- German Ambassador Peter Ammon spoke about manufacturing jobs and economic collaboration at a workforce skills initiative luncheon Monday at Ivy Tech.
By Olivia Covington
Officials from Indiana and Germany focused on manufacturing jobs at a workforce skills initiative luncheon Monday at Ivy Tech Community College.
German Ambassador to the United States Peter Ammon told a group of business leaders that he believes the Hoosier economy could grow if more workers were trained in manufacturing skills.
"It's a simple truth: Not everybody can become a neurosurgeon or a lawyer or a financial wizard," Ammon said. "Manufacturing requires different skills, and I think what's important to tell the people here is that today's manufacturing is no longer equated with dirty jobs that bring home low pay."
Ammon also said he is impressed by Ivy Tech's efforts to work with local businesses to create field work experiences for their students, and Gov. Mike Pence's efforts to grow the manufacturing industry in Indiana.
"I think in the current administration, Gov. Pence has steered a clear path to preserve and improve Indiana's position as a leader in the innovation economy, and I'm very much impressed by your commitment to strengthen manufacturing in Indiana," Ammon said.
And, Ammon also said he believes collaboration between Indiana and Germany could lead to economic growth in the Hoosier state. He said there are already German companies located in Indiana that would be willing to partner with schools like Ivy Tech to give students more opportunities to get work experience.
Ammon also said he believes the U.S. economy could benefit from working with Germany.
"When we see more integrated chains of production across the Atlantic, when we see more cross investment, then, of course, it leads to a convergence of interests," Ammon said.
Ammon also said he thinks global collaboration could help solve global economic problems.
"The only option we have left is free trade and (removing) barriers to investment," he said.
Pence also spoke Monday. He agreed that focusing on jobs and working with the Germans could put Indiana on a path to greater economic growth.
"As we look to put career, technical and vocational education back in its proper place of prominence in our communities and in our state, we look to Germany for further inspiration," Pence said.
Olivia Covington is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.