Siemens’ first class of apprentices in the United States will participate in a graduation ceremony the evening of August 12 hosted by Apprenticeship 2000 – the Charlotte-based regional apprenticeship partnership. As a national leader in the effort to address America’s training gap, Siemens initiated its apprenticeship program in Charlotte in 2011, partnering with Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) to create a pipeline of skilled manufacturing workers for the future.
The graduation represents the culmination of a four-year skills-based learning program that is geared toward preparing students for success in today’s advanced manufacturing facilities – which require demonstrated proficiency in the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
As members of the first class of apprentices at Siemens’ Charlotte Energy Hub, the graduates have received on-the-job training – with pay and without incurring education debt – while simultaneously pursuing studies at CPCC in mechatronics, which combines the specialties of mechanical, computer, electronic, software control and system design engineering. Siemens’ graduates, who are now employees at the company’s Charlotte factory, have completed the academic requirements for an Associate’s Degree in mechatronics and have also satisfied the work requirements for a Journeyman Certification from the North Carolina Department of Labor.
“This ceremony is a special milestone for our graduating apprentices. Having completed a rigorous course of study along with demanding on-the-job requirements, they have all the tools they need for a successful start in today’s modern factory,” says Mark Pringle, Vice President at the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub. “Our apprentices have shown tremendous commitment and determination, and we look forward to their continued contributions as valued team members.”
“With a national need for skilled workers, the success of Siemens’ apprenticeship program in Charlotte demonstrates how business leaders can work with educators to develop a trained workforce,” says Eric Spiegel, President and CEO of Siemens USA, who served as a member of the President’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) 2.0. “By empowering students with real-world skills, we are helping to clear a pathway to the middle class.”
Using the German-style apprenticeship model as a guide, Siemens has created public, academic and corporate partnerships to train workers for highly-skilled, well-paying advanced manufacturing jobs. As part of its participation on AMP, Siemens worked with Alcoa and Dow to develop a playbook for other employers seeking to build apprenticeship programs.
Based on the success of the Charlotte apprenticeship program, Siemens has launched a similar program in Fort Payne, AL. Additional partnerships are slated for Sacramento and Atlanta.