Volkswagen of America, Inc. received the Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award in recognition of the company’s industry-driven programs to train and educate American workers. Volkswagen’s investments in education, specifically through programs at the plant in Chattanooga, exemplify the company’s commitment to on-the-job training for future technologies and upskilling for the next generation of mobility, officials said.
“It is an honor to receive this award in recognition of our commitment to workforce development and our commitment to growing our economic presence in the U.S.,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America. “At the Volkswagen Academy, we combine academic studies with on-the-job training. The success of this program and its graduates is directly tied to our ongoing partnerships with local colleges throughout Tennessee. Our graduating apprentices are well-trained, well-prepared and have the proper skills to seize the opportunities that the transition to electric vehicle production is creating.”
"The Pledge underscores our dedication to the continuous education of our team members and apprentices, as well as our commitment to support public education and learning opportunities in our community," said Tom du Plessis, CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations. "Tomorrow’s leaders and our future employees are shaped by the educational environment today. We believe that vibrant public-private relationships are critical to a strong, sustainable economic future; therefore, we are committed to supporting students throughout their journey to reach their full potential."
Officials said, "As a company, Volkswagen is making large investments in the U.S. workforce to support the technological changes needed to remain a leader in mobility and is committed to training the current and future workforce to build electric and innovative vehicles for the North American Region. Specifically, Volkswagen’s workforce development strategy in the U.S. focuses on engaging local talent, consistently recalibrating programs to meet future needs, and fostering a culture that encourages innovative thinking.
"Much of the work is centered around the strong partnerships Volkswagen has developed with educational institutions which dramatically increase the company’s training capacity, particularly for its onsite apprenticeship, technical skills, and professional skills training. Volkswagen has partnered with the state of Tennessee, Hamilton County Schools and the Public Education Foundation to establish 16 digital fabrication labs. The Volkswagen Academy also hosts the onsite high school, apprenticeship, and professional development programs, all of which enable the company to reach an audience ranging from middle school students through established professionals."
“On behalf of President Trump, I am honored to award the inaugural Pledge to America’s Worker Presidential Award to Volkswagen of America and eight other outstanding organizations,” said advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump. “Volkswagen of America has demonstrated a meaningful and substantive commitment toward re-skilling and investing in the futures of their workers, more urgent now than ever before due to the changes brought on by the pandemic. Prioritizing American workers and ensuring they are well prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow will guarantee the continued exceptionalism of our country’s workforce for decades to come.”
The Pledge to America’s Workers initiative recognizes the important role companies play in training America’s workforce, challenges them to commit to providing new job training and education opportunities in the coming years, and celebrates that commitment. Since its founding in July 2018, more than 430 organizations have joined the effort.