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US / Closing the Gap: German Skills Initiative hosted in Washington

On Tuesday, January 29th, the German Embassy in Washington, DC hosted “The German Skills Initiative” with many heads of both U.S. and German corporations in attendance. Alongside German Ambassador Peter Ammon, the speakers included U.S. Secretary of Commerce Dr. Rebecca Blank, German Deputy Chief Executive of International Economic Affairs Dr. Volker Treir, CEO of Siemens Corporation Eric Spiegel, CEO of Zentis Food Norbert Weichele, President of Central Pidemont Community College Dr. Tony Zeiss, and Professor at Urban Institute Dr. Robert Lerman.

Each speaker confronted the problem of the “gap.” According to Dr. Blank, a growing skills gap is emerging among the youth of America between the years of high school and college. Many young students are headed into “dead end degrees,” while those who are focusing studies in the manufacturing arena are graduating with a diploma alone, absent of skill sets or work experience. Germany faced a similar predicament and created the now successful “Dual Program” to address and close the gap.

The program consists of pairing both the public education sector with private businesses to provide students with practical training and education that falls somewhere between German high school and college standards–and right where it needs to be to land a stable job in manufacturing. The results? A youth unemployment rate in Germany of 6.2 percent vs. 16.8 percent in the U.S.

Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from

Closing the Gap- German Skills Initiative Offers Job Creation for the Rising Generation - Diplomatic Courier Blog

via Closing the Gap: German Skills Initiative Offers Job Creation for the Rising Generation | Diplomatic Courier Blog.

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