Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) congratulates Dürr Systems Inc. as the winner of the 2020 German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) Apprenticeship Award. The award honors companies that are investing in career pathways for future generations through apprenticeship programs that are based on the German Apprenticeship System, such as the MAT2 Apprenticeship Program.

The GACC Apprenticeship Award recognizes Dürr in multiple ways: for its implementation of and investment in apprenticeship programs in the U.S.; for the impact of apprenticeships on the career paths of its apprentices; and for the exemplary progress of the company’s first apprentice, Scott Kristian.

Dürr is the leading supplier for paint shops and paint application technology, final assembly, and air pollution control systems throughout North America. The company was an early participant in the MAT² Apprenticeship Program, hiring their first MAT² apprentice in 2014.

According to John Edelhauser, Senior Manager, Systems Installation, Modular Build and Apprenticeship Mentor, Dürr is committed to investing in their apprentices and ensuring their training gives them a holistic education and diverse repertoire of skills. He emphasized that this is especially important in an industry where the most important skills are not regularly taught in schools. The only way to gain knowledge is to work directly with experts in the industry, and this “grow your own” approach permeates all aspects of Dürr’s apprenticeship training.

Scott, Dürr’s first MAT² apprentice, is well on his way. Dürr chose to honor Scott as an outstanding apprentice to receive the GACC Apprenticeship Award for his exemplary work ethic. After graduating from the program, Scott became a full-time Associate Installation Technician at Dürr in 2017 and is currently working towards a project management role. John remarked that Scott fits in especially well at the company. “If Scott is assigned a task or an assignment, it’s executed to the best of his ability, and if he’s got questions, he’s going to stop and ask to make sure he’s going down the correct path and do it right the first time,” John said.

“When Dürr joined the MAT² network, the apprenticeships aligned with its long-term workforce development strategy,” said Mario Kratsch, Vice President of GACC Midwest. “We congratulate them on this recognition of their success.”

High-tech manufacturing companies in diverse industries across the U.S. can see similar benefits from participation in German-style apprenticeship programs such as the MAT2 Apprenticeship Program. John said he believes apprenticeship programs are advantageous to companies serious about building a stable future workforce, and the initial investment is worth the excellent results, not only for companies but for apprentices and employees as well.

“We are honored to be the recipient of the 2020 GACC Apprenticeship Award. We believe in the philosophy of growing our own and make it our goal to ensure that each student has an opportunity to find their niche within the organization,” said John. “We are looking forward to seeing continued growth of the MAT² Apprenticeship Program.”