German students gain insight into Garrison apprenticeship opportunities

By Sayydeah ShahFebruary 6, 2023

Garrison Public Works offer small workshop during tour of Garrison Wiesbaden grounds
Sinan Koc, head supervisor of the DPW Mechanical Branch, leads a workshop where students receive an insight to the daily duties of a mechanical engineer. (Photo Credit: Sayydeah Shah) VIEW ORIGINAL

WIESBADEN, Germany – Students and teachers from schools around Wiesbaden had the opportunity to tour the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden grounds and receive insight on both the Army’s role in Europe and how local nationals are able to contribute to the Army’s mission.

“We wanted to advertise the Garrison as an interesting employer in the region,” explained Lena Stange, Workforce Development program specialist. “Students are the target group of our host nation apprenticeship program and we have two open spots for next August - a plumber position and an electrician position.”

The tour took place with two different groups, and speakers on the tour provided information about different facilities such as the Fire Department, Military Police Station, Dining Facility and the Fitness Center, which are all available to community members on base. The final stop was the Directorate of Public Works grounds, which included a visit to the different shops, and a small hands-on workshop for interested students to take part in. This contributed to the understanding of how local nationals, in their positions at the Garrison, are able to help Soldiers and their families.

“The Soldiers are here to serve their country; for them to do this without any distractions, the families must be provided for and that is where we come into play. We ensure that the customer service we provide is functional for the community,” said Felix Bartels, chief of the Operations and Maintenance Division during a short briefing on DPW grounds.

To make this tour a reality, Tanja Form, a coordinator of school social work at Wiesbaden’s office for social work, contacted the Workforce Development team after learning about the Praktika (internships) at the Garrison. She clarified that she has been a part of many company visits with different institutions, to introduce different career options and create interest in the students.

German students tour Garrison Wiesbaden
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Host nation students gather at the Directorate of Human Resources’ conference room and learn about the Army’s role in Wiesbaden during a walking tour in January. (Photo Credit: Sayydeah Shah) VIEW ORIGINAL
Host Nation students learn about the Army's mission in Europe
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Thomas Schulze, Workforce Development program manager, explains the apprenticeship opportunities available in the Public Works field to a group of students looking at post-secondary career options. (Photo Credit: Sayydeah Shah) VIEW ORIGINAL
A look into the life of an electrical engineer.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Tobias Goetz, supervisor of the DPW Exterior Electrical branch, explains what the day of an apprentice in his branch entails during the last stop of the tour. (Photo Credit: Sayydeah Shah) VIEW ORIGINAL

“It is different when people report their experiences firsthand. You can see how things function and adjust your expectations accordingly,” said Form.

The students, with their initial excitement to see what was behind the gates, asked questions about the Kaserne, the apprenticeship program and the opportunity to do a ‘Praktikum’ (internship).

“For me, it is about knowing what someone wants to do, so that we are able to help them achieve their goal. I just need an email stating what they are interested in and a resume,” stated Thomas Schulze, Workforce Development program manager, during the opening briefing session of the tour.

To emphasize the variety of internships made available, Schulze went on to explain that there are four trainees set for March in different branches, such as the Directorate of Public Works’ Engineering, Metal and Carpenter branches, as well as in the Business Operations Integration Division – all made possible through a request by email.

Looking back at a year of working at the Garrison as an apprentice, Pierre Fuchs, a current Office Management apprentice said, “The U.S. Army has a lot to offer. Not only the apprenticeship itself, but the experience to work with people from all over the world is awesome and makes the Army a unique place to gain both skills and knowledge.”

Going home with more knowledge
The host nation students closed their tour by gathering for a picture at the end of the day. (Photo Credit: Sayydeah Shah) VIEW ORIGINAL

Local national students interested in being a part of the apprenticeship program for electricians or plumbers should send their applications by email until June 30, 2023 to – as a first come, first serve basis, the positions will be open until a suitable candidate is found.