CCAC, German American Chamber of Commerce partnering for the first time to provide Mechatronics training for apprentices of local manufacturers

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

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 mechatronics.    

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 Development. 

"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.

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