Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | Atlanta, GA
About the Conference
The International Skills Conference brings together champions in apprenticeship programs, modeled after the German system, with businesses, regional and state leaders who are interested in solutions for small and middle-sized employers in order to grow a globally competitive high skilled workforce.
We will have guests from the US and German governments who will outline the German American partnership on skills initiatives. The German ministry of economics will also be showcasing one of their pilot programs with their German and American partnerships.
This conference also overlaps with the Wunderbar Together PopUp which is a multi-day German cultural program.
Highlights from this year’s conference include:
- Apprenticeships made in Germany: Challenges and Success Stories
- News from Washington presented by Dave Langdon Senior U.S. Department of Commerce Policy Advisor
- German American Pilot Projects
- Networking Reception
For the complete lineup:
Early Bird: $130 (until Aug 16th)
Regular: $150 (until Sept. 6th)
Deputy Head of Internationalization of Vocational Education & Training, DLRProject Management Agency
Hannes Barske works in project management at the German Aerospace Centre, which supports the Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) in the internationalization of vocational education and training. Since 2012, Barske has developed and coordinated the BMBF’s project VETnet at both the German DIHK and 11 AHKs world-wide. The project is an important strategic element of the German international VET cooperation.
State Senator - Georgia State Senate
Sen. Matt Brass, a Republican, was first elected in November 2016 to a seat in the Georgia Senate representing the 28th District. Sen. Brass currently serves as Chairman of the Reappointment and Redistricting Committee, Vice Chairman of the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, Vice Chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, Secretary of the Natural Resources and the Environment Committee and serves as an ex-officio member of the Education and Youth Committee.
CEO – LINDE + WIEMANN US, Inc.
Manuele D’Avera is the CEO of LINDE + WIEMANN US, Inc. Before beginning this role in 2015, D’Aversa oversaw LINDE + WIEMANN’s expansion in South Africa. As a regional controller for Southern Europe and Africa, he is closely involved with the company’s activities in Germany, with a focus on extending LINDE + WIEMANN’s footprint overseas.
Vehicle Test Specialist – Volkswagen Group of America
Jesus Espinoza is a Vehicle Test Specialist at the Volkswagen Group of America. His apprenticeship began after high school when he entered the Volkswagen Academy training program to study Car Mechatronics. After learning from specialists and repair team members, Espinoza was offered a position in the Vehicle Analysis Center.
Dr. Johann Fortwengel
Assistant Professor of International Management – King's College London
Dr. Johann Fortwengel is an assistant professor in International Management at King’s Business School, King’s College London. His research examines how firms in the U.S. can implement German-style apprenticeships. In particular, he studies the pros and cons of collaborating with other organizations to offer apprenticeships in a network, and how this collaboration can be managed for improved efficiency.
President/Managing Director of Operations - E.G.O. North America
David Keller was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and completed flight school to serve as an Aviation Officer. He served on active duty for ten years in various assignments in the USA and Germany. He left active duty in 1996 but remained in the US Army Reserves through 2006. In 1996, he joined E.G.O. North America and has been employed as the Quality Manager, Director of Manufacturing, Senior VP Operations, and he currently serves as President.
Vice President - German American Chamber of Commerce of Midwest, Inc.
Mario joined GACC Midwest in October 2014 to build and lead the Skills Initiative, our effort to promote apprenticeships in the US. Krastch was elected Vice President of GACC Midwest in September 2017. Next to his position as Vice President of GACC Midwest, he remains head of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program. He is also responsible for the certification of training programs according to German standards.
Dr. Ursina Krumpholz
Minister Counselor & Head of Economic and Business Section - Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Washington
Dr. Ursina Krumpholz is the new Minister Counselor and Head of the Economic Business Section of the German Embassy in Washington D.C. Prior to joining the German Embassy, Dr. Krumpholz held various positions in the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, including a secondment to the Federal Republic of Germany’s mission in Geneva.
Senior Policy Advisor - U.S. Department of Commerce
David Langdon joined the Department of Commerce in February 2011. Langdon has extensive experience conducting data analysis for senior Federal officials on the topics across the fields of labor economics and macroeconomics. His most recent research has focused on apprenticeships, federal regulatory reform, the pipeline and steel industries, the manufacturing wage premium, the STEM labor market, and intellectual property-intensive industries.
Skills Advisor - German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc.
Irene Munn served as Legislative Counsel and Policy Director for the Office of Lt. Governor in Georgia for 12 years. Prior to that position, she served as an assistance district attorney and public affairs director for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association. Today, Munn’s workforce solutions and government affairs consulting practice, The Munn Firm, LLC helps businesses create strategic partnerships with Georgia’s college and career academies, high school CTAE, and post-secondary programs, giving them access to a well-trained talent pipeline that meets their industry needs.
Plant Engineering Manager, American Woodmark
Miguel Rivera is a Plant Engineering Manager for American Woodmark Corporation (AWC). He is also a member of the United States Army Reserve where he holds the rank of Captain- he’s currently the Commander of Bravo Company of the 345th Military Intelligence Theater Support Battalion. He is a certified AdA International Train the Trainer and has worked with the GACC South since 2017 to hire multiple apprentice at American Woodmark Corporation. He’s a member of the GACATT Steering Committee.
Deputy Director of Economic Development - City of Auburn, AL
Arndt Siepmann is the Deputy Director of Economic Development at the City of Auburn, Alabama. During his career, Siepmann has worked in various economic development corporations on both the regional and state level. His experience includes work in post-communist East Germany as well the economic powerhouse of southwest Germany’s Stuttgart Region. Siepmann is a dual citizen of Germany and the United States.