Hermle Machine Co., a manufacturer of high-end machine tools, annually employs 100 to 120 apprentices in its German operations. The apprentices make up about 13% of that workforce. Manuel Merkt, executive vice president of operations at Hermle’s US operations (Franklin, WI), is working with the German American Chamber of Commerce to establish a similar program in Wisconsin which would provide graduates with the same skills and certifications that the program in Germany offers. Merkt, himself a product of the apprenticeship program, explains to Manufacturing Engineering’s James D. Sawyer how the effort is proceeding.
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