Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 11:23am

Atlanta Firms Provide Interships for Nine German Apprentices

A foundation based in Hamburg, Germany and the local German American Chamber of Commerce are partnering on an apprentice project that will provide two-month internships in Atlanta-based companies for nine German trainees.

The trainees arrived on April 1 and have begun their “learning on the job” experiences. For all of the trainees the overseas job immersion here will be a new experience for them. Eight of the nine have never been to the United States before.

In Germany, they are called “Auszubildende” or apprentice trainees and have received a combination of on the job training and college educations, which is quite common there unlike here in the U.S. But the hands-on immersion experience of a U.S. internship is less common.

The Joachim Herz Foundation is underwriting their immersion apprenticeships. Joachim Herz, the founder, had a successful trans-Atlantic investment and real estate career during which he maintained a farm outside of Atlanta.

“My husband wanted young people to develop intercultural competencies,” his wife, Petra Herz said in a news release of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States Inc.

“He appreciated the American ‘hands on mentality’ and the idea of making an effort to achieve one’s aims instead of relying on parentage. That is why the foundation launched this internship program.”

For many years Mr. Herz and his wife discussed the idea of establishing a foundation that promoted science education and research in the natural sciences, economics and business administration for the personal development of youths. But he died in 2008 before it was established.

Mrs. Herz quickly established the foundation according to her husband’s ideals shortly after his death. The foundation currently partners with the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Art, which advertises the internship program and takes part in the selection of the trainees.

The trainees will partake in their apprenticeships in the following companies and organizations:

Hofmann Services, a staffing an recruiting firm; Coro Realty Advisers LLC, a real estate investing and management firm; Zwick/Roell Group, a manufacuters of materials test machines; Label Source, a company which makes a wide variety of labels; American BOA Inc., a manufacturer of flexible metal products such as expansion joints; INP North America Inc., an electrictical engineering and services company; Barnes & Noble, the bookstore chain, and the German-American chamber based in Atlanta.

For more information about their stay here, call Teresa Pastore at (404) 846-4002 or Nadine Schubert at (404) 586-6839.

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