German style Apprenticeship to start this fall, many local industries to support the pilot programme

A German-style apprenticeship – the first in the United States to involve high school students – will start this fall in Coweta County.

Eleven students will participate in Coweta’s first year, compared to 1.5 million in Germany. Even so, creating the new program – an opportunity for local students to begin on-the-job training for pay while completing their high school studies – has required the cooperation of many people from different facets of the community.

Business leaders, educators and officialdom in both Germany and Georgia have hammered out the details that have made the program possible.

The Georgia Consortium of Advanced Technical Training, or GA CATT, was inaugurated Monday at the Newnan Centre. Eight local industries are involved along with Central Educational Center, a local charter school that already combines traditional high school curriculum with technical training.

GA CATT will allow students to begin their apprenticeships in 10th grade with a combination of traditional high school classes, college-level manufacturing courses, and apprenticeship modules that will pay $8/hour. By 12th grade, students will spend 80 percent of their day learning at manufacturing sites, earning $12/hour. Participating corporations in the pilot program include Grenzebach, E.G.O. North America, Yamaha, Kason, Yokogawa, Winpak, Chromalloy and Groov-Pin.

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