The emergence and growth of industry clusters in both the U.S. and EU have contributed to a rich and dynamic transatlantic economic landscape. To help further this transatlantic trade, investment and innovation collaboration, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. (GACC Midwest) is organizing the Transatlantic Cluster Initiative.
The initiative brings together leading German and US industry clusters to promote knowledge exchange through content-driven encounters during the 3-year initiative and is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy through the European Recovery Program (ERP; also known as the Marshall Plan).
The first program of the initiative has a focus on the topic of Metalworking. This program includes both a U.S. Roadshow as well as a Trip to Germany. GACC Midwest organized the roadshow in Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA on July 11-14, 2016 together with local partners.
The Roadshow mainly focused on Innovation & Research as well as Skilled Workforce Development in the Metalworking sector. Participants learned about new technologies in additive manufacturing in regards to materials as well as technologies and had good discussions on growing a skilled workforce.
Takeaways from panel discussions and roundtables on Skilled Workforce Development included:
- Need for employers to follow the digital transformation when looking at the millennial generation as the future workforce (Chicago, IL)
- Importance of showing high schoolers “career perspectives” vs. “job perspectives” in Manufacturing (Cleveland, OH).
- Need for exposure to manufacturing from early childhood age on to gain awareness. This enables them to see opportunities in dual apprenticeship programs like our Dual Apprenticeship Programs.
Catch up on all the presentations from the Roadshow on our website.
These outcomes will be part of an ongoing dialogue in the transatlantic cluster cooperation and will be continued on a metalworking cluster trip to Germany November 14-18, 2016. 15 select US-participants will get the chance to explore cutting-edge developments in metalworking during an intensive 5-day trip throughout Germany.
Focus topics will include opportunities for international collaboration, technology development and transfer, recruitment of a skilled workforce, and much more. Participants will have ample opportunity to visit and speak with key players of the German Metalworking industry from business and research institutions as well as interact with leading industry associations and clusters. Last but not least, participants will be able to enjoy German culture and hospitality around Brandenburg, Thuringia and Baden-Wuerttemberg.
To learn more and apply for one of our upcoming programs within the cluster initiative, please visit http://www.gaccmidwest.org/delegation-trip-metalworking
If you would like to become a part of the transatlantic cluster community as a program partner or a recipient of our interactive newsletter, please contact program manager Jessica Ferklass at Ferklass@gaccmidwest.org.