Focus on Workforce Development Continues; Community To Welcome ABB Swiss Apprentices

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June 20, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact Tim Allen, 479-783-3111

Focus on Workforce Development Continues; Community To Welcome ABB Swiss Apprentices

FORT SMITH, Ark. (June 20, 2019) — The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and the community effort towards transforming workforce development is adding a global twist for the summer. ABB will welcome a group of Swiss apprentices who will spend their summer on assignment at ABB in Fort Smith. The announcement was made in Zurich, Switzerland, today between the company and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Fort Smith Chamber officials.

“I am delighted by the strong partnership Arkansas and ABB enjoy. ABB’s global leadership is 
dependent upon world-class employees, and Arkansas’s commitment to excellence will ensure these 
apprentices can continue their education among peers. I look forward to having ABB’s apprentices in 
Arkansas later this year,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.

In Fort Smith, ABB produces 1.2 million motors annually. As part of their focus, the students will 
use what they have learned in school in a real-world environment with a new range of products. 
Highlights will include projects that focus on an area correlating to their studies, whether 
electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or automation. They will also complete ‘Six Sigma 
Green Belt’ certification to support their future careers.

“ABB’s commitment to expanding our workforce training and development efforts cannot be 
understated,” said Tim Allen, President and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Of 
all of the locations they could have chosen for these Swiss students in the apprenticeship program, 
Fort Smith was at the top of their list. Not only for the Fort Smith ABB facility’s technology and 
advanced manufacturing background, but for all of the quality-of-place amenities the community can 
offer these international students as well.”

In partnership with UAFS, Fort Smith Public Schools and a host of area businesses, the Fort Smith 
Chamber has focused on the expanding effort to build a regional infrastructure to develop the 
talent for a variety of career pathways, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and 
information technology jobs.

Recently, the Chamber hosted the area’s first “Signing Day” experience for area businesses and students. The Signing Day event was the culmination of months of applications, interviews and decisions made by area employers and students who are being matched for both full employment and apprenticeships.

In addition, the Chamber announced a partnership with Edge Factor, one of the country’s leading 
creative businesses, coupling advanced manufacturing and interactive resources. To build the 
workforce pipeline, Edge Factor tells real life stories of makers who are using technology to 
change lives and pushing back the edge of what's possible.
Photo (L-R): Photo taken in Zurich, Switzerland on June 20, 2019. A group of Swiss apprentices that will spend their summer on assignment at ABB in Fort Smith are pictured with Jason Green, Vice President-Human Resources, ABB; Morten Wierod, Global Head of ABB Motion; Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas; Nicole Rommelfanger, Head of ABB Apprentice Program; and Tim Allen, President & CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Tim Allen, President & CEO
(479) 783-3111