Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
May 08, 2012 | Tom Ballard

Volkswagen Chattanooga students in national competition

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following news release was provided by Volkswagen Chattanooga.)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (7 May 2012) — Two students of Volkswagen Chattanooga’s Automotive Mechatronics Program (AMP) were awarded gold medals for their participation in the Tennessee State SkillsUSA competition in the area of mechatronics.

SkillsUSA is a national non-profit education association that serves students and teachers in a variety of industries to promote a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA competitions honor student excellence in more than 94 trade, technical and leadership fields.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga student competitors, Ian Gwaltney and Caleb Higgenbotham, are currently in their second year of the new onsite training program. They will compete at the SkillsUSA National Championships held June 23 – 27 in Kansas City, Mo.

“I’m really proud of these two young men and their accomplishment,” said Hans-Herbert Jagla, executive vice president of Human Resources. “Volkswagen Chattanooga has made it a top priority to introduce a strong vocational skills training program with our workforce.

“We believe that by introducing innovative programs we are helping broaden the educational opportunities for Chattanooga and Tennessee. This award proves that the programs we are introducing are having a positive impact,” Jagla said.

AMP is a three-year scholarship-based apprenticeship program created through a partnership between Volkswagen Chattanooga and the Tennessee Technology Center at Chattanooga State. AMP’s first training class, which began in fall of 2010, will graduate from the program in 2013.

Students in the program receive training in safety, quality, electricity, metal working, machining, CNC machining, welding, pneumatics, hydraulics, PLC, robotics, CAD and additional industry-related subjects.

The AMP curriculum consists of five semesters of classroom and lab instruction interspersed with four semesters of paid on-the-job training. Upon completion of the training program, Volkswagen Chattanooga will extend conditional employment to graduates, who will also receive up to 44 credit hours toward an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Engineering Technology at Chattanooga State. Training classes are scheduled to begin May 15 and August 27. For more information, please visit


Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!