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 Workshop Training and further education 

The dual training model is becoming increasingly popular with German US subsidiaries and US companies. Not least due to the visit of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to US President Donald Trump, political initiatives on the subject are being discussed more intensively again. The lack of well-qualified specialists is seen by the companies as a key challenge for even greater involvement on site. In order to be able to meet their quality and service requirements, German companies need, above all, company-related and tailor-made employees. More than two-thirds of German companies in the US state that they have difficulties recruiting qualified employees. In the next 10 years, 2.7 million US manufacturing workers will retire. In total, almost 3.5 million jobs in the manufacturing industry must be filled to maintain the current economic growth. AHKs, RGIT and the DIHK have been heavily involved in dual vocational training in the USA for some time. In the last four years, with the support of the AHKs in several federal states, almost a thousand young people have started dual vocational training based on the German model. Many of them even complete AHK final exams, which are based on German standards and result in an AHK-DIHK certificate.

The training and further training workshop is intended to help companies to obtain comprehensive information about the possibilities of training and the current political initiatives on the subject, in order to avoid any hurdles more easily.

Our speakers

Freya Lemke

Vice President, RGIT

Freya Lemcke has been Vice President of the RGIT since February 2017. Previously, she was head of the “International Trade Policy, EU Customs Policy and Transatlantic Relations” department at the DIHK, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, in Brussels and at EUROCHAMBRES, the umbrella organization of European chamber organisations. In these functions, she was responsible for trade policy activities and the management of EU-funded projects that support European companies in their internationalization, especially in the Arab world and Asia. Freya Lemcke is a Fellow of the "Zukunftsbrücke - Chinese-German Young Professional Campus". She studied international business administration at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago de Chile.

Sebastian Patta

Personnel and Organization Manager, SITECH Sitztechnik GmbH

Mr. Sebastian Patta has been Managing Director Human Resources and Organization at SITECH Sitztechnik GmbH in Wolfsburg since January 1, 2017. Previously, Mr. Patta was Executive Vice President of the Volkswagen Group of America, where he was responsible for the human resources department of the production plant in Chattanooga. The trained industrial clerk and business economist began his career in 1984 as an apprentice at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg.

Other stations in his career included various responsibilities within Volkswagen BKK and Deutsche BKK, where he was head of general administration and later also responsible for marketing and communication.

Peter Riehle

President & CEO, WITTENSTEIN, Inc. 


Peter Riehle was appointed President and CEO of WITTENSTEIN holding, Corp. in May 2013. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TRUMPF Inc. in Farmington, CT, CEO at DMG America (DMG/Mori) in Chicago, IL as well as Director Industrial Sales at Schaeffler Group in Fort Mill, SC. His career path includes many

Management positions with responsibility for sales and marketing, research and development, Software engineering, procurement and logistics, acquisitions and business intelligence. Herr Riehle is an international business leader with extensive knowledge in the field of Sale and distribution of highly developed technology for machine tools.

Andy Stecher

President/CEO, Plasmatreat North America 


Andreas Stecher is President/CEO for Plasmatreat North America, a subsidiary of Plasmatreat GmbH. Plasmatreat is the world market leader for material surface pretreatment prior to bonding, coatings and seals within the processing industry such as automotive engineering, electronics, medical technology and packaging. Plasmatreat North America operates with three separate business units in Toronto, Chicago and San Francisco. Mr. Stecher has more than 30 years of experience in C-level management at globally operating companies, especially in the transatlantic business area. After training as a bank clerk in Germany, he completed his training in the USA with a bachelor's and MBA.



Stefanie Jehlitschka

Managing Director, AHK USA-Atlanta

Stefanie Jehlitschka has been working for the AHK USA-Süd since August 2006. She held various positions within the marketing department and helped, among other things, to set up external communication. In 2012 Stefanie Jehlitschka was appointed Deputy Managing Director of the AHK USA-Süd and in March 2017 Managing Director. It takes on an active role in numerous initiatives and projects aimed at strengthening German-American economic relations.


Ms. Jehlitschka is largely responsible for the successful implementation of the German training system in German subsidiaries. It is thanks to their special commitment   to the development of a "skilled wokforce" for companies producing in the USA that in 2013 the first training courses at the automobile manufacturer Volkswagen successfully completed their training as mechatronics technicians, which was carried out according to German standards could put down. The training program of the AHK's gained national recognition as a result, so that in the meantime, in about 10 federal states, joint training projects and company-specific training are being organized and certified by the chambers. In 2016, Ms. Jehlitschka received the "Woman in International Business" award for her special merits. 


Previously, Stefanie Jehlitschka worked for four years as a product manager for an international training provider. She studied law in Tübingen, Göttingen and in Thessaloniki, Greece.

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