Volkswagen: Apprenticeships & Reskilling Critical to Innovative Workforce Development

Headquartered in Germany and a 1,400-acre assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that employs nearly 4,000 Americans, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a leader in innovative workforce development. The company cultivates local talent through education, training and apprenticeships, and also reskills existing workers.

Integrated into the campus of the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant, the Volkswagen Academy is a state-of-the-art training facility that is home to a number of workforce development programs. From summer camps, an on-site high school, and apprenticeships to incumbent worker training and upskilling, this is where Volkswagen’s current and future workforce grow their skills.

Part of the Volkswagen Academy is a high school program called Mechatronics Academy, located on-site at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant. There, eight state teachers teach grades 11 and 12. In addition, ten instructors from Volkswagen teach the students technical knowledge and practical skills – tools they need for a subsequent two-year apprenticeship training program at Volkswagen Chattanooga. Blending high school, dual credit and dual enrollment courses, the program is designed to give high school students a jump-start on the path to future success in an advanced manufacturing career.

Apprentices are paid an hourly wage while participating in the vocational training program to relieve some of their financial burden. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive a job offer with Volkswagen, an associate degree from Chattanooga State Community College and a Volkswagen completion certificate.

Volkswagen Chattanooga is not only hiring skilled workers for electric vehicle (EV) production – but also training them. The fostering of young talent starts early: even in Chattanooga’s schools, students can engage with robots, microcomputers and 3D printers, with digital design tools and topics such as renewable energies in company-sponsored E-Labs. In compact workshops and week-long summer camps, young people can learn about robot-supported high-tech automotive production.

Volkswagen is investing in the next generation of American workers and is committed to reskilling an innovative workforce.