Stronger Together Manufacturing Workforce Missions:
Sharing Best Practices in Vocational Training
between Germany and the United States 

With 900,000 current openings in American manufacturing nationwide and a workforce shortage projected to reach over two million in the next five years, American manufacturing faces a talent crisis. The American government is addressing this problem through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP), which helps small- and medium-sized manufacturers improve their quantity and quality of workers. One critical area that must be improved for the MEP system’s workforce experts is their knowledge of the dual vocational training system, which is critical to engage and train a new generation of manufacturing workers. Germany’s cutting-edge techniques, programs, and tools for vocational educational training (VET) – including apprenticeships, Industry 4.0 training, and bootcamps that engage underserved populations – would make a huge difference for America’s small manufacturers. To bridge this gap, America Works, a project of MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, and the American Council on Germany are collaborating on three study tours for workforce development professionals across the NIST-MEP National Network to not only learn about, explore, and experience firsthand the robust and vibrant dual vocational training system in Germany but to bring aspects of that system back to American communities and companies. 

The following missions have taken place: 

The Stronger Together Manufacturing Workforce Missions are organized and administered by America Works, a program of MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, and the American Council on Germany with generous support from the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).