WASHINGTON, 20 June 2016 – Mercuria Energy, one of the world’s largest independent integrated energy and commodities groups, today signed an agreement with the United States Department of Labor to certify an apprenticeship program.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Mercuria’s Chief Financial Officer of the Americas Andrew Good agreed to utilize Mercuria’s footprint in the United States to deliver skill sets in information technology, financial risk, and commodities trading and logistics to Americans at Mercuria’s trading hub in Houston, Texas.
“Today’s agreement is a testament to the power of registered apprenticeship programs in helping companies like Mercuria Energy train workers so that they both can thrive in the 21st century global economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The Obama administration has made unprecedented investments to expand apprenticeship in America, and I’m proud to add another company to the growing list looking to join this movement.”
In 2004, when Mercuria was founded by two Swiss natives, Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi, the company was instrumental in developing trainee positions for students who have been accepted to study in the master’s program by the University of Geneva. The Master of Arts in International Trading, Commodity Finance and Shipping is an academic course run by the University of Geneva in collaboration with the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA). Mercuria desired to build upon this program by implementing this apprenticeship concept in the United States.
“Mercuria is growing rapidly and we need talent to grow alongside us,” said Mr. Good. “In the United States, we have many jobs that go unfilled for lack of skills, while we have college graduates and veterans lacking the core competencies to gain a fulltime professional position. Through this apprenticeship program, Mercuria is doing its part to foster skills development and fill positions.”
In 2014, Mercuria acquired the commodities trading business of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which gave the company a very significant power and gas trading position in the United States. This position sparked an increased commitment to build its apprenticeship program.
The company’s commitment in the United States coincides with the signing of an agreement between the U.S. and Switzerland, providing a framework for the two countries to cooperate in such areas as work-based training, curriculum development, credential recognition, pathways to career development and the expansion of programs into new industry sectors.
The Joint Declaration of Intent is between the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of the Swiss Confederation and the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Labor of the United States of America. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and, now, Swiss President and Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann signed the Joint Declaration of Intent at the U.S. Commerce Department in Washington D.C in July 2015.
“The apprenticeship program exemplifies high standards, instructional rigor and quality training, which are integral components of Mercuria’s business model,” concluded Mr. Good. “These apprentices will play a vital role in growing with our company over time and providing needed human resources, while contributing back to the communities in which we operate.”
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