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April 2015: German Embassy's Skills Initiative

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 2015: German Embassy's Skills Initiative

The Skills Initiative of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., seeks to identify and spread best practices in sustainable workforce development in the U.S. Through the initiative, the Embassy is bringing together German and American businesses as well as local education and training providers to develop training programs best suited to companies' needs and to help fill more jobs with capable, well-trained individuals.

Together with the U.S. federal government (Departments of Commerce, Education, and Labor), the German federal government is working on a bilateral joint declaration to provide a framework within which the participants may identify and explore collaboration opportunities in the area of career and technical training, increase learning from one another, and provide joint support for future initiatives and measures as a result of this cooperation.

Within recent years, the dual training system has also found a home in many U.S. states. German companies have implemented successful programs and U.S. state governments have taken the initiative to develop new job training programs as well. A few highlights include Michigan educators and businesses recently adopting a skills training system similar to the German dual training model, namely, Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2®), and Florida officials establishing the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative, which will bring training centers to the region that use German IHK best practices, standards, and training materials to begin the implementation of German-style apprenticeship programs. The ICATT-Illinois Consortium for Advanced Technical Training, initiated by the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) of the Midwest with several Illinois companies, is another prime example of combining practice, theory, and work experience to train a globally competitive workforce. Similarly, following meetings with German Embassy staff, Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham announced the Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training Act, which aims to mimic Germany's successful system and adapt it to Iowa's economy.

To watch a news segment on the Tampa Bay program, click here. For a short clip on the MAT2® program, click here.

Source & Image: © Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C.