Our Apprenticeship program

With over 125 German companies in the Pittsburgh region, there is an enormous demand for skilled employees with specialized training and education. Following the completion of our pilot program with Veka Inc., GACC Pittsburgh Chapter and our Eduational Partners are proud to introduce the German Style Apprenticeship Program to the Greater Pittsburgh Area. 

What are Dual Apprenticeship Programs?

Dual Apprenticeship Programs are an innovative and industry-led approach to education. Benchmarked on the German Dual Education System, they are the gold standard of a practical educational model developed in conjunction with technology leaders. They generally combine practice, theory and work to train a globally competitive workforce. Companies get a tailored training program, greater employee loyalty and access to a high-quality candidate pool. 

What makes our Apprenticeship Program special?

In the need to fill the skills gap issue in the Pittsburgh region and beyond more and more Apprenticeship Program pop up on the market to address this issue and help companies to overcome this obstacle. With those various options on Apprenticeship Programs it is important to us to demonstrate what makes our program unique and what differentiates us from other programs: 

Our program has now expanded to include four different apprenticeship modules with thirteen companies with a range of the IHK’s apprentice modules:


Mechatronics Technician                  Polymer Process Technician


Sales Engineer                            Welding (start 2019)

  • The “German” factor:

As German American Chamber of Commerce we are directly connected to the German IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) and therefore have access to a pool of 360 state-of-the-art Apprenticeship modules that have been established in Germany for decades. With adapting the Dual Apprenticeship program we include the skills and competencies required from the German IHK for the job profiles and modified them into a two-year program to make them a better fit for the companies in the American market.

  • Company first approach 

Since our Apprenticeship program is highly company-oriented, it is our goal to fully understand your business and the required skill set for your workforce. With that in mind we can adjust the program’s curriculum to guarantee a workforce tailored to their needs with apprentices that will have a leg up on their competition, since they receive hands-on experience while simultaneously learning theory. 

  • Competitive Advantage for young students

Our program allows the apprentice to learn the theoretical skills from our Pennsylvania-certified instructors, community colleges and universities, and apply these skills immediately at the company without getting into tremendous financial debts. We are working closely with local community colleges (CCAC) and other educational partners (UcanB, Bidwell, MAC Center University of Pittsburgh) to provide the best education possible at the lowest cost possible to ease expenses for the companies. At the end of the program, not only will our apprentices be more experienced and employable than other students their age, but also have a guaranteed employment in their desired field of employment. The goal of the Dual Apprenticeship program is for the apprentice to have a defined set of skills that are acknowledged in the industry but also to be employable by the company.

  • Registration, Approval and Certificates

Our Apprenticeship Program has been registered by the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry and approved by the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council and the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship. Upon completion, the apprentices will receive their journeyman paper's by the German American Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh Chapter which are recognized by the State of Pennsylvania and throughout the US.

Moreover, our apprentices will receive certification from CCAC and their associates degree (optional, with additional elective classes).

Further, they will participate in the German IHK (Chamber of Commerce & Industry) final examination and upon successful completion they will receive the German certificate, which makes them employable beyond the US. We would like to thank our valued member Trustpoint.One for their translation services and support for our Apprenticeship Program!

  • Grants & Funding

With our broad network and contacts to the PA State Department of Labor and Industry and other county workforce development boards we are always looking for additional funding to minimize the investment on the company side. Those grants can help pay the apprentices tuition fees and their wages. So far, the GACC Pittsburgh was able to ensure funding for the three year class room training and part of the wages.

GACC's Role within the Apprenticeship Program





Kick-off Event and Student Orientation at CCAC

What a great kick-off to the first semester at CCAC for our Mechatronics and Polymer Technician apprentices! A special thank you to CCAC's wonderful staff for organizing everything and all your help. We were honoroed that our special guest Dietmar Rieg, CEO of GACC New York, gave our students a warm welcome and some background stories about the German Dual Apprenticeship Program. All 17 apprentices were invited to the West Hills Center for their student orientation day to explore the campus and meet all other apprentices in their classes. The Apprentices work for 8 different local companies: Mine Safety Appliances Co, Veka Inc Quality Vinyl Products, rose plastic, Almatis Inc, Pleiger Plastics Company, Auma Actuators, Hennecke Polyurethane Technology and Ensinger.

A Glimpse At Our Apprentices

Read more about our Apprentice Chris at AUMA

Corporate Apprenticeship Sponsors