For two to three years, an inaugural class of nine apprentices will work full time in the Duryea plant, receive full benefits, and take classes both in person and online through partnerships with local schools. With its apprenticeship program, SCHOTT, a high-technology company and specialty glass producer, is actively working to rejuvenate American manufacturing and create jobs by offering young people a combination of practical experience and classroom training to instill specialized skills that will serve our apprentices as they pursue their careers.
The nine apprentices in Duryea, culled from 250 applications, can learn one of three tracks of trades—glass operator generalist, mason-metalsmith, and maintenance-machinist—as they work toward journeyman certification. In selecting candidates, SCHOTT continued its proud tradition of supporting our troops by selecting four veterans for the program. In addition, two of the apprentices continue a family tradition—their fathers currently work for SCHOTT.
“Many high school and college graduates are struggling to find a good job with a living wage,” said Anne Marie Martin, HR Specialist at SCHOTT. “Too many are caught in the Catch-22 that is often the hiring process: to find work, they need experience, but they can only gain experience from working. SCHOTT’s apprenticeship program slices through this contradiction and offers nine trainees an opportunity to learn a valuable trade while working full time with benefits. At the same time, SCHOTT gains a new generation of skilled workers to build on our 125 years of producing the world’s top glasses and materials, and advanced technologies.”
The SCHOTT apprenticeship program is based on the German model of apprenticeship, in which young people learn technical skills on the job while spending additional time in classrooms to supplement their experiential learning. SCHOTT’s German facilities welcome new apprentices each year.
As manufacturing technology evolves, younger generations bring a natural adaptability to such equipment that serves as a valuable base on which to build specialized, technical skills. This natural talent makes the next generation of workers essential to revitalizing American manufacturing. The SCHOTT apprenticeship program will combine this adaptability with time-honored glass and high-tech manufacturing processes to create new opportunities for our apprentices to pursue successful careers.
SCHOTT plans to establish apprenticeship programs at their other manufacturing facilities throughout the US.