ChamberBrief 2015: May Edition

Dear Members and Friends,

We are pleased to announce that Mark Tomkins has been selected as the new President & CEO of GACC Midwest. With his instrumental leadership as VP, Mark has played a pivotal role in the development and growth of our Chamber since he joined 9 years ago. Mark is only the fifth President & CEO within the Chamber’s 50+ years of existence, which showcases the long term commitment and continuity of our strong organization. We congratulate Mark and are looking forward to him leading the Chamber into the future. A special event with our members will be held in July; stay tuned for further information!

Great news from Ohio! As recently confirmed, German firms are successfully expanding in the Buckeye State! On the occasion of Ambassador Peter Wittig's visit to Ohio, the Ambassador, the Governor of Ohio and Mark Tomkins had an excellent roundtable discussion with C-level executives of 13 German firms operating in the state. See pictures and click here for the press release.

Back in Chicago, we had the pleasure to welcome a U.S. State Department-led delegation of German journalists, who visited the Chamber during the course of a USA TTIP-tour. We were joined by our board members Peter Riehle, President and CEO at Wittenstein North America and Andy Stecher, CEO at Plasmatreat North America who engaged in an open dialogue with the journalists, ranging from general food regulations to specific examples of TTIP benefits for their companies. We were happy to foster the dialogue and shed some light on this broad topic. 

Exciting news also from ICATT! Not only were our information sessions at District 214 High Schools very successful with applications rolling in, we also just had our first American-owned company, Scot Forge, join the program. On this occasion, we would like to introduce ICATT to you in this month’s Service Spotlight.

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest Team


Services Spotlight: ICATT


Upcoming GACC Midwest Events

GACC Midwest Delegation Programs

German American Cultural Corner

Job Opportunities

Service Spotlight

In this month’s edition of our spotlight, we would like to introduce our tailor-made dual-training program ICATT to you. ICATT represents an educational model developed in cooperation with technology leaders, offering an attractive alternative to the traditional path of college education. It caters to the needs of manufacturers in the northern Illinois region, who are increasingly faced with the challenge of finding a skilled workforce. ICATT furthermore provides many benefits for students taking part in this vocational training program. If you are looking for a more hands-on educational environment in contrast to a theory-based college education, ICATT is the perfect fit for you! The program is benchmarked on the German Dual Education System and combines practice, theory and work experience to train a globally competitive workforce. Visit our website to learn more about this unique program. If you are a company interested in joining ICATT, this FAQ will provide some insights and highlight how GACC Midwest supports participating companies.

If you are interested in learning more about the topic, our Skills Director Mario Kratsch will be speaking at the FORCAM's Smart Factory World Syposium as a panelist about the Skills Gap Initiative. The event is free of charge and open to anyone! 

Don't forget to also follow ICATT on our new Facebook page to stay up-to-date on recent developments and get first-hand statements from trainees and participating companies. If you have any further questions about ICATT, get in touch with us today!


Roundtable Discussion with Ambassador Peter Wittig and Ohio Governor John R. Kasich

Mark Tomkins, Ambassador Peter Wittig, and Governor of Ohio, John R. Kasich, discussing transatlantic economic relations.

The Roundtable consisted of top C-level executives from 13 German companies operating in Ohio.

Meeting Hannover Messe 2016

On April 27, the GACC Midwest Michigan Office and Hannover Messe joined forces to hold a roundtable discussion on the various opportunities for economic development agencies, associations, and internationally-focused firms at the Hannover Messe. As announced by the White House earlier this year, the US will be the official Partner Country in 2016. The meeting in Detroit was hosted by Marco Siebert of Hannover Messe, who gave an informative presentation and provided feedback to participants’ questions regarding special opportunities for companies and economic development in 2016. The meeting was attended by over 20 representatives of Michigan- and Ohio- based organizations and firms, such as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

DMDII Opening in Chicago

This past Friday, Jayne Riemer-Chishty, our Director, Membership & Chamber Development, attended the opening of the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) in Chicago. DMDII is a federally-funded research and development organization that is part of UI Labs, a 94,000-square-foot space for researchers on Goose Island. Companies have begun bringing in state-of-the-art robotics and 3D manufacturing equipment, and the first research projects are expected to be decided soon. We are excited about the opening of this institute, which follows Germany's Fraunhofer model.

International Night Reception @ Automechanika

On the occasion of Automechanika being held in Chicago for the very first time, the International Night Reception attracted over 80 attendees to network and exchange after hours at the fair grounds. The event brought together international exhibitors, manufacturers, public officials, as well as our members and partners for informed discussions on the automotive aftermarket and remarks by our speakers Linhard Stepf, President of FrankfurtRheinMain (pictured right next to Mark Tomkins) and Michael Johannes, Vice President Mobility & Infrastructure of Messe Frankfurt (pictured left).

SAE Reception

Once more, the 2015 SAE World Congress assembled the best talent in the automotive industry. This year's theme, Leading Mobility Innovation, was meant to express the changing dynamic made possible in the automotive industry through innovative technologies.Three of the four platinum Sponsors of this year's show were German companies - IAV, FEV and Continental, with Continental featured as the tradeshow's Tier One Strategic partner. On the occasion of the congress, the GACC Midwest Michigan Chapter hosted its annual SAE Reception at the Detroit Athletic Club on April 21, focusing on the growing importance of STEM education and technical jobs in Southeast Michigan. Former NASA astronaut and Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus Anthony Wayne England, served as guest speaker at the very well attended event. While the focus was on addressing the engineering shortage in the region, Mr. England also delighted the crowd with insights from his flight on the Challenger and time spent at the Space Lab. 

