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Where Factory Apprenticeship Is Latest Model From Germany

Creating Skilled Workers: Manufacturers say there is a critical shortage of trained workers in the United States. In South Carolina, a German company is training high school students in skilled labor through apprenticeships.

For Joerg Klisch, hiring the first 60 workers to build heavy engines at his company’s new factory in South Carolina was easy. Finding the next 60 was not so simple.

“It seemed like we had sucked up everybody who knew about diesel engines,” said Mr. Klisch, vice president for North American operations of Tognum America. “It wasn’t working as we had planned.”

So Mr. Klisch did what he would have done back home in Germany: He set out to train them himself. Working with five local high schools and a career center in Aiken County, S.C. — and a curriculum nearly identical to the one at the company’s headquarters in Friedrichshafen — Tognum now has nine juniors and seniors enrolled in its apprenticeship program…Please click here to read the rest of Nelson D. Schwartz’s story in the New York Times.

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