mtu Onsite Energy Joins Forces with Mankato Schools and Businesses to Launch New Youth Apprenticeship Program

Posted on May 08, 2014

mtu Onsite Energy Corp., a Rolls-Royce Power Systems company providing diesel and gas-based power system solutions, today announced the launch of a new youth apprentice program.

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  • Innovative program to offer Mankato high school students a head-start on technical career training

MANKATO, Minn., May 8, 2014mtu Onsite Energy Corp., a Rolls-Royce Power Systems company providing diesel and gas-based power system solutions, today announced the launch of a new youth apprentice program. The vocational training program is designed for high school juniors and seniors and will combine hands-on training in a manufacturing setting with classroom instruction. The program will begin this fall, in partnership with Mankato Area Public Schools, South Central College, Kato Cable, a full service cable assembly company, and EI Microcircuits, an electronics design and manufacturing company.

The new youth apprenticeship program will launch with junior and senior-level students at Mankato East and West High Schools who have completed prerequisite coursework in welding, mechatronics and engineering design at the South Central College, a Minnesota community and technical college with campuses in North Mankato and Faribault. Accepted students will benefit from on-the-job training under the supervision of highly-skilled trade professionals, as well as a specialized industrial mechanic classroom curriculum.

“Having skilled talent on the production floor allows manufacturers to remain innovative and produce globally competitive products,” said Todd Riemann, president, mtu Onsite Energy. “Manufacturing is the backbone of Minnesota’s economy. It not only helps drive economic growth for the state, but also the region, so it is critical that we take responsibility to grow and cultivate our own talent pool to keep up with product demand and rapidly advancing technologies.”

"We are very excited to be working with partners who are committed to providing increased opportunities for our students outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Heather Mueller, director of teaching and learning, Mankato Area Public Schools. “We appreciate the investment of mtu Onsite Energy and our broader manufacturing community in this program, look forward to bolstering the manufacturing talent pipeline, and are pleased to provide support for students as they transition from our schools into the workforce."

“Our aim is to turn out graduates with the skills they need to step directly into solid, well-paying technical jobs and possibly continue their education with the confidence that comes from a strong foundation,” said Dr. Annette Parker, president, South Central College. “Apprenticeships provide this foundation in a real world environment, with employers like mtu Onsite Energy and educators like South Central College working collaboratively to prepare students for successful futures.”

Upon completion of the program, students will be armed with the skills and experience needed to join the workforce or pursue a post-secondary degree after graduation. Apprenticeship programs can lead to well-paying careers as engineers, machinists, electricians and applications developers.  

“We are very pleased to be a part of the youth apprenticeship program and believe it will have a significant impact in helping provide our local area manufacturing companies with a pool of talent,” said Eric Else, president, Kato Cable, LLC and co-president, EI Microcircuits.

The program will roll out in phases with selection of the program’s first group of students taking place this spring.

Manufacturing in Minnesota

Manufacturing contributes $37 billion to the state economy each year and produces the largest share (15 percent) of the Minnesota’s gross domestic product. With 91 percent of manufacturers expecting production levels to increase or remain constant in the coming year, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the ability to recruit and retain skilled workers is an ongoing concern for executives statewide.

A Successful Predecessor

In 2012, mtu Onsite Energy’s sister company, mtu America, launched its youth apprenticeship program at its manufacturing plant in Graniteville, S.C., in partnership with Aiken County Schools and Aiken Technical College. The program has gained national and international media attention, as well as awards from educational organizations for excellence in technical education.

For more information about careers at mtu Onsite Energy, please visit:
Jennifer Riley Spokeswoman North- and Latin America
+1 248 560 8488