AICGS

Workforce Training in the U.S. and Europe

Automation, digitalization, and demographic shifts are changing the demands of the workforce in the United States and Europe. Lessons can be learned from other countries’ experience in developing multiple career pathways for their citizens despite national differences. AICGS’ projects on workforce examine best practices for educating workers in a twenty-first century economy and how to build more inclusive work-based learning systems and their role in boosting employment and economic growth.

Employment, Education, and Training: Integrating Young Minorities into the Workforce

These site visits will bring together officials and practitioners from the United States and Germany to examine the challenges and opportunities of integrating migrants into the workforce and how these …

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Sep18

Employment, Education, and Training: Integrating Young Minorities into the Workforce

The Southeast region of the United States has a strong manufacturing industry and a growing immigrant population. The region is also home to about 300 German companies that have brought …

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Mar6

Integrating Migrants into the Workforce

This second AICGS conference focused on the theme of workforce education will convene municipal leaders and immigration and integration experts to talk about both the challenges and commitments to integrating …

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Oct7

Improving the Labor Market Integration of Refugees and other Migrants

On March 14, 2016, AICGS hosted a workshop on “Improving the Labor Market Integration of Refugees and Other Migrants” with Liam Patuzzi, Project Officer at the Agency for the Development …

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Mar14

Workforce Development Case Competition

Educating the future workforce is an ongoing challenge for the United States and Europe. Skills required by high-growth jobs are not necessarily being taught in traditional career paths, and there …

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Sep1

Learn & Earn

In May, participants in AICGS’ working group “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” visited the Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning (WDLL) Center …

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May5

Learn & Earn

At the April meeting of AICGS’ working group “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce,” participants gathered to discuss current workforce trends in …

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Apr2

Transatlantic Approaches to Employment, Education, and Training

AICGS’ conference on March 13, 2015 on “Transatlantic Approaches to Employment, Education, and Training” brought together a group of experts from Germany, the UK, France, and across the U.S. The …

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Mar13

New Pathways for Advanced Work-Based Education

As apprenticeship training in Germany is expanding away from the traditional upper-secondary level and moving toward the post-secondary level, where its core location is in the U.S., it can be …

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Mar6

Learn & Earn

The February meeting of “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” featured Jamell Thrower, Program Manager at the DC Department of Employment Services’ …

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Feb4

Learn & Earn

The December meeting of “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” discussed another facet of workforce development: re-integrating military veterans into the labor …

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Dec2

Learn & Earn

What is the institutional structure of vocational training in Germany? What makes it unique? What challenges does this system face? The participants of the AICGS working group “Learn & Earn: …

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Oct1

Learn & Earn

The fourth meeting of “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” featured Katie Gage, Director of the DC branch of Enstitute, who emphasized …

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Sep4

Learn & Earn

The third meeting of “Learn and Earn: Young Leader’s Group for the Development of the U.S.” featured Max Grünig, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, who focused on the need to “build the clean energy jobs of tomorrow.” He discussed with the group the current market for renewable energy jobs in Germany and around the world, obstacles in creating stability and certainty for a career in the renewable energy sector, and how this affects the ability to incentivize people to train and use these skills.

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Aug7

DC Skills Initiative Working Group Meeting

How can the American vocational system learn from the German model to increase cooperation and economic prosperity between these two nations? That was the fundamental question that brought together the DC Skills Initiative Working Group at its first meeting on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. The group focused on setting a foundation of its purpose, as well as recognizing existing efforts to export this vocational system to supply the needs of growing corporate cooperation between Germany and the United States.

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Jun3

Skills & Industry: A New American Model

Advanced manufacturing and advanced industries more broadly – R&D-intensive sectors demanding technically skilled workers – are critical to the nation’s effort to grow more and better jobs in the wake …

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May22

Protectionism Is the Wrong Medicine

The principles of a liberal economic and social order have assured increasing wealth and living standards in the last decades and globalization has been one of the main driving engines …

From Shared Commitment to Shared Strategy: Encouraging Employer Investment in Workers’ Skills

Like every economic transition preceding it, the digital transformation requires that workers update their skills. Employers on both sides of the Atlantic insist there is a shortage of precisely the …

