Bevin, other cabinet officials take part in European apprenticeship study

03/27/2017 02:34 PM

Gov. Matt Bevin and several other cabinet officials are back in Kentucky after participating in an apprenticeship study in Germany and Switzerland last week, according to a news release.

Bevin, Labor Cabinet Sec. Derrick Ramsey, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Terry Gil, and Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner joined a delegation of U.S. officials and business leaders on the trip hosted by the National Governors Association.

“The key building blocks of a robust economy and job growth are education and workforce development,” Bevin said in a release sent Monday. “Apprenticeships are a powerful tool for training and developing workers for the advanced manufacturing jobs of today. Kentucky is on track to become the engineering and manufacturing center of excellence in America. To fulfill this vision, we must study existing best practices from around the world. I was grateful for the opportunity to do exactly that on this trip with NGA.”

Kentucky’s delegation reportedly met with policy makers and local business representatives at the U.S. Embassies in Berlin and Bern. According to the release, Bevin and others also visited manufacturing facilities and local schools to focus on health care, advanced manufacturing, rail industry, and technical informatics.

“The apprenticeship training model has deep roots in Europe’s industrial history,” Ramsey said in a statement. “Being able to study the effects of apprenticeships on these economies firsthand provided us with innovative ideas on ways to better equip Kentucky’s workforce. Kentucky’s economy already features prominent German and Swiss-born companies, and I enjoyed discussing ways we can continue to strengthen our partnership and promote our ‘Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built’ campaign worldwide.”

The administration rolled out their apprenticeship initiative in September of 2016, with an eye on bolstering skilled trades and boosting the state economy.

Currently, there are 2,772 apprentices working in 165 different registered trades across nearly 1,100 employers, according to a news release.

“We are in a workforce crisis in this state, and this mission to Germany and Switzerland offered innovative ideas for creating apprenticeships and other certification programs,” Heiner said. “Our goal is to better equip our students and adults with the skills needed to fill the great jobs that are open and drive our economy.”


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