CPCC signs training agreement with German chamber – IHK Karlsruhe

last modified Apr 18, 2012 12:13 PM
CPCC signs training agreement with German chamber – IHK Karlsruhe

Prof. Hans-Peter Mengele (left) and Dr. Tony Zeiss

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) signed an articulation agreement today with IHK-Karlsruhe, a German regional chamber of industry and commerce, making CPCC the first U.S. community college to offer IHK-certified job-training programs. Starting in August, CPCC students will be able to earn IHK-endorsed certificates in five programs, making them more attractive to German companies in the Charlotte region.

Currently, there are 58 German companies based in the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, which includes Karlsruhe, with Charlotte-area operations that employ 5,000 people. Overall, there are approximately 200 German companies with facilities in the Charlotte region and about 500 in the Carolinas.

The agreement was signed at a Charlotte Chamber ceremony by CPCC President Dr. Tony Zeiss and Prof. Hans-Peter Mengele, CEO, Karlsruhe Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Zeiss said the agreement is a signal to all German and other European companies initiating or expanding their U.S. operations that “Charlotte and CPCC welcome them and are open for business.”

“This agreement is huge for CPCC and our students but also for the Charlotte region,” Zeiss explained. “European companies, particularly those from Germany, now know Charlotte can provide a workforce trained to their exact specifications. We think this gives Charlotte and CPCC students a distinct competitive advantage. In addition, this agreement enhances CPCC’s position as a key economic and workforce development partner.”

Starting in August, CPCC will offer IHK-endorsed certifications in CNC Technology, Energy Management, Mechatronics, PLC Technology and Pneumatics (compressed air) Technology. In most cases, students will be able to earn IHK certification in one semester. According to CPCC administrators, these programs will match job training in Germany so closely that a student could start his/her studies in Germany and complete them at CPCC or vice-versa.

“In today’s borderless world economy, German and American companies and their workers must always be prepared to meet the challenges of global competition,” said Mengele. “The new collaboration announced today between the Karlsruhe Chamber and Central Piedmont Community College will provide workers in the Charlotte region with the training and credentials they need to succeed in this competitive environment and will give convincing proof to German companies and investors that the skilled workforce they need and require is readily available in Charlotte USA.”

In many cases, students will be able to earn IHK certification as they complete the courses needed for an associate degree. Specifically grouped courses taken as part of the student’s associate degree program will give the student the equivalent of an IHK specialist certification, the highest certification level endorsed by IHK. For workers needing additional training, CPCC will make the courses available in just a certificate track.

The five IHK certificate programs will fall under CPCC’s STEM-S (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Sustainability) division. According to U.S. Dept. of Labor statistics, workers with STEM-S education and training earn about 70-percent more than the national average of all occupations. Between 2004 and 2014, employers are expected to hire about 2.5 million STEM-S workers who are entering their occupation for the first time.

For more information about STEM-S programs at CPCC, see http://www.cpcc.edu/stem-s.