Bringing German-Style Apprenticeships to the U.S.

My new piece at Slate explains why it’s a good idea to replace the concept of an “internship” with that of an “apprenticeship” — and how community colleges and employers are working together in Tennessee, Maine, and North Carolina to do just that. This model could be applied to many industries, but here I report on training workers to manage the computer-programmed, robotic assembly lines that manufacture cars, turbines, generators, and other huge metal things. 

One shortcoming is that most of these factory-based apprenticeship programs remain heavily male. Since we know so many low and mid-skill female workers are stuck in low-wage, pink collar jobs, it is crucial that companies experimenting with apprenticeships make extra efforts to recruit women.

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