Showcasing Innovation in Apprenticeship at SelectUSA

SelectUSA-1aAmerica’s innovative spirit has long been a key ingredient not only of our own success, but also in attracting multinational companies to set up shop.

That’s one reason why President Obama issued a challenge to double the number of registered apprenticeships in the United States two years ago. Since then, the U.S. has expanded apprenticeships by over 21 percent – the largest expansion in over a decade. And today, more multinational companies are exploring how apprenticeship can build a skilled American workforce – learning from LEADERs like Daetwyler, Buhler and Zurich Insurance.

So how do we build on this momentum? At the SelectUSA Investment Summit this week, Labor Department and private sector leaders had an opportunity to hear from those who are leading the way.

Nearly 30 multinational companies joined Secretary Tom Perez for an apprenticeship roundtable on the opportunities and challenges in developing apprenticeships in the United States. It was clear that the future of apprenticeship is bright, thanks to industry leaders such as Mikron, Aon and Zurich Insurance that are blazing the way by starting new apprenticeship programs in their U.S. operations and encouraging others to do the same.

During the summit, Switzerland-based Mercuria launched a new apprenticeship program for apprenticeships in IT, financial risk, and commodities trading and logistics. What makes this launch exceptional is that it breaks from the stereotype that apprenticeship is for those that couldn’t go to college. Mercuria takes the apprenticeship model a step further and says you can apprentice even after getting your bachelor’s degree or MBA in order to step up on the next rung of the corporate ladder.

On the SelectUSA tradeshow floor, federal government agencies and local economic development organizations showcased U.S. investment opportunities directly to international companies. Deputy Secretary Chris Lu got a firsthand look, and he also met with several ambassadors and multinational companies to encourage them to consider the benefits of apprenticeship.

Together, we’re building a movement that empowers any kind of company to start an apprenticeship program, and strengthen local workforces throughout the U.S. We are more committed than ever to continue to work with our international partners to advance the quality, supply and investment in innovative apprenticeships both here in America and across the globe.

Credit : United States Department of Labor

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