Elected officials and community members gathered at Volkswagen Chattanooga Thursday to recognize graduates of the Volkswagen Academy. During the ceremony, the company announced the relaunch of their apprenticeship program, the most comprehensive update since the program’s inception in 2010. The new program curriculum will address changes in technology and potential new products at the factory.
“Since the beginning, education and training have been core principles of Volkswagen Chattanooga,” said Antonio Pinto, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “The Volkswagen Academy helps prepare our apprentices for rewarding careers at our production facility. I am happy to welcome our recent graduates to our team and know they will be an integral part of our success moving forward. As our factory and the product lineup grows and evolves, so does the curriculum for our apprentices. The new program will prepare our apprentices for the future.”
This year marked the seventh class from the Automation Mechatronics Program, the fourth class from the Car Mechatronics Program and the third class from the Engineering Specialist Program. A total of 14 apprentices completed the programs; each received conditional job offers from Volkswagen Chattanooga.
The Automation Mechatronics Program will be relaunched as the new Robotronics Program. The Robotronics Program will introduce the emerging technologies of intelligent production incorporated with cloud technology and big data to the apprenticeship curriculum. The first cohort of Robotronics Apprentices will begin their training this month.
"This reimagining of our apprenticeship program is a necessary evolution that pushes our curriculum to meet the needs of a changing industry in line with new technology and potential new products,” said Nicole Koesling, Volkswagen Chattanooga SVP human resources. “The curriculum update will be paired with updates to the program’s timing and structure based on feedback from our training staff and apprentices.”
Offered exclusively at the Volkswagen Academy, the Robotronics Program is a dual education program which combines vocational classroom education and paid on-the-job training in one course. The program length is two years, and the pay scale will be optimized. The Robotronics Program curriculum is based on Industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing principles including robotic technologies, engineering design processes, manufacturing technologies, IT network programming, cyber physical systems and troubleshoot/maintenance.