First 12 US apprentices graduate from VW program

First 12 US apprentices graduate from VW program

August 13th, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Frank Fischer, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, speaks to twelve graduates of the Automation Mechatronics Program during the 2013 commencement ceremony.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Pictured is the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant today is highlighting the first graduates of a skilled training program to teach people to maintain the equipment at the plant.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and others are slated to be at the ceremony for the three-year automation mechatronics program.

The effort is modeled after the German dual system that combines vocational classroom education and paid on-the-job training in one course.

The jobs represent one of the skills gaps that Volkswagen has encountered since it decided to build a plant in Chattanooga over five years ago, according to the automaker. The students have jobs waiting for them on the factory floor as skilled maintenance team members.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.