groninger USA apprentice selected for “Study and Work Abroad”

groninger USA apprentice selected for “Study and Work Abroad”

First groninger USA apprentice selected for “Study and Work Abroad” scholarship program
January, 19 2016 in Charlotte, USA

Casey Weir - groninger Mechatronics apprentice

Casey Weir, one of the first apprentices to enter the groninger USA apprenticeship program in 2014, is now a rising third-year Mechatronics apprentice, and also the first groninger USA apprentice to receive a scholarship to participate in the “Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” program.

According to a press release by Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), the “Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” is a three-month program that is comprised of one month of language study and two months of on-the-job-training at an international company. In June 2015, the German Language and Culture Foundation of Charlotte (GLCF) agreed to award a CPCC student a $4,700 scholarship to participate in the program. The program is supported by a grant from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During Weir’s three months in Germany, Weir will spend one month at the Goethe-Institut Schwäbisch Hall, a worldwide German language and culture educational institution, and two months at groninger’s facilities in Crailsheim and Schnelldorf. In Crailsheim, the location of groninger’s corporate headquarters and Pharmaceutical sector facility, Weir will spend two weeks in its Vials department, and two weeks in its Syringes department. In Schnelldorf, the location of groninger’s Cosmetics and Consumer Healthcare sectors facility, Weir will work on machines that process components such as cream jars, mascara tubes, lip gloss tubes and shampoo bottles. Overseeing Weir at groninger USA is Frank Laue, the Apprenticeship Coordinator and Assembly Team Leader. Laue has worked at various international companies for the past 16 years. Laue hopes that the introduction of cultural exchange to the groninger group’s apprenticeship program will further optimize communication between its employees.

“The benefit is being able to communicate with colleagues in Germany. Learning the culture bridges the gap, and helps us relate to our counterparts in order to understand what their day-to-day comprises of,” said Laue. “Ultimately it helps us to continue to work better together, and to gain insight from our experiences.”

Laue also finds it useful to know the company’s native language, German, when interpreting the original contexts of documents, drawings, schematics and other technical correspondence. Laue believes that Weir’s experience will be the first of many for future rising third-year groninger USA apprentices at the top of their class. In addition to gaining linguistic and cultural insight at groninger’s facilities in Germany, Weir wishes to also gain more insight into groninger’s corporate structures.

“I want to understand how groninger is structured, and why the company’s philosophies have made it so successful,” said Weir. “The groninger apprenticeship program has existed for many years, and I feel like I can learn a lot from working together with them – even for this short amount of time.”

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