GA CATT - Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training

I was able to see first-hand the apprenticeship opportunities available to students in Europe. I quickly realized these programs would be instrumental in filling the critical needs of Georgia’s skilled labor shortage. We set out to create the most dynamic workforce in the nation and found the perfect partner in the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. to create GA CATT, the first program of its kind in the United States.

– Casey Cagle, May 16, 2016

How It Started

In 2016, Lt. Governor Cagle and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. launched the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT), an innovative and industry-focused approach to education and workforce development that is the first of its kind in the United States. This program was made possible in 2015 when Lt. Governor Cagle led the passage of Senate Bill 2, expanded opportunities for students to obtain post-secondary degrees and certifications while still in high school. Coweta County’s Central Educational Center, West Georgia Technical College, the Technical College System of Georgia, and eight Coweta County manufacturers became the first GA CATT consortium.


The GA CATT program is the nation’s first high school German apprenticeship program, recognized by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc. Beginning in the 10th grade, high school students now have the opportunity to complete their education by combining traditional high school classes, college level technical courses, and paid apprenticeship modules. GA CATT addresses the workforce needs of companies and the challenges they face when finding a skilled workforce. The three year program combines on-the-job training and educational post-secondary learning for various industrial professions, signaling a brighter future for our students who want to pursue meaningful careers well ahead of the traditional education timeline.

In 2018, Lt. Governor Cagle led Georgia in accomplishing a major victory over federal regulations, receiving approval to waive federal labor laws and allow 15-year old high school students to fully participate in the GA CATT apprenticeship program. Under the newly created Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP), Georgia is lifting overreaching federal regulations so that our state can deliver access to the unparalleled opportunities offered by GA CATT to more students. 

There are now 6 apprentices in their 2nd year of the GA CATT. In August of 2017, 22 new apprentices signed their apprenticeship agreements with 10 additional Georgia manufacturing companies.

Benefits of GA CATT

Apprentices and Educators

Using an international industry-defined program to create highly-skilled and readily employable graduates, apprentices are able to complete their education with a high school diploma, a German apprenticeship certification, and an associate’s degree through West Georgia Technical College. During the three-year training period, apprentices are guaranteed paid employment in block-style training on an alternative schedule that eventually transitions to full-time work.  

Businesses and Industries

By offering an apprenticeship through the GA CATT program, companies are able to grow their skilled workforce to meet demands for employment. Apprentices become familiar with the company, developing a sense of corporate identity and loyalty. Having the ability to train apprentices directly will allow for the closing of the skills gap between education and workforce needs, tailoring their skills to perfectly match those required for industry employment.

Participating business mentors provide guidance and training during the apprenticeship. Mentors ease the apprentices’ transition and ensure their success throughout the three-year program. This type of hands-on, involved mentorship allows apprentices to learn necessary skills with the help of an experienced employee, each contributing to the learning experience of their apprentices. The mentors also ensure the quality of instruction to meet the German Industry Standards.

The corporations taking part in the 2016 GA CATT program include:

Central Education Center (Coweta)

Grenzebach Corporation
E.G.O. North America
Groov-Pin Corporation of Georgia
Kason Industries, Inc.
KCMA Corporation
Winpak Films, Inc.
Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation
Yokogawa Corporation of America

The corporations that joined GA CATT in 2017 include: 

Newton College and Career Academy/Rockdale Career Academy

Haver & Boecker, USA
Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing, Inc.
General Mills, Inc.
Michelin North America, Inc. 
FiberVisions Corporation

Griffin Region College and Career Academy

Hoshizaki America, Inc.
American Woodmark Corporation
Norcom, Inc.


GA CATT's Inaugural Apprentices, August 2016

How to Get Involved

Lt. Governor Cagle has begun expansion with numerous school districts and industries throughout the state who are interested in creating their own GA CATT consortium. To get involved with the GA CATT program and contribute to the growing economic and workforce development in the state of Georgia, contact the Lt. Governor’s office for more information or go to the GA CATT website.