Skills Initiative

Skills Initiative events have taken place all along the East Coast, in the Midwest and in California. Dozens of companies have participated in talks with colleges and community respresentatives, all with the same goal in mind: closing the skills gap. 

Here is a look back at some of our successful Skills Initiative events:

  • November 12, 2014
  • GACC Midwest announced a new Skills Program, the ICATT-Illinois Consortium for Advanced Technical Training. Benchmarked on the German Dual Education System, this program is an educational model developed in conjunction with technology leaders, and will combine practice, theory and work to train a globally competitive workforce. GACC Midwest

  • October 9, 2014
  • GACC Midwest announced that the Joyce Foundation is supporting the GACC Midwest Skills Initiative. GACC Midwest is proud to be supported by a two-year grant from the Joyce Foundation in its efforts to expand the German dual education model of workforce development here in the Midwest. The grant has enabled GACC Midwest to hire a full-time specialist at the Chamber to supplement efforts already underway. Mario Kratsch is the new Director, Skills Initiative. GACC Midwest

  • June 18, 2014
  • Ambassador Peter Wittig and the German Embassy in cooperation with the Aspen Institute hosted a Skills Initiative conference in Washington, DC. The event was entitled, “Skills Training for a Modern Manufacturing Workforce: Does the German Model Have Lessons for the United States?”

  • April 8, 2014
  • Ambassador Peter Ammon and former US Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy joined Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden in chairing a workshop at CAP about expanding apprenticeship programs in the United States. The meeting brought together representatives from German companies in the US with the US federal government.
  • March 19, 2014
  • Ambassador Peter Ammon attended a Business Roundtable discussion on March 19 in Washington, DC, where he presented the Skills Initiative to a group of CEOs and business leaders. The meeting was chaired by Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation and attended by many prominet CEOs of US companies.
  • March 14, 2014
  • On March 14 the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Steve Beshear and Peter Fischer, Minister and Head of Economic Affairs at the embassy launched the Kentucky Skills Initiative. The launch at the Governor's Mansion coincided with a meeting with Kentucky businesses, including many German companies that have established best practices in work force skills development in the Bluegrass State.
  • November 12-20, 2014
  • The Skills Initiative hit the road in November for a tour across six states. The Embassy team participated in roundtable discussions about skills training and introduced the German dual training model. The team also met with young people who have interest in participating in skills training programs. 
  • July 8, 2013
  • Ambassador Ammon was invited by the State of Indiana to Indianapolis to meet with Senator Dan Coats and Governor Mike Pence, along with high-ranking  members of the business community, Ivy Tech Community College, and other government representatives to discuss the importance of workforce training for growth and investment.
  • March 14, 2013
  • The German American San Diego Foundation and the American Council on Germany hosted a dinner to kick off the Workforce and Skills Initiative to foster German American economic development in San Diego. “Germany’s success is not built of highly educated academics, but of skilled workers educated through vocational training,” said German Honorary Consul in San Diego, Stephan Hollmann.
  • February 21, 2013 
  • The Ambassador, together with Acting US Secretary of Labor Seth Harris, took part in the Global Competitiveness Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, joining 400 business leaders. One of the key findings of the summit was that German-style workforce training, which is based on the dual principle of work and learning, can help fill the skills gap that employers face in the Charlotte region, as well as in other parts of the US.

  • January 29, 2013 
  • DC
    (© public domain)
    Ambassador Ammon hosted high-ranking roundtable forum focusing on opportunities for intensifying German-American cooperation in workforce skills development in Washington, D.C.  U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca M. Blank was the keynote speaker at the forum, which also brought together Volker Treier of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK),  CEOs of numerous German companies invested in the United States, education and training providers, and other experts.
  • December 5, 2012 
  • Ambassador Ammon and Ohio Governor John Kasich met with Ohio-based German business leaders and educational institutions to discuss Germany's expertise in vocational training and how to make Ohio's businesses even stronger through applying German–honed techniques; and to foster closer collaboration between businesses based in Ohio and local technical training providers.
  • August 10, 2012 
  • German manufacturing companies in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia met to discuss cooperating on work force skills development. They decided to form a group to participate in the Skills Initiative. The meeting took place at the offices of Stihl Inc. and was chaired by Peter Mueller, executive vice president of Stihl and honorary consul of Germany. The Hampton Roads area is the most important industrial agglomeration between Washington, DC, and Atlanta and is home to many successful German companies.
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