Michigan HR-Circle

The GACC Midwest Michigan Office held its 3rd quarterly Michigan HR-Executive Circle event on the topic “How to Transfer Employees to the US – With the Government’s Blessing.” The event, hosted by Freudenberg North America, featured a breakfast networking session with HR Managers and Executives from the Detroit Metro area’s business community, followed by an interactive presentation from expert guest speaker Alexandra LaCombe, Managing Partner of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy on the challenges of bringing employees to the US, and featured information regarding visa qualification. 
Join our upcoming HR circle!

GACC Midwest Events

At our upcoming HR-Executive Circle, our expert guest speaker Christiane Bock, Senior Vice President Employee Benefits at Mesirow Financial, will present the topic ofHealth Care Reform Compliance Review and Cost Containment Strategies” and highlight new health insurance regulations and laws for employers to be aware of. She will also cover cost saving strategies, such as employer sponsored wellness programs, health savings accounts and employee benefit saving tactics. Register now!

Our Colorado Chapter will be hosting a Business Luncheon at the facilities of one of its newest Corporate members, the Aviation & Aerospace Science department at the Metropolitan State University of Denver on May 27. During lunch, the department chair, Dr. Jeff Forrest, will give an overview of MSU Denver and his department, and illustrate the educational aspects of aviation and aerospace. The presentation will be followed by a tour of the facility, including their high-tech training equipment and flight simulators. Click here for more information

On May 30, our Minnesota Chapter will celebrate their biggest event of the year, including the Company of the year award. The Gala Event will present “Der Stern des Nordens”, an award which will honor a company – whether a German company doing business in Minnesota or a Minnesota company doing business in Germany – that has contributed significantly to German-Minnesota trade and relationships, in terms of employment growth, innovation, and commitment to the German-American community. The Gala will feature wine tasting, a 4 course dinner and live entertainment by Patty Peterson. Register now to be part of this unique event!

2015 marks a year of remembrance of one of the most meaningful events in recent German history: the 25th anniversary of German reunification! To remember the occasion, we would like to invite companies that are interested in expanding their business to Germany to an exclusive dinner event to recap the events that took place 25 years ago and present on how advanced and modern the new federal states have become since the reunification. Eastern Germany portrays an attractive location for investments and business in Europe nowadays. It offers the ideal location for US companies seeking success in European markets. Learn all about the advantages Eastern Germany provides as a business location and how your company can profit from the market potential in a fast-paced area that is constantly evolving and famed for its technological achievements. Click here to register or visit our website for more information!

GACC Midwest Delegation Programs

Join our Business Conference focusing on Health IT on Tuesday, June 16 in conjunction with a German delegation of technology companies and providers of intelligent IT solutions for the healthcare sector. The conference will provide attendees with the chance to hear about the latest developments and trends in the German and U.S. health IT markets and to learn about cutting-edge technologies and innovations in the German healthcare industry. Register here to be part of this network of healthcare technology professionals!

Apply now for our study trip to Germany to experience both proven and innovative bio gas & bio energy technologies first-hand and meet with industry, political, and academic leaders. Application Deadline is May 22, 2015. For more information, click here  or contact program manager Corinna Jess.

Don't miss your chance to apply for our 2015 Transatlantic Program for Young Technology Leaders (TAP-YTL) on “Disruptive Digital & Internet of Things”. Be part of a dynamic group of young leaders and visit leading research institutions, interact with engineers, public officials, and entrepreneurs driving the next generation of digital technology. The application deadline is June 14, 2015. 

German American Cultural Corner

Germany and Russia 25 Years After German Unification: From “Strategic Partnership” to Containment? - 5/21

The Chicago Eric M. Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany cordially invites you to a Discussion and Luncheon with Professor Hannes Adomeit on the topic "Germany and Russia 25 Years After German Unification: From 'Strategic Partnership' to Containment?". For more information and to RSVP please contact Ms. Karla Gutzke at 312-629-7500 or via e-mail.

Minnesota International Center offers a Luncheon with Ambassador Wittig, who will speak about Germany and the U.S. Today - Friends and Allies. For more information and to register for the event, please visit the website of the Minnesota International Center.

Chicago Sister Cities International presents a free Eurovision Song Contest Viewing Party on Saturday, May 23, 2015 starting at 2pm. Join this cross-cultural activity and cheer for your country (or whomever's performance you enjoy the most)!

Join the Chicago Alumni of the University of Hamburg for a guided tour of the Lincoln Park Conservatory accompanied by drinks and food at Cafe Brauer afterwards on May 30, 2015. The tour itself is free and will start at 4pm. For more information and to RSVP click here.

The Signature Event of the year, the "GACC Awards Gala & Smart Factory Industry Forum", will take place on October 9, 2015 in downtown Chicago. Email us today to explore valuable sponsorship opportunities for our biggest event of the year!

Mark your calendar for our upcoming events!

Visit our website for more information on our events.

Download our new Sponsorship & Media Kit to explore valuable opportunities for your company! 

The GAT Quarterly is out! Find the online edition here. If you would like to see a profile on your company in the next GAT, contact us today!

GACC Midwest is hiring! We are now accepting applications for the following staff openings:

Job Openings

We are also looking to fill the following positions:

  • Senior Accountant/Controller
  • Sales Director
  • Head of Sales (Telematics)
  • General Manager (Industrial Components)
  • Accounting Assistant (Part-Time)
  • Business Development Manager
  • Technical Sales Specialist
  • Service Technician (Heat Treatment Equipment)
  • Product Manager

For more information on these openings, contact Justin Flaxbart.

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