Mike Bryan, Training Specialist at the Bosch Rexroth Fountain Inn Manufacturing Facility, was named Trainer of the Year by the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC). The GACC Award recognizes outstanding German subsidiaries that demonstrate excellence in workforce training by fostering advanced skills and competence development, especially in young people. This year’s award was presented to Mike Bryan on Dec. 16, 2013, in New York City in recognition of his involvement with the company’s apprenticeship program.
In 2008, Bryan transferred to Rexroth’s Fountain Inn facility from the Bosch facility in nearby Charleston, S.C., to implement the new apprenticeship program. To date, 769 apprentices have been trained by Bryan during his 32 years of experience in apprenticeship development. Bryan has been at Bosch for a total of 36 years.
As part of Bosch and Bosch Rexroth’s investment in developing the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills of the next generation, the Fountain Inn two-year apprenticeship program, which Bryan oversees, allows engineering students to earn valuable on-the-job training and experience. The program consists of a fabrication shop, machine shop, sign shop, and engineering co-op programs. Through a partnership with Greenville Technical College, apprentices work at Rexroth’s Fountain Inn facility and attend classes to gain advanced manufacturing skills. Upon completion of the program, students earn an apprenticeship certificate, opening up further avenues for professional development, including, for some, employment at Bosch.
In addition, Bryan is actively engaged in growing youth STEM programs in area schools and has volunteered more than 300 hours per year for the past 15 years. For example, Bryan started a high school team in Lauren’s County School District to participate in FIRST Robotics, a highly challenging, student-driven international robotics competition. The school district embraced the program, and it has now grown into additional FIRST teams for the middle and elementary schools.
The apprentice program also aims to support workforce development in the various communities in which Rexroth facilities are located.
“We’re very pleased and honored that Mike Bryan’s work and the accomplishments of the Apprenticeship Program at Fountain Inn have been recognized by the GACC,” said Mike McCormick, Technical Plant Manager, Bosch Rexroth Fountain Inn facility. “This award is a tribute to Mike’s dedication to help young people develop the skills that they and Bosch Rexroth will need for future growth in our rapidly changing economy.”
“Manufacturing jobs, especially todays high-tech, well-paid manufacturing jobs, strengthen the foundation for vibrant, thriving communities,” McCormick said. “The apprenticeship program, which provides on-the-job training that directly applies to what is taught in the classroom, has long been a model of success at Bosch. The training and apprenticeship initiatives that we’ve started in several communities help build the workforce of the future.”
The GACC honors individuals committed to developing skills and competence, especially in young people, because Germany has the lowest youth unemployment rate of any industrialized nation in the world. Individuals are recognized who offer opportunities for youth to gain specialized technical skills, which significantly improve their job prospects, and provide companies with a powerful tool for filling workforce needs. The award ceremony was part of a presentation of the German American Business Outlook, an economic survey conducted by the German American Chamber network in several major U.S. cities.