U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell will tour two local member companies of the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) in Bartlett, Ill. on Wednesday, December 12. The ICATT program is the leading apprenticeship program in the Midwest for high-tech manufacturers and companies with complex technologies or logistics and is based on the German model combining classroom instruction with on-the-job training. The Ambassador’s visit is part of the U.S. government’s focus on supporting programs advancing workforce development.

During Ambassador Grenell’s tours, he will meet with workers, trainers, and apprentices and discuss workforce development activities. He will also call on U.S. companies to participate in apprenticeship programs as a long-term workforce development strategy.

“Manufacturing in America is growing again, and we must invest in workforce training to support that growth over the long term,” says Ambassador Grenell. “The German model for workforce development, especially in manufacturing, is second to none. German manufacturers have invested heavily in the United States and their world-class apprenticeship programs have helped prepare U.S. workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. More U.S. companies should adopt similar programs to address their workforce needs.”

The ICATT Apprenticeship Program works with companies to develop custom company training plans, vet and recruit apprentices, collaborate with community colleges on classroom training, and provide on-going management. It is the only apprenticeship program in the Midwest fully benchmarked on the German Dual Education System.

The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce are supporting the tour as part of the federal government’s commitment to preparing U.S. workers for modern jobs in manufacturing and other key sectors.

Ambassador Grenell will visit two companies, both with ICATT Apprenticeship Programs:

  • WITTENSTEIN Holding, Corp.
    • WITTENSTEIN develops customized products, systems and solutions for highly dynamic motion, precise positioning and smart networking for electromechanical drive technology.
  • BBS Automation
    • BBS Automation develops and manufactures innovative and flexible automation and testing technology.

“With the high-tech manufacturing unemployment rate lower than the national average, skilled labor is especially hard to come by,” said Mario Kratsch, Head of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program.

“Bracing for a skills shortage, high-tech manufacturers and logistics companies are seeking a long-term solution to their rapidly-diminishing skilled workforce, and more are working with the ICATT Apprenticeship Program to deliver a pipeline of talent.”

To learn more about the ICATT Apprenticeship Program, click here.