Recently, the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) hosted an expert forum on apprenticeship programs at the Union League Club of Chicago. The event provided attendees the opportunity to engage in discussions around apprenticeship programs in industries such as high-tech manufacturing and companies with complex automations.

The interactive panel included representatives from several apprenticeship stakeholders: Matt Feuerborn, Dean of Career Technologies at Kishwaukee College, Rainer Steeb, Project Manager at Wieland Metals Inc, Thomas Hein, Apprentice at Wittenstein North America, and Matt Erbach, Engineering Teacher at Streamwood High School. Mario Kratsch, head of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program, moderated the discussion and spoke to his own experience with the ICATT Apprenticeship Program. He emphasized the fact that the program is not solely about creating a sustainable workforce, but also about providing young people real career opportunities.

Thomas Hein, one of two apprentices at Wittenstein North America, spoke to his personal experience in the ICATT Apprenticeship Program. During the discussion, an audience member asked Hein what keeps him motivated in the program, and he said, “What I enjoy most about my apprenticeship program is that I’m constantly learning. Through my college courses and the hands-on-work, I learn that there is much more to every topic than I first expected…it continues to impress me.”

Rainer Steeb then highlighted a unique feature of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program: it’s the only apprenticeship program in the Midwest fully benchmarked on the German Dual Education System; a system globally recognized for its combination of company-specific knowledge, theory and hands-on learning which results in highly-trained employees that position companies to embrace technical advances, keep pace with market demands, and harness growth opportunities.

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