19 Automotive Technician Trainees Graduate from Mercedes-Benz U.S. International - Engine Builder Magazine
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19 Automotive Technician Trainees Graduate from Mercedes-Benz U.S. International

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The training program is modeled after Germany’s apprentice system and will be recognized as such by the German American Chambers of Commerce (AHK USA).

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Vance, AL — Nineteen trainees of the Automotive Technician Program at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), in Vance, AL recently graduated from the prestigious program.

The training program is modeled after Germany’s apprentice system and will be recognized as such by the German American Chambers of Commerce (AHK USA).

“MBUSI’s Automotive Technician Program shows how the German-style apprenticeship programs can be one of the solutions toaddress the gap in skilled workforce in the U.S.,” said Martina Stellmaszek, President & CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. (GACC South).

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In 1993, MBUSI invested more than $300 million to build an assembly plant in Vance, AL. The total capital investment by 2015 will be $4.4 Billion. MBUSI, which has approx. 2,800 employees, has found maintaining a highly skilled labor force to be a continuous challenge in such a technologized work environment.

“Technology is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly more complex, which therefore requires more training and education. Particularly hard to find are candidates with a STEM background (science, technology, engineering, and math),” explained Stellmaszek. “As a result, more and more companies decide to train their employees “German-style” and frequently team up with technical colleges or experienced trade organizations like ours.”

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The German Dual Vocational Training System traditionally combines classroom and business, theory and practice, learning and working. The training usually lasts about three years during which time students will apply what they learn in class in a working environment. This type of training has been recognized worldwide as a highly effective model. In Germany, it results in one of the lowest youth unemployment rates (7.9%) among any industrialized nation in the world.

”For centuries German companies have provided comprehensive vocational training to ensure the development of a skilled workforce of tomorrow and it is very inspiring to see MBUSI continue this tradition here in the U.S.,” added Stellmaszek. “Training programs like this will most certainly have a positive impact on local economies and communities.”

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The German Chambers of Commerce all over the world are the official representatives of industry and trade in their respective country and are, in this capacity, responsible for supporting the efforts of companies such as MBUSI.

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