There was a shortage of skilled workers at the beginning of this decade in the U.S. state of Michigan as well. The economic crisis had just eased, but the automotive and industrial metropolis of Detroit had gone bankrupt. Highly skilled technicians were leaving the city in droves. ZF also felt this at its locations in Michigan.
Rick Snyder, acting Governor of Michigan since 2011, knew the dual education system from Germany. He wanted to implement a similar concept in Michigan. So ZF, the state of Michigan and other partners joined forces to establish the “Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program” (MAT²). MAT² sets standards for skilled worker training programs that last three years – almost a year longer than comparable U.S. training programs.
The program is now seen as a flagship project in Michigan and beyond. Participants in MAT² receive wages from the start. In exchange, graduates commit to staying at ZF for at least two years after completing the program. The number of young professionals trained according to MAT² at the three locations in Northville, Lapeer and Fenton in the U.S. state of Michigan is increasing from year to year. This chosen path is a win-win situation for companies and for employees, thus representing an investment in the future.