Highlights RGIT Conference Skilled Labor: Conditions for Investments, Manufacturing, and Economic Growth in the U.S.

10/03/2011

Martin Wansleben, CEO of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and Gerri Fiala, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor as well as company representatives discussed the future of vocational training

Blue-Collar Jobs are history

Companies and policy makers discuss the future of vocational training

The classical blue-collar job is history. That is the conclusion German company representatives in the U.S. came to during RGIT’s conference on Skilled Labor: Conditions for Investments, Manufacturing, and Economic Growth in the U.S. on October 3 in Washington, DC. The manufacturing sector in the United States urgently needs highly qualified skilled workers like mechatronics technicians who can handle complex technical equipment, understand the cohesion of an production line and can solve problems independently. The company representatives of Siemens, Volkswagen Group of America, Festo USA und Karl Storz Endoscopy agreed that practice-oriented training programs, mostly taught at community colleges, deserve a better image and demanded better support from the government for vocational-education-programs.High on the companies’ wish list of improvements are training programs that are comparable among different schools and degrees that are accepted nationwide. Due to a shortage of skilled workers, Volkswagen has been forced to train workers in Germany for several months. Other companies are working together with community colleges to design education programs for them. Martin Wansleben, CEO of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) addressed the successful public-private partnership of vocational education and training in Germany: the close cooperation between public administration, companies and trade unions not only guarantees lower youth-unemployment, but also the sustainable economic success of Germany. (link to presentation pdf)

 

Launch of German-American Workforce Exchange Program

DIHK and RGIT, together with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Karlsruhe, Germany and the Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina launched a German-American exchange program for skilled workers. It will train employees from both sides of the Atlantic in the work and cultural environments of Germany and the United States. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, (R-North Carolina), co-signed the resolution as a witness. Resolution (PDF)