ECC to offer manufacturing apprenticeship program this fall

  • Tags: Academics
Published 06/21/2018
A manufacturing student works on equipment

A manufacturing student works on equipment

Elgin Community College has partnered with Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT), the leading apprenticeship program provider in the Midwest, to offer an industrial maintenance apprenticeship program to companies in Community College District 509 starting this fall.

“We are excited to partner with the ICATT Apprenticeship Program and to be able to offer a time-tested apprenticeship program to our manufacturing students and local employers,” said ECC President David Sam, PhD, J.D., LLM. “This initiative is part of ECC’s continued commitment to economic success and workforce development in our community. We look forward to working with all parties to build a successful program.”

As many companies struggle to find and retain loyal, highly-skilled employees, the ICATT Apprenticeship Program helps tackle the skills gap by offering a customized workforce development strategy that provides a sustainable pipeline of technically advanced talent over time. Apprentices are recruited, qualified, and guaranteed to learn the skills that companies need and want.

“The apprenticeship model works well for employers who are interested in a workforce strategy that is customized to their business, promotes the transfer of well-earned knowledge to the next generation of workers and helps build a long-term pipeline of workers,” said Kathy Meisinger, director of strategic partnerships and experiential learning.

Apprentices will commit to a three-year program that includes training and education both inside the classroom and on the job. Students work full-time for their employer while earning an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in integrated systems/maintenance technology (IST) from ECC. The employer covers tuition and the employee’s salary. After graduating from ECC, the employee agrees to continue working for the employer for at least two years at a market rate salary. The program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and education they need for a well-paying career that has the opportunity for upward mobility within the company—without any college debt.

“Apprentices and companies will both benefit from ECC’s strong manufacturing program,” said Mario Kratsch, head of the ICATT Apprenticeship Program.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 87 percent of apprentices in the U.S. are employed after completing training programs, earning an average starting salary of more than $50,000 per year. International studies indicate that participating employers receive an average of $1.47 return on investment in increased productivity, reduced waste, and greater front-line innovation [for every dollar invested into the program] from skilled apprentices.

Based in Chicago, ICATT was established by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest and aims to replicate the German apprenticeships model in the U.S. It is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and The Joyce Foundation. To learn more about the ICATT Apprenticeship Program, visit

ECC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in integrated systems/maintenance technology (IST) degree through the college’s sustainability, business, and career technologies division. Industrial maintenance coursework covers basic knowledge in the areas of electricity, mechanical drives, and programmable logic controllers in a performance-based, hands-on setting that prepares students to maintain, calibrate, and repair equipment upon completion. Visit to view a full list of ECC’s career and technical degrees and certificate options.

For more information on the ICATT Apprenticeship Program at ECC, contact Kathy Meisinger, director of strategic partnerships and experiential learning, at 847-214-7894 or