INA, Ill. (May 18, 2022) – Last Thursday, the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) and Continental Tire teamed up with Apprenticeship Works at Rend Lake College to connect talented individuals to an Industrial Electronics Technician apprenticeship. The open house at RLC's Advanced Technology Center allowed current and future students to meet with ICATT and Continental representatives to learn more about this exciting opportunity. With the apprenticeship path, technicians work at Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon while earning a debt-free associate degree and getting hands-on training led by technical experts. To join this highly skilled workforce and secure one of 14 positions being offered this fall, apply today at www.icattapprenticeships.com.

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Continental Tire's Systems Specialist, Aubreylee Jones, shows current RLC students the controller for the robot at the ICATT open house event.


ICATT is an apprenticeship program for high-tech manufacturers and companies with complex administration processes. It is the most extensive program fully benchmarked on the German Dual Education System – an approach recognized globally for its combination of company-specific knowledge, theory, and hands-on learning – resulting in highly-trained and flexible employees. 

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Katelyn Bozarth, HR Business Partner and Human Relations for Continental, displays an information table and giveaways for the ICATT apprenticeship event attendees. 


ICATT Applicant Outreach Manager Evelyn Seiler, EdD, told RLC, "This is a five-year program. The first three years consist of an apprenticeship followed by a two-year job guarantee. In the first three years, apprentices attend work three days a week. The other two days, they are being sent to school for their Associate of Applied Science degree as a part of their job. Continental pays for tuition, fees, and books. They can expect to finish in three years. With hard work, they will have the opportunity to earn an international ICATT credential by applying what they have learned. Continental is hiring for 14 spots in the apprenticeship for this fall."

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Matthias Kretschmer, CVT Division Engineering Manager with