DRÄXLMAIER welcomes two new students to youth apprenticeship program

Ivan Kurpis (left) and Evelyn Atkins are getting ready to sign their apprenticeship certificates with the DRÄXLMAIER Group.

Ivan Kurpis (left) and Evelyn Atkins are getting ready to sign their apprenticeship certificates with the DRÄXLMAIER Group.

Duncan, S.C., Nov. 18, 2021 – The DRÄXLMAIER Group, a Tier 1 supplier to the international automotive industry, is welcoming two new students to its apprenticeship program.

Evelyn Atkins and Ivan Kurpis both accepted a three-year youth apprenticeship at a signing ceremony at R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center in Moore on Nov. 18. The two will be working at the DRÄXLMAIER plant site in Duncan.

"We recognize the importance of preparing the workforce of tomorrow in-house," said Edmund Eggensberger, manager of the DRÄXLMAIER plant site in Duncan. "These two youth apprentices will be able to bring in their own talents and ideas as they work with and learn from experienced employees in a dynamic work environment.”

As a mechatronics apprentice, Atkins will learn how to install and test hard- and software components on equipment on the production floor. Kurpis, a machine tool technology apprentice, will learn how to maintain production equipment by machining metal to replace broken parts. Both will be part-time DRÄXLMAIER employees with a regular working schedule. Any training classes they attend will be paid by DRÄXLMAIER.

Modeled after the German dual vocational training, the standardized DRÄXLMAIER apprenticeship program combines classroom lesson with on-the-job training. While qualified DRÄXLMAIER trainers educate the apprentices in-house according to company-wide uniform standards, a close cooperation with vocational schools and technical colleges ensures that each student received the theoretical knowledge to be successful.

As part of the DRÄXLMAIER apprenticeship program, R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center will provide the customized job-related education component of the program. After successfully completing the program, apprentices will earn a nationally recognized apprenticeship credential from the U.S. Department of Labor.

"R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center is looking forward to continuing our work with DRÄXLMAIER to build its talent pipeline through this unique partnership," said Jerry Wyatt, acting director of R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center. "We know that a registered apprenticeship program is an effective and proven workforce development tool. Partnerships like this provide unprecedented opportunities for our students."

The DRÄXLMAIER Group has been training its workforce of tomorrow in-house since 1984, first at its corporate headquarters in Vilsbiburg, Germany. In 2012, the company initiated its first dual vocational training program outside Germany in Brasov, Romania. Today, the program has been implemented at more than 25 sites around the world. The DRÄXLMAIER site in Duncan has been offering vocational training to young talents since January 2020.

"A youth apprenticeship program provides a wonderful opportunity for a company to build its workforce pipeline with talented young people ready to learn," said Amy Firestone, vice president for Apprenticeship Carolina. "Apprenticeship Carolina and the technical colleges across our state are committed to building South Carolina's skilled workforce with partnerships like this with DRÄXLMAIER."

Since its inception in 2007, Apprenticeship Carolina has played a crucial role in growing apprenticeship participation across the state. As a result, the number of participating organizations has increased from 90 to 1,185 currently, and the number of apprentices has grown from 777 to more than 37,000 total apprentices.

Headquartered in Vilsbiburg, Germany, the DRÄXLMAIER Group has been manufacturing complex electrical systems and elegant interiors for premium automakers in the Americas since 1976. The company currently has 13 production sites in the region. Its U.S. headquarters are located in Duncan, S.C., where it has been manufacturing interior systems since 1996. The DRÄXLMAIER Group also maintains logistics hubs in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., an engineering office in Mountain View, Calif., and a production site in Livermore, Calif.

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