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Georgia Tech helps facilitate German Apprenticeship program

COVINGTON, Ga. - Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute and Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) Regional Manager Larry Alford said one way GaMEP can help manufacturers prosper and grow is by connecting them to resources, educators and programs they can be taking part in, including the German Apprenticeship program six Newton County College & Career Academy students are taking part in.

It is his role to help facilitate the program between manufacturers and schools.

Alford said the German Apprenticeship program offers an “alternative path to a fabulous career” for students who see an interest in the area of industrial mechanics.

Industrial Mechanics maintain, repair and install factory equipment such as conveying systems, production machinery and packaging equipment.

Alford said manufacturers have a great need for workers in the industrial mechanic field, as technology continues to increase.

Through the program, students can

- Graduate high school on time with their class

- Progress through a technical college program leading to a diploma and associate’s degree

- Achieve the highly respected German-American Chamber of Commerce certification as an Industrial Mechanic

- Gain a U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship certificate

- Enter the workforce with a high-demand job immediately upon your graduation

- Earn between $20-25,000 while learning

- Have no college debt and little out-of-pocket cost

Alford described the apprenticeship as a training-type environment for the students with companies who are willing to invest their resources. There are curriculum-driven projects, but they are not meant to produce results for the company, but to learn along the way.

To qualify, students must be technical college ready at the end of their ninth grade year, Alford said.

“These are very strong students,” he said.

Once accepted into the program, each student is assigned a mentor from the host organization. The mentor is part supervisor and part trainer.  The mentor will learn the requirements of the German-based curriculum, become a certified trainer and work with the German American Chamber to develop a work plan to ensure the apprentice can demonstrate competency to the requirements of the program and be prepared for future work opportunities at the company.

For more information on the German Apprenticeship program, contact Dr. Tim Schmitt at