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groninger USA Focuses on Training Young Professionals

In August, another young professional started his apprenticeship at groninger USA in Charlotte, North Carolina. Logan Busteed is the 18th student in groninger’s apprenticeship program, which the company offers to high school graduates based on the German model. The German engineering company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of filling and closing machines for the pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare and cosmetics industries.

“After I completed the 5-week internship at groninger this summer, it was clear to me that I wanted to do an apprenticeship at groninger USA," says Logan Busteed enthusiastically. He has now signed his contract and his training itself has already started as he completes his final semester of high school.

During his four-to-six- year apprenticeship with a focus on mechatronics, Busteed will gain practical work experience at the company and be taught the theoretical content at Central Piedmont Community College. "Of course, the tuition fees will be covered by us," describes groninger USA CEO Philipp Hauser, adding, "In addition, Logan will work at our sites in Germany as part of his training." After completing his education, Busteed will have a journeyman's certificate from the North Carolina Department of Labor in his pocket.

As Busteed begins his apprenticeship at groninger, Jenny Dam recently completed hers with a successful graduation. "Choosing to pursue an apprenticeship at groninger USA right after high school was the best decision I could have made," says the engineer. She attended Central Piedmont Community College and then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Dam is the first apprentice to complete groninger’s “2+2 Mechanical Engineering Technology” apprenticeship program. During her training, she gained valuable experience abroad in Germany, where the family-owned company is based.

groninger's training program is accompanied by a mentor as well as journeymen craftsmen who work closely with the apprentices. In this way, groninger ensures that the training meets the highest quality standards. "We attach great importance to practical training - as we do in Germany. Each trainee works on several projects involving electrical, mechanical and programming tasks," explains Aileena Genge, director of human resources at groninger USA. 

The apprenticeship program's concept of "training today for tomorrow's success" is working well for Thomas Ray, assembly technician and apprenticeship lead at groninger USA. Ray joined the company in 2018 as apprenticeship lead, having previously worked in education for 31 years. Ray is convinced that apprenticeships are key to developing a strong workforce that meets the current demands of high-tech manufacturing.

In Germany, apprenticeships are a combination of theoretical learning in vocational school alternating with on-the-job training in the company. As a German company, groninger places particular importance on training qualified specialists and has had sound expertise in this for over 40 years. That is why the successful training program was also transferred to the US subsidiary in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2015.

Apprenticeship is becoming increasingly popular in the United States due to its high level of qualification, financing by the employer and attractive earning opportunities. In addition to groninger USA, other US companies have already begun to introduce apprenticeship programs.

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Lydia-Kathrin Hilpert

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