August 19, 2016
Last week, Caterpillar Athens hosted Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and State Representative Spencer Frye. The main focus of the visit was Georgia workforce development programs and Caterpillar Athens' partnership with Athens Tech, Broad River College & Career Academy, Clarke County College & Career Academy, Great Promise Partnership, and the University of Georgia College of Engineering.
Caterpillar has long-supported workforce development initiatives that allow for work-based learning programs. Athens Facility Manager Todd Henry was appointed by Governor Deal to serve on the Georgia Workforce Development Board, and he serves on the board of Athens Tech.
Manufacturers in Georgia need skilled industrial workers including mechanics, electricians and machinists. Work-based learning programs can help students at risk of dropping out of school, who lack the resources necessary for continued education, or who are considering (or have chosen) a technical or engineering career. Thus far, Caterpillar Athens has hired 15 of the apprentices who have successfully completed training at the facility through these programs, and we have several students who are currently apprenticing. Training includes assembly, welding, industrial mechanics, electrical, technical, engineering and a host of other manufacturing skill sets.
Georgia is the first state to adopt the "German Apprenticeship Model" that allows companies to be heavily involved in shaping the apprenticeship training curriculum based on current and future demand for workforce skills. Caterpillar is considering participation in the Georgia Consortium of Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT).