PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County and the
Pittsburgh Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce have
partnered for the first time to establish a new apprenticeship
program that will train employees of local manufacturers in
CCAC will train 18 employees of eight local companies in the
noncredit Mechatronics Technology program at CCAC's West Hills
Center, where the employees will go for training every other Friday
for three years, for a total of 360 hours. Students will earn some
college credits toward their Mechatronics Associate Degree after
completing this program. The workers are recent high school
graduates from throughout Greater Pittsburgh and the Tri-State
Region who are employed full-time at the manufacturers, where they
also received some training during high school.
"This program is a great example of the work being done in
the county to connect employees to job opportunities by providing
them with the skills they need to be successful," said
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. "I am very proud to see work
like this being done by CCAC, and grateful to the Pittsburgh
Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce for partnering
on this with us."
Mechatronics is CCAC's signature automation systems program
where students learn the integrated skills of supply chain, process
technology, robotics/AI and electrical systems. CCAC also offers a
credit program whereby students can earn an associate degree in
Mechatronics Technology in as little as two years.
The apprenticeship program kicked off today, when the students
attended orientation at West Hills Center. They met with CCAC
faculty and administrators, as well as Dietmar Rieg, CEO of the
German American Chamber of Commerce in New York, and Rachel Mauer,
president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the German American Chamber
of Commerce. Mauer developed the program with Debra Killmeyer,
assistant vice president and dean, CCAC Workforce
"Germany has always been very big on apprenticeships, and
now the German American Chamber is using that model in the U.S. and
it has worked very well," said Killmeyer. "This is a
great way to learn new skills while earning a wage-and the company
pays for their training."
The goal for the program is to have another group of high school
graduates start their first year of training as this group moves to
the second year. Employees from additional companies will be added
if there is space.