Inclusive Workforce Education: Opportunities for International Economic Cooperation with the New U.S. Administration

After the protectionist rhetoric of the Trump campaign and discord between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the rest of the G20 finance ministers on free trade in March, the outlook …

Closing the Skills Gap: The Importance of Educating a Diverse Workforce

Anticipated demographic changes in the United States suggest that many communities—and their workforces—will be increasingly minority-based, with Hispanic population growth outpacing other minority groups. Young minorities across the country will …

Working toward Being an Inclusive, Welcoming Home for Immigrants and Their Families

I recently visited Charlotte, North Carolina with a small group convened by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS). The purpose of the trip was to examine how Charlotte, …

Integrating Refugees into the Workforce: A Shared Migration Challenge of the United States and Germany

When it comes to migrants and refugees, the policy differences between the U.S. and Germany are vast these days. Trump and Merkel seem polar opposites: One trying to halve refugee …

GE CEO: Germany points the way for a U.S. manufacturing revival

In an April 2 interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN’s “Global Public Square,” GE CEO Jeff Immelt made the case for looking to Germany for clues to reviving manufacturing in hard-hit …

Integrating Young Minorities into the Workforce: Lessons from Charlotte, NC

Dr. Ryan Monroe is Chief Academic Officer at Carlos Rosario School in Washington, DC.  He was a participant in AICGS’ site visits in Charlotte, NC, as part of the Institute’s …

What the United States Can Learn from Germany: Workforce Training and Public Investment

Political tensions between Germany and the U.S. promptly resurfaced not long after the new administration took possession of the White House. Many will argue at length about who is right …

U.S. Students Are Attending German Universities In Increasing Numbers

  During his 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders’ call to make tuition at public institutions free for all students hit a nerve among his (mainly young) …

Scouting the Land for Opportunities: Issues and Challenges in Refugee Workforce Integration in Germany and the United States

March 13 saw strong voter support in three German state elections for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party. Fueled by continuing waves of incoming refugees, anxiety is building in …

Burden or Blessing? The Impact of Refugees on Germany’s Labor Market

Germany is in the midst of a heated discussion: Are refugees a burden or a blessing for the German labor market? Supporters of the “blessing” camp argue the country’s aging …

Training the U.S. Workforce for the Twenty-First Century: Can Germany Serve as a Role Model?

Not only has manufacturing come back to the U.S., it has also changed in the meantime, asking for new and different skill sets compared to previous times when the U.S. …

Building a Robust U.S. Work-based Education and Apprenticeship System at Scale:Can Lessons from Europe Help?

High youth unemployment in the United States and Europe is a result not only of sluggish growth, but also a skills mismatch—the new generation of workers lacks the skills that …

Developing Advanced Work-Based Higher Education: What Germany and the U.S. Can Learn from Each Other

Currently, many countries are experiencing a strong renewed interest in work-based training.[1] When it comes to discussions in this field, American policymakers usually identify dual apprenticeship training as the “crown …

European Apprenticeship: A Model for the U.S.?

What are elements of a successful apprenticeship system? To what degree should businesses be engaged in educating their workforce, and what other actors should participate in decision-making and evaluation? How …

The Swiss Apprenticeship System: Its Institutional Specificities and Strengths in International Perspective

If the U.S. aims to learn from the Swiss experience, it should seek ways to improve the reputation of work-based training programs through better linking the vocational and academic worlds of learning.

Replicating Germany’s “Dual system”?

Just off the main thoroughfare of Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse is the inconspicuous headquarters of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts. As the tourists pose for pictures outside Checkpoint Charlie – a …

Relevancy of Apprenticeships

During our apprenticeship tour of Germany, France, and the UK, I was impressed at the respect that the general population held for apprenticeship programs. One of our taxi drivers in …

Who Is an Apprentice?

