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Skills Training for a Modern Manufacturing Workforce: Does the German Model Have Lessons for the United States?

6/17/2014, 9:00 AM to 2:15 PM | The Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C.

Skills Training for a Modern Manufacturing Workforce: Does the German Model Have Lessons for the United States?

• The Aspen Institute Program on Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century
• The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
• The Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT)

A skilled workforce is indispensable to sustain the manufacturing resurgence in the United States. In recent decades, the United States has faced the challenge of training the types of workers—whether in skilled production and higher professions or in science and engineering research fields—needed to remain competitive in global markets. In this environment, the German dual system of training is increasingly seen as a major contributor to narrowing the skills gap.

This conference brought together leading experts from government and industry to explore ways in which individual companies, often German multinationals and regional consortia, are finding effective ways to adapt the dual system to the U.S. economic and social environment. The final panel offered policy prescriptions for the United States.

This event was keynoted by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pritzker, who has long been a leader in the public and private sector in this field. CEOs of leading German and American companies who have found successful ways to meet their needs using the dual system were also be featured. Each program segment was followed by a moderated Q&A session.

Panel I: The Industry's Solution: Training Academy

Senior executives from leading German and American companies discussed the conditions required to acquire skilled labor. They also considered how policymakers can contribute by fostering a favorable business environment.

Panel II: Consortia Solution

This panel explored the different approaches taken by regions with German-owned companies to develop a skills training program similar to the German system.

Panel III: Roadmap for Sustainable Workforce Development

Business leaders discussed what steps need to be taken in the United States.

To watch video recordings of the Welcome and Keynote Address, Panels I, II, III, and the Closing, click on the links below.

Welcome and Keynote Address

Panel I

Panel II

Panel III and Closing

View Gallery

  • Featured Speakers

    • Thomas J. Duesterberg (Welcome)

      Executive Director, Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century, The Aspen Institute

    • Penny S. Pritzker (Keynote)

      U.S. Secretary of Commerce

    • Thomas Zielke

      President and CEO, Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT)

    • Emily S. DeRocco (Moderator)

      CEO, E3 Engage Educate Employ; immediate past president, The Manufacturing Institute; and former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training

    • Eric A. Spiegel

      President and CEO, Siemens North America

    • Peter Feil

      General Manager, Stöber

    • Ilker Subasi

      Assistant Manager of Technical Training, VW Group of America

    • Arionetta Gaillard

      Human Resources Manager, MTU America

    • Stefanie Jehlitschka (Moderator)

      Vice President, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc.

    • Walter Maisel

      President and CEO, Kostal North America

    • Steven J. Rotman

      President, Ameritech Die & Mold

    • Josh Benton

      Director Workforce Development, Commonwealth of Kentucky

    • Elfi Klumpp

      Head of International Education & Skills Development, Festo Didactic

    • Ronald D. Bullock

      Chairman, Bison Gear & Engineering Corporation

    • Gregory W. Cappelli

      Director, Chairman, Apollo Global, Inc., CEO Apollo Education Group, Inc.

    • Blake D. Moret

      Senior Vice President, Control Products & Solutions, Rockwell Automation, and Chairman of the Manufacturing Institute

    • Nicholas T. Pinchuk

      Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Snap-on Incorporated