INDIANAPOLIS - The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago is looking to expand an innovative apprenticeship program to Indiana. Wolfgang Moessinger traveled to Indiana this week to pitch the ICATT Apprenticeship Program, which is based in Chicago, to Governor Eric Holcomb. The program was developed by the German Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest and focuses specifically on high-tech manufacturing companies.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Moessinger said he is convinced there is potential for growing the program in Indiana.

"It's a system of professional development based on the German Dual Education System," said Moessinger. "We want to develop that further and we want to invite more companies from Indiana to participate in this project because at the end of three or four years of training, the guys get a certificate that is kind of a benchmark of what an advanced technology manufacturing person should know nowadays."

Moessinger says the program gives participants a broader scale of training as opposed to some training offered by manufacturers that is designed specifically for their respective companies. He says Governor Holcomb and his team were aware of the program, though Indiana has not yet benefited from it.

A number of Germany-based companies have a presence in Indiana. Moessinger says both he and Holcomb share the opinion that the current relations between Germany and the United States are just a "hiccup."

"We have to look beyond and we have to carry through; we have to carry on and this is best done on the level of companies, sister cities, personal relations between Germans and American. So, we should not stop doing that just because there are some political issues on the top. From an American perspective, if you really want to get more manufacturing back to your own country, you need the workforce for that, the skills. So we actually help America in pursuing that goal now in developing the workforce."

Moessinger says he hopes to grow the relationship between Indiana and Germany over the next few years by having more companies participating in the ICATT program to help train the next generation of the manufacturing workforce. He also hopes to see new and existing companies from Germany investing in their Indiana presence, as well as growing the relationships of the sister cities between Indiana and Germany.

You can learn more about the apprenticeship program by clicking here.