Lt. Gov. Cagle Hosts Inaugural GA CATT Apprenticeship Signing Ceremony

02.08.16 GACC South News

Lt. Governor ushered in the first 10 apprentices to this first-of-its-kind advanced technical training program.

(ATLANTA)- Lt. Governor Casey Cagle hosted the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT) Program signing ceremony. Eight Coweta County manufacturers signed their apprenticeship acceptance letter as with ten incoming high school sophomores who are part of the inaugural GA CATT class of Industrial Mechanics apprentices. This event was held to recognize the importance of workforce development through the GA CATT program, the first of its kind in the United States.

“Today we celebrate the promise of new beginnings in Georgia’s public education system through the innovative program known as GA CATT,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “These students and manufacturers are committed to the kind of workforce development that will revolutionize Georgia’s economy. This ceremony was more than symbolic – it signals a brighter future for our students who want to pursue meaningful careers well ahead of the traditional education timeline. This program has the ability to reshape our perception of the role of public education as we chart a new course in how to better prepare our students for life after graduation.”

The apprentices were joined by sponsoring industry partners Grenzebach, E.G.O. North America, Yamaha, Kason, Yokogawa, Winpak, KCMA and Groov-Pin, who are responsible for the conducting the learning modules for GA CATT students throughout the three-year duration of the program.

GA CATT unites the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc. with the Technical College System of Georgia. Beginning in the 10th grade, high school students will now have the opportunity to complete their education with a high school diploma, German apprenticeship certificate and an associate degree in Industrial Mechanics through West Georgia Technical College.

GA CATT will allow students to begin their apprenticeship in 10th grade with a combination of traditional high school classes, college level manufacturing courses, and apprenticeship modules that will pay $8/hour. By the 12th grade, students will spend 80% of their day learning at the manufacturing site and earning $12/hour. The German model has proven effective in developing high-skill talent, increasing student motivation, and securing a professional career track for students at no additional cost for them or their families.

Lt. Governor Cagle has begun conversations with numerous college and career academies across Georgia, who along with their school districts and local industry leaders are interested in creating their own GA CATT partnership. He is committed to preparing high school students for the high-skill workforce that awaits them after graduation and is working toward statewide implementation of similar programs for students instructed in trade based careers.