2014 ACTE Award of Merit

Joerg Klisch
Vice President Operations North America
MTU America Inc.

Joerg Klisch_203w

Click here to see a video of the apprenticeship program at Aiken County Career & Technology Center!

As our nation faces a shortage of skilled craftsman and skyrocketing tuition costs for postsecondary education, the opportunity to receive free training through a registered apprenticeship is truly the opportunity of a lifetime for many students. As the vice president of North American Operations for Tognum America, Jeorg Klisch has provided this opportunity by partnering with the Aiken County Career & Technology Center to launch South Carolina?s first registered apprentice program for high school students.

Klisch?s model is based on a similar 30-year strong apprenticeship program in Germany that boasts a 100 percent graduation rate. Over the course of two years and the summer between, six industrial mechanic-basic student-apprentices receive 1,000 paid hours of experience working alongside master craftsmen. After passing their exam at the end of the training, the students have acquired the credential and experience to obtain open positions with Tognum or other potential employers. In its pilot round of implementation, MTU-Tognum expended over $50,000 in stipends for apprentices and upgrades for the school?s mechatronics shop. When asked about the program, one of the apprentices said, ?It?s something I never felt before. They care about you and want you to make it in the world.?

Klisch, along with school district and Apprenticeship Carolina representatives, was invited to the White House in 2012 to discuss vocational training opportunities to prepare students in the United States for workforce readiness. He was also featured in an interview with Dan Rather, where he encouraged American industries to explore the German model of workforce training. Klisch has taken every opportunity to invite his industry counterparts in Aiken County to learn more about the apprenticeship program, which continues to grow strong.

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