|Ready to disembark after a short ferry ride.|
I thought that the highlight of our Study Abroad experience was going to be the various school visits, learning from the apprenticeship-company owners, meeting with the director of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce, and/or sharing Germany’s win to the Final match of the 2014 World Cup. However, my “aha” moment was today, July 10, 2014 at the factory of J Mueller when I was able to connect the dots between Germany’s Dual Vocational Education Training System and how parts of this learning can be applied in Tampa, Florida with its public schools. Our journey started with a ferry boat ride across the river.
|J Muller Company.|
1. Port logistics
2. Construction mechanic
3. Industrial mechanic
4. Electronics technician
5. Automotive mechatronics engineer
6. Freight and logistics services
7. Shipping merchant
8. Specialist for system integration system development
Mr. Kempendorf shared that he had also been a young apprentice at J Mueller and is now responsible for over 400 employees and 61 apprentices, which validated the impact his experience and now professional career. Not only has J Mueller expanded the number of apprentices but has added sought gender diversity in their their workforce which has been historically dominated by males. Mr. Kempedorf was proud to present this data and attributed this success to the partnerships with the Vocational Education Training schools, establishing a strong partnership with the Bremen’s Chamber of Commerce and doing outreach such as “Future Day” which provides candidates with an orientation to the various jobs/apprentice opportunities at the J Mueller factory.
|Getting an explanation of how the apprenticeship works at|
Although we ended our experience at J Mueller with a relaxing three-hour trip by boat to Bremen, my mind was working and trying to grasp how we could implement such system back in the U.S. I must admit that we have the resources back home; it’s a matter of starting these conversations with gradual steps and getting key individuals involved. Stay tuned….
Ansberto Vallejo is Supervisor for Career and Postsecondary Planning in the Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, FL.
He is also a doctoral student in career and workforce education at the University of South Florida.