SWWDC CEO returns from Germany

Jeanne Bennett, CEO of the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC), recently returned from a trip to Germany to learn about best practices and innovations in workforce development, vocational training and apprenticeships.

Bennett participated in the third annual convening of the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), held late last month in Munich and Nuremberg. GCI is a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase launched in 2012 to equip leaders with the information, policy ideas and connections they need to compete in the global economy.

The Program brought together 40 business, civic and government leaders from across the U.S. for a study tour to better understand the dual model of vocational training and public-private collaborations that contribute to the successful advanced industry sectors in these two cities and to exchange strategies around workforce development, innovation and applied research.

“The opportunity to experience the German model of vocational training was extraordinary,” said Bennett in a press release. “German businesses invest significant resources in training their own qualified workforce, something we could do more of in Southwest Washington.”

While in Germany, Bennett participated in roundtable discussions with experts, executives and government officials to learn about local and state best practices around human capital development and innovation. She toured leading firms, including Siemens and BMW. She is planning to share what she learned with local business, civic and education leaders.

“The German model of apprenticeships is being used in a few states in the U.S.,” said Bennett. “It was informative to be part of a discussion about the role of companies, education, government and workforce in developing work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities for our young people in the U.S.”

To learn more about the trip, visit www.storify.com/BrookingsMetro/the-global-cities-initiative-s-week-in-germany.

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I'm the Editor-In-Chief of the Vancouver Business Journal and a Vancouver resident. I earned my degree from the University Of Oregon in Eugene and am a 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County. Go Ducks!