Manufacturing is more international than ever. As a champion of German style-apprenticeships, theMAT² Apprenticeship Program is partnered with several companies across Michigan that offer worldwide opportunities, allowing apprentices to obtain hands-on and industry-specific experience, while also becoming global citizens.

MAT² Network Company Dürr Systems, Inc., based in Southfield, MI, is one of those companies. This leading supplier for paint shops and paint application technology, final assembly, and air pollution control systems throughout North American is a subsidiary of Dürr AG in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany. Dürr has been training apprentices in Germany for decades, so when Dürr Systems, Inc. opened in the US, apprenticeships were a natural fit.

Dürr apprentices have the opportunity to travel to their company’s headquarters in Germany. Scott Kristian, the company’s very first MAT² Apprentice, lived and worked alongside his German counterparts for three work terms.

“The company culture is almost like a family. Everyone made sure you felt welcomed, and that you knew what you had to do each day. It made for a good atmosphere and helped me progress and learn what I needed to do.”

Scott added new experiences to his skillset by constructing paint application robots, working on application equipment, and taking a mock PAL exam, all while taking German courses and working alongside other apprentices from Germany, Poland, and Italy.

“At the end of the day, working with people and understanding the culture is such valuable knowledge, and communication is such an important skillset in this industry.”

Other companies, like EMAG L.L.C, based in Farmington Hills, MI, also make sure apprentices meet counterparts in other locations. Third-year EMAG apprentices spend six weeks in Germany at their production facility in Zerbst, where the company’s machines are built and assembled from the ground up. During this visit, the apprentices spend time working in each department, giving them a strong foundation of what is behind and inside their machines. EMAG is also looking to bring apprentices to their facility in China in the future.

“Besides the ability for the students to understand how the machines are built, they also get a perspective as to the size of EMAG as a company, and they also get to meet colleagues from our other locations and build relationships that can span a lifetime,” said EMAG Manufacturing Manager Michael Kjorli.

With Network Companies who have connections across the world, the MAT² Apprenticeship Program offers great opportunities for anyone looking for industry-specific training within a global context. To learn more about opportunities within the program, please contact us.