Despite the lockdowns and preventative measures put in place across the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICATT Apprenticeship Program continued to experience growth. We expanded the program into new geographic areas and specialties, began a new cohort and recognized network company success. As we begin to look ahead to 2021, we want to reflect on some of the moments from this year.
Network Companies Shifted Focus as Pandemic Hit
In the height of the crisis, many ICATT Network Companies remained open and operational as essential businesses to support ongoing efforts. Herrmann Ultrasonics boosted production to keep up with the increased demand and higher volume of orders from clients who make medical masks. Chicago Plastic Systems has been manufacturing plastic partitions for over 20 years and this product became more important than ever before. WITTENSTEIN’s apprentices have also played a vital role in the production of supplies needed for medical manufacturers. These are just some of the ICATT Network Companies helping out in these difficult times.
New Cohort of ICATT Apprentices
Many ICATT Network Companies took advantage of the slow down to focus on hiring and training. We welcomed 42 ICATT Apprentices for the Summer 2020 cohort, showing that even in downtimes, the nature of manufacturing itself is one of the reasons these jobs remain.
We also expanded into the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and welcomed Turck, Inc., Buhler, Inc., J&E Companies, and PaR Systems to the growing list of ICATT Network Companies and seven ICATT Apprentices.
Applicant Recruiting Goes Virtual
All through the spring, summer and fall months, the ICATT team shifted our applicant marketing efforts to online. Through webinars, videos, and live online presentations, the ICATT team remains able to reach prospective apprentices. Watch for more tools and resources for applicants and educators as the 2021 season progresses!
Train the Trainer Grows in Popularity
Our Train the Trainer course grew by 300% in 2020, with many companies choosing to send four or five participants. Some companies also contracted with us to give in-house courses to their employees! Our online course – completely redesigned from the in-person version – is a Covid-inspired accomplishment that companies will continue to benefit from in the years to come.
Highlighting Partner Achievements
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, GACC South and its respective apprenticeship program, GA CATT, also experienced growth in a tough year: it welcomed Hearing Precision to the network and celebrated five apprentices completing their three-year A-level certification in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician occupation pathway. Congratulations!