While our focus in Europe has been on the broad structure of apprenticeship systems, we should not lose sight of the apprentices themselves. Many times we have been told “no …

Apprenticeship Loyalty in Hannover

Today we went to the MMBbS, an information technology and media vocational training school two hours south of Berlin by train, and learned about the school that was built on …

First Impressions of French Apprenticeships

As part of the AICGS site visit tour, my colleagues and I spent our first day in Paris getting an in-depth view of the French apprenticeship system. We started off at …

Post-Soviet Apprenticeship

After the hustle and bustle of the capital city, our train passed through the countryside. Small family farms with goats abutted a busy railway. Our destination also lay in between …

Workforce Development

Take a Tour Several years ago, my brother and I visited Daimler’s largest production facility in the small town of Sindelfingen, Germany. Some of the most sophisticated cars in the …

“Made in Germany” – Produced in America? How Dual Vocational Training Programs Can Help Close the Skills Gap in the United States

Two of the strongest education systems and economies worldwide, the United States and Germany, have been among the key sources for models in skill formation emulated globally. Public and private …

AICGS Receives $100,000 Funding to Study Apprenticeship Models in Europe and the United States

Washington DC, June 3, 2014 — The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) announced today that it has received a $30,000 grant from Alcoa Foundation and a $70,000 grant …

Why Companies Should Invest in the Caribbean Workforce

Germany’s dual education and apprenticeship system has kept unemployment comparatively low through the financial crisis and helped businesses that invest in Germany to thrive. This can and should be adapted …

Aid for the Unemployed? How to Really Make the United States Competitive

“I don’t want the next big job-creating discovery and research and technology to be in Germany or China or Japan. I want it to be right here in the United …

Access to Quality Vocational Training in the U.S.

In the United States, Congress is looking for ways to develop vocational training and make it a more viable postsecondary school choice. While vocational training currently is decentralized, the federal …

Germany Combats Youth Unemployment with Vocational Training

In Germany, the unemployment rate today is lower than it was at the beginning of the recession in 2008. The country has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the …

The German Apprenticeship Model

Watch these clips from this panel from the AICGS Annual Symposium: Unfortunately Unqualified: The State of U.S. Jobs and Skills (4:56) German-American Cooperation on Fostering U.S. Apprenticeship Programs (3:44) Not …

Attempt at a “Youth Guarantee”

Improving youth unemployment has always been a priority for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration. On July 3, 2013, the Chancellor called a summit with 18 fellow European leaders and 28 …

Project Description

A leader in vocational training and apprenticeship programs, Germany offers many concrete examples of successful workforce training policies. These are policies aimed at adapting the workforce for the demands of twenty-first century manufacturing and technology, at providing economic growth on a national level, and at using employment and training opportunities to integration minorities into society. German companies operating in the United States have implemented many German-style vocational programs, to great success.

Grants from the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Alcoa Foundation enabled AICGS to study apprenticeship models in 2014-2015 as part of a national effort to develop and expand apprenticeship in the United States called the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0. It identified best practices among employers, educators, and government that prepare the current and future workforce for careers in manufacturing and other advanced industries. The research was conducted with the participation of the foundations in France, Germany, Hungary, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The grant from Alcoa Foundation supported local research, including the participation of the AICGS network of experts. The results were published in spring 2015 and were based on expertise from each country’s apprenticeship programs, including the policy and programmatic challenges and opportunities; and inputs from those in industry, academia, the nonprofit sector, and government. The research sought to create a global “knowledge” network focused on apprenticeships in manufacturing, and informed an AICGS report that profiled each country’s apprenticeships.

Further support from the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Arconic Foundation focused on Integrating Young Minorities into the Workforce. The Southeast region of the United States has a strong manufacturing industry and a growing immigrant population. The region is also home to about 300 German companies that have brought their traditions of apprenticeship and training programs with them. Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, has become an emerging immigrant gateway, with its foreign-born population having almost doubled between 2000 and 2010. In 2013, Charlotte became a “welcoming city” and it now has an Immigrant Integration Task Force. The city and region are at the forefront of education, training, and integrating its immigrant population. Our aim for these site visits was to bring together officials and practitioners from the United States and Germany to examine the challenges and opportunities of integrating migrants into the workforce and how these challenges and opportunities are handled in the public and private sectors. The site visits emphasized the work of local and regional actors in areas of major economic migration and industry.

For questions about this project, please contact Susanne Dieper, Director of Programs and Grants, at sdieper@aicgs.org.


This program is generously funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation, and the Arconic Foundation. Support for fellows’ projects was provided by the German Academic Exchange Service.

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