Volkswagen Chattanooga Celebrates New Graduates
Volkswagen Chattanooga celebrated its second class to graduate from the Volkswagen Academy’s three-year Automation Mechatronics Program (AMP) today in a ceremony that highlighted the German ‘dual education’ system.
Volkswagen also announced the creation of the Engineering Specialist Training program, which targets candidates who have already earned their Bachelor’s degree. They would then receive a concentrated 18-month program that highlights the same hands-on experience of the mechatronics training coupled with three months of international experience at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.
“Volkswagen Chattanooga put this program in place to play an active part in developing the skilled workforce here in Hamilton County. We believe these skills are important because they support jobs that add value to the economy,” said Christian Koch, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga.
A dual education system combines vocational classroom education and paid on-the-job training in one course. Students receive hands-on-training in mechanical systems, electricity, electronics, machining, welding and automated systems among other disciplines.
“Through these programs, Volkswagen Chattanooga is thinking globally and acting locally,” said Sebastian Patta, EVP Human Resources. “Why import talent, when we can develop it here and create a lasting impact on the economy? We are committed to training our local workforce with the most advanced technical skills specific to our developing business needs,” Patta said.
After being the first company to be certified by the by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the German American Chambers of Commerce (AHK USA) for the Automation Mechatronics Program in 2013, the Volkswagen Academy will be receiving another certificate in 2014 for outstanding performance and is now recognized as an educational institute by the German American Chamber of Commerce.
The certificate acknowledges companies training according to the German standards in the highest category defined by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) in Berlin.
“Volkswagen’s Automation Mechatronics program is an exceptional example of what a vocational training program in the U.S. can be,” said Martina Stellmaszek, President and CEO, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc. “The continued success of this program and its graduates is directly tied to Volkswagen’s ongoing partnership with local colleges throughout Tennessee. Vocational training programs like Volkswagen’s, are graduating candidates who are well-trained, prepared and have the skills needed to perform the job.”
Volkswagen Chattanooga partners with Chattanooga State Community College to implement the Automation Mechatronics Program in the cutting edge 163,000 sq. ft. Volkswagen Academy.
For more information or to enroll in the Volkswagen Academy, please GO HERE.
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Last Update on March 05, 2015 18:48 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since May, though the level of applications remains at a level consistent with steady hiring.
The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 10,250 to 304,750, a six-week high.
The number of applications tends to reflect the pace of U.S. layoffs. The four-week average has remained near or below 300,000 since September, a historically low level that typically signals healthy job gains.
There are some signs that heavy snow and unseasonably cold weather have played a role in increasing the number of layoffs. Several states said two weeks ago that applications had risen because of bad weather.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. worker productivity was even weaker than first thought from October through December while labor costs rose at a faster rate.
The Commerce Department says that productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 1.8 percent drop that was estimated a month ago. Labor costs rose at a 4.1 percent rate, faster than the 2.7 percent increase first estimated.
Weaker productivity and higher labor costs could spell inflation troubles for the economy. But analysts say that the changes in the fourth quarter are temporary and not an indication that inflation is about to be a problem.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories fell again in January but a key investment category showed a gain.
The Commerce Department says orders to factories edged down 0.2 percent in January following declines of 3.5 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November.
In an encouraging sign, orders in a category viewed as a proxy for business investment showed an increase of 0.5 percent in January following declines of 0.5 percent in both December and November.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average long-term mortgage rates have fallen for the first time in four weeks and remain near historic lows reached in May 2013.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.75 percent from 3.80 percent last week.
The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, fell to 3.03 percent from 3.07 percent last week.
A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.28 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.32 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, which were meant to hold down long-term rates.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey has announced a settlement with Exxon Mobil that it says is the largest environmental settlement in state history, even though it is far less than the state initially sought.
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement Thursday the $225 million settlement over refinery sites in Linden and Bayonne is separate from Exxon Mobil's obligation to clean up the sites.
The settlement has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers who note that the state initially sought $8.9 billion in damages. A judge found the company liable but no damage amount had been determined.
Last month the two sides told the judge to delay his ruling because a settlement was imminent.
The case was brought in 2004 and charged that Exxon's petroleum refining plants contaminated the land and water.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Marine scientists are raising concerns about the Obama administration's decision to move ahead on use of seismic air guns in the Atlantic Ocean for oil and gas exploration.
Seventy-five scientists from around the globe on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying the use of the guns, which create canonlike air blasts underwater, represents a "significant threat to marine life throughout the region."
The air blasts fire every 10-12 seconds for weeks or months at a time, which can harm marine mammals that rely on hearing to survive.
Nine permits are before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which must also be approved by NOAA Fisheries before being finalized.
The government says no seismic applications will be approved without measures meant to mitigate harm to marine life.
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