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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Lt. Governor Kleefisch, DWD Secretary Allen Launch New Apprenticeship Collaboration

Hermle Machine Company 1st employer in Wisconsin to utilize German American Chamber of Commerce talent solution

FRANKLIN – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACC Midwest) officials and other partners today to recognize the Hermle Machine Company for being the first employer in the state to introduce a new apprenticeship collaboration that follows the structure of internationally renowned German apprenticeship system.

"With the state’s unemployment rate at 3.2 percent, Wisconsin's job creators need a robust set of tools to attract and train workers to stay competitive in the national and global economy," Lt. Governor Kleefisch said. "Today, Wisconsin welcomes a proven, successful collaboration between the private sector, the state’s apprenticeship program, and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, and we thank the Hermle Machine Company for its enthusiasm in advancing this opportunity in our state."

Wisconsin DWD's Registered Apprenticeship program, which was created in 1911 and has served as a national model for generations, provides a value-added training model for as many as 11,000 apprentices and 2,500 employers in over 200 occupations across the state annually.

GACC Midwest established the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) program in 2015 based on the structure of the internationally renowned German Dual Education System. The Chicago-based GACC Midwest has been expanding the program in and beyond Illinois, and this year worked with officials from DWD, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Technical College System and other partners to bring the program to Wisconsin. The ICATT program will be another program available under the state's Registered Apprenticeship system.

"Under Governor Walker's leadership, Wisconsin is advancing efforts to find and equip workers with the skills needed for jobs in the modern economy," Secretary Allen said. "Today we are pleased to introduce one more innovative way to meet demand for skilled talent in good-paying, high-growth occupations."

The Hermle Machine Company, based in Franklin, has selected an employee to be the first apprentice once program structure, related instruction, occupation and other details are finalized. The structure of the three-year program will allow apprentices to register with the state, complete on-the-job training and earn an associate's degree, with GACC Midwest providing expertise and certification along the away. The first ICATT apprenticeship in Wisconsin will focus on industrial maintenance.

"At Hermle we understand how important building the next generation of skilled workers is, and it's why we put so much effort into our apprenticeship program in Germany," said Manuel Merkt, Hermle's Executive Vice President of Operations. "The jobs are here, but It’s up to manufacturing companies together with technical colleges to develop younger generations into skilled workers to meet the demands of the industry. With the ICATT program we’re looking to inspire other companies to join us and invest in the future of manufacturing in America."

Mario Kratsch, Skills Initiative Director at GACC Midwest, said, “Apprenticeships work, not just in Germany, but also in the US. ICATT is a one stop shop solution for companies of every size to join. It is an industry-driven program benchmarked to the highest international standards and directly addresses the challenges companies face today. We are very thankful for the State of Wisconsin’s support in promoting ICATT to contribute positively to company and job growth in Wisconsin."

During a visit today to Hermle, Lt. Governor Kleefisch presented the company with a commendation for its partnership to bring ICATT to Wisconsin, and recognized GACC Midwest for its vision and innovation in developing the program. Today's event is part of Workforce Development Month, which Governor Walker proclaimed for the month of September.

About Hermle Machine Company
Hermle Machine Company, of Franklin, Wisconsin, is the North American headquarters of Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG located in Gosheim, Germany. The firm handles all sales support and service functions for a network of distributors located throughout Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Hermle produces a wide range of precision 5-axis machining centers noted throughout the world for their exceptional accuracy and high quality. For more information: www.hermlemachine.com

About GACC Midwest
The German American Chamber of Commerce® of the Midwest (GACC Midwest), headquartered in Chicago, was founded in 1963. GACC Midwest is an integral part of the German Chamber Network (AHKs) with more than 130 offices in over 90 countries around the globe. GACC Midwest's continuing mission is to further, promote, and assist in the expansion of bilateral trade and investment between Germany and the United States, especially the Midwest. The organization combines elements of a trade commission, a membership association, and a professional consultancy - quite a unique concept in international trade promotion. Learn more at www.gaccmidwest.org and www.thinkicatt.com.