Volkswagen, CSCC celebrate graduates of VW Academy
Two-year program combines classroom and job training for new employees
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — While the new school year has just begun for students in the Tennessee Valley, it ended officially today for the 11 newest graduates of the Volkswagen Academy program at Chattanooga State Community College.
The Volkswagen Academy offers students both a classroom education and paid on-the-job training, creating a demanding syllabus for those in the program.
On Friday, for the first time in three years, the newest graduating class’ accomplishments were celebrated in person.
“Celebrating the VW Academy Apprenticeship graduates is one of my favorite things to do for all that it signifies — partnership, a very strong future workforce and very strong lives for all of you,” said CSCC President Dr. Rebecca Ashford.
As VW continues to increase its production of the all-electric ID.4, Volkswagen’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources Burkhard Ulrich says what these students have learned during their time with the company makes them invaluable as the fleet is further electrified.
“I’m very proud that we are able to offer all of you a job as equipment operators in our company in our new body shop,” Ulrich said. “You’ve experienced, in-person, the transformation toward electromobility. This expert knowledge is exactly what we will need.”
Like Ulrich, Volkswagen President and CEO Christopher Glover believes all eleven graduates and what they’ve learned will only benefit the company.
“When you see young people like this — enthusiastic, engaged — people that have really excelled in the two years that they’ve been on the program, I see [a] wonderful opportunity for us as a company,” Glover said. “It’s those youngsters of today that are going to replace the people like myself in years to come and who will carry the flag of Volkswagen well into the future.”
The new graduates will begin their first days on the job as official employees of Volkswagen this upcoming Monday.
For those potentially interested in joining the program, themselves, applications open in January.
However, the company receives around 130 applications each year, and only up to 24 students will be accepted.