Kick-Off Meeting

With a kick-off meeting in March 2013 we initiated the Workforce & Skills Initiative San Diego/ Tijuana to promote the German dual vocational training system in our region, with participation of Lee Burdick, Director of Special Projects & Legal Affairs at the San Diego Mayor’s Office, Mayor Carlos Bustamante – City of Tijuana, and leaders of more than 30 companies, for instance BSH/Bosch, ThyssenKruppBilstein, and Carl Zeiss Vision.


Please see the report on the website of the German General Consulate Los Angeles Skills Initiative Kick-Off Meeting San Diego and the report about the follow-up meeting in May 2015: Doris Barnett, MdB, Talks Skills Initiative .


The program is designed to implement best practices from German and American institutions, and provide employment opportunities and quality training in communities across the U.S. that will strengthen the economy.The aim of the program is to develop a vocational training system in San Diego, based on the German model, which is a major reason for the indisputable economic success of Germany. It provides sound qualifications through its unique combination of theory and practice, learning and working, thereby offering a highly attractive and recognized training and career path after high school – as an alternative and at the same time complementary option to university education.

Dual Vocational Program in San Diego

The German American San Diego Foundation is building a network of companies and institution to start a pilot project for mechatronics designed for the automotive industry. It is based on the German apprenticeship curriculum, adapted by Volkswagen in Tennessee, and complies with global standards from German car manufacturers. The Initiative, supported by the German government and Volkswagen USA, includes German vocational training specialists, the German American San Diego Foundation, and stakeholders from San Diego and Los Angeles. Mechatronic2

 The German Dual System: Facts and Figures

Around 60 percent of young people in Germany take part in the dual system of vocational training. The company provides practical training and vocational schools supplement this on the-job training with theoretical instruction.Another goal is to build a strong and capable workforce in order to attract businesses to the area and lower the unemployment rate.

– Approximately 350 nationwide recognized training occupations – Around 1.5 million trainees (40 % of whom are female) – Approximately 469,000 companies provide training (about 22.5%) – Exams are supervised by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce – The dual system is business-driven and demand-oriented This automatically opens up the opportunity for the city of San Diego itself, to benefit from the cross border and transatlantic collaboration.One of the first steps was bringing together German and American businesses and local education/training providers to promote and advance the German Dual Vocational Training system in San Diego/Tijuana.The German American San Diego Foundation with its Workforce Skills Initiative provides support not only for the German American business community, but also to promote Germany’s rich and dynamic culture, and integrate Germany’s unique and highly effective dual vocational training system in schools. The overall costs of approx. USD 41 billions (2010) are shared:

– USD 31 billion are financed by companies (75%), – USD 6 billion by the Federal Employment Agency (15%) – USD 4 billion by the German federal states (10%)