services the GACCs are the first choice when it comes to business between the US and Germany. Additionally, our liaison office in Washington, DC, the Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT), represents the interests of the German business community vis-à-vis both the US administration and other international organizations based in Washington, DC. AHKs are closely connected to the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) in Germany. The umbrella organization of the IHKs is the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), which speaks for 3.6 million business enterprises in Germany and also coordinates and supports the AHKs. The German Chamber Network (AHK) provides experience, connections, and services worldwide through over 130 locations in 90 countries.

Press Contact:
Eckhard Wannenmacher
(404) 586-6828