CNN Money reported this week that some U.S. manufacturers are searching for skilled workers outside the United States because they can’t find them in America. 

According to the article, James Wall, deputy director of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, said that there is a shrinking pool of manufacturing talent, and factory leaders didn’t notice it so much during recent hard economic times, but now it’s becoming a problem. 

A video about Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant accompanied the March 5 CNN Money story.


Volkswagen’s $1 billion investment has provided more than 2,500 jobs, and the company has an on-site training facility for employees. 

Last month, Volkswagen leaders announced that they are taking applications for the 2012 automotive mechatronics program. 

The apprenticeship program will select 24 candidates per year. The students will be split into two training classes, with an improved student-teacher ratio of 12-to-1, leaders said. 

Applications for AMP will be accepted until March 31. Two different training classes start in coming months, one on May 15 and the other on Aug. 27. For more information, click here.

Another area company that provides manufacturing training is Wacker. Leaders recently celebrated the opening of the Wacker Institute at Chattanooga State Community College.

Wacker Polysilicon North America built the $5 million pilot plant and training facility, which is part of the engineering technology division at Chattanooga State. 

Students of the institute learn the skills needed to make polysilicon, which is the raw material used in solar panels.