New U.S.-Swiss agreement on workforce development:

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New U.S.-Swiss Agreement on Workforce Development

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (left) and Swiss Commerce Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann (right) signing a joint declaration of intent.

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Switzerland’s Vice President and Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann signed a joint declaration that will provide a framework for the United States and Switzerland to cooperate on workforce development. 

Finding the right workforce is a top priority for global companies looking to invest in the United States. The U.S. Departments of Commerce, Labor, and Education are working to develop and support innovative workforce development programs across the country through initiatives like ApprenticeshipUSAThe success of the Swiss apprenticeship model is recognized throughout the world, and we are excited to share best practices through this historic agreement.

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Swiss Companies Announce New Steps for Apprenticeship Programs in the United States

In conjunction with the signing, a number of major Swiss companies have committed to launching or expanding their workforce development programs in the United States.

For example, Nestlé will formalize and accelerate its existing apprenticeship program in its 25 U.S. manufacturing facilities. The company will work with the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to implement a series of innovative workforce development pilot programs in select Nestlé facilities. It is anticipated that this Nestlé commitment will involve between 120 and 250 apprentices by 2016.

Apprenticeship programs aren't just limited to the manufacturing sector, however. The Zurich Insurance Group is developing a Chicago-based apprenticeship program for skilled positions such as underwriting assistants and claims assistants. The company has also signed on with the Department of Labor as an ApprenticeshipUSA LEADER.

Click below to see the full list of Swiss firms that have committed to continuing, expanding, or implementing apprenticeship programs in the United States:

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