Four graduates recently completed the Stihl Apprenticeship Program. The graduates, who have been employees of Stihl between four to 12 years, completed the program through immense dedication, while maintaining their daily responsibilities at the company. Graduates include:
- Rosanne Oluwabusola: Graduated the CNC Machinist apprenticeship, and is a 10-year employee who worked in assembly prior to completing the program.
- Daniel Swartzel: Completed the Tool and Die apprenticeship after joining Stihl in 2013.
- Eduardo Alves: Graduated the Mechatronics Technician apprenticeship following a 12-year role in sub-assembly and guide bar.
- Nick Tuttobene: Finished the Mechatronics Technician apprenticeship following 10 years in plastics.
The Stihl apprenticeship program was established in 1984, modeled after successful European programs, as a way to address the skills gap and ensure a skilled workforce is available to fill upcoming open positions. It is the first program in Virginia to receive international IHK designation through the German Chamber of Commerce.
Key aspects of the program include:
- An extensive qualification process before candidates are accepted into the apprenticeship program.
- Highly competitive: More than 300 people are evaluated each year for the four or five available program slots.
- Diverse training: The apprentices receive training in a variety of skilled work such as tool and die manufacturing, CNC machinists, mechatronics, and polymer molding.
- The four-year program provides hands-on practical skills, associates or bachelor’s degree for many of the apprentices, as well as a journeyman’s certificate.
- A 90-percent completion rate to train skilled employees.