Governor Pete Ricketts joined the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACC Midwest), CLAAS Omaha, and Graepel North America at CLAAS of America’s North America headquarters for a Feb. 28 signing ceremony highlighting Nebraska’s first Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) Apprenticeship Program.  At the signing ceremony, which was part of the Growing Nebraska’s Skilled Workforce event at CLAAS, the Governor was joined by CLAAS Omaha CFO Matthias Ristow and Graepel North America President Mark Zumdohme.

“The Growing Nebraska’s Skilled Workforce event brought together leading innovators to help more Nebraskans find a pathway to many of the great opportunities that are available in our state,” Governor Ricketts said.  “Companies like CLAAS of America and Graepel North America have high-quality jobs and tremendous career paths for our state’s workforce.  The German Dual Study Apprenticeship Program is an innovative way to address the skilled workforce shortage by helping both people who are looking for great jobs, and employers working to recruit and develop talent.”

ICATT is the leading apprenticeship program in the Midwest for high-tech manufacturers and companies with complex technologies or logistics and was established by GACC Midwest.  It is open to any manufacturer who wants to build a sustainable pipeline of talent. 

At the signing ceremony, CLAAS and Graepel, two German companies with North American operations based in Omaha, became the first two high-tech manufacturers in Nebraska to sign on to the apprenticeship program and commit funds for the program.  At the event, CLAAS and Graepel also signed on to become a part of the Registered Apprenticeship Program with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).  Both the ICATT and USDOL programs, funded by CLAAS and Graepel, will cooperate with Metropolitan Community College where graduates will receive an associate’s degree at the end of the program.

“Apprenticeship programs are a terrific option for Nebraskans seeking a clear path to rewarding vocational careers,” said Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe.  “Investing in our workforce and creating new opportunities is one of the pillars of growing Nebraska, and we look forward to working with our partners and with employers across the state to raise awareness about the programs that are available.”   

“Today’s event showcases how much Registered Apprenticeships have gained momentum in Nebraska to provide exceptional opportunities for our workforce in advanced manufacturing industries,” said Nebraska Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin.  “We will continue to partner with an increasingly diverse group of employers to help build new programs throughout the state.”