WASHINGTON, DC – As a part of National Apprenticeship Week in Washington, DC, Mercuria was honored by the Embassy of Switzerland Thursday for its unique apprenticeship program for veterans in Houston. The event highlighted the benefits of the Swiss-style apprenticeship model in an ever-evolving U.S. marketplace.
Speakers at the event demonstrated how the apprenticeship program has proven to be adaptable and applicable across many different industries and sectors, and beneficial for all people, regardless of their age and background.
“The United States and Switzerland have a lot in common, and can continue taking the best of both worlds to share experiences and effective practices,” said Swiss Ambassador Jacques Pitteloud. “It is about providing our youth and everyone else with the proper skills to compete in an evolving workplace.”
In honor of Veterans day, current and former Mercuria apprentices discussed how the apprenticeship program helped them develop the skills necessary to compete and be successful in a highly competitive industry after serving in the U.S. military.
“In 2016, I went to a veteran’s job fair and found that Mercuria was starting a Swiss-style apprenticeship in the U.S. that required no industry experience,” said Former Apprentice and Current Contracts Analyst at Mercuria, Chris Inlow. “Mercuria’s yearlong apprenticeship program focused on the intrinsic values that I learned in the U.S. military. These essential skills can be transferred to the business world, setting the course for limitless professional development at all levels. I was honored to be selected for the job.”
“As happens to far too many transitioning military members, I became lost after my release from service,” said Current Apprentice at Mercuria, Rachel Ramirez. “After tirelessly searching for a job, I discovered Mercuria at a veteran’s job fair in Houston and was offered the apprenticeship. I am incredibly excited to continue sharpening my business acumen at Mercuria through the apprentice program and transfer the valuable leadership experience that I gained in the Marine Corps to the business sector.”
Mercuria signed an apprenticeship agreement with the Obama Administration’s U.S. Department of Labor in 2016. As a result, Mercuria, along with thirty other Swiss-based companies, began implementing new pathways to career development throughout their U.S. operations. A year later, President Donald Trump recognized Mercuria graduates of the apprenticeship program at the White House, while also promoting the importance of the program in combating the skills gap in the American workforce.
Since signing the agreement, Mercuria has graduated two groups of apprentices, some of which are now full-time employees. The apprenticeship program has already proven to be invaluable and an essential aspect of Mercuria’s business practices in the United States.
“Mercuria deeply appreciates the Swiss Embassy’s support for our apprenticeship program in the United States,” said Program Director and Head of North American Operations at Mercuria, Tim Holan. “Our veterans begin the apprenticeship program having developed a global mindset through a number of real-world experiences. As a global company, operating around the world, this expertise is irreplaceable. Veterans also bring the best characteristics to the workforce. They are battle-tested, dedicated and selfless. These are the qualities that have helped Mercuria continue to expand and grow in the U.S.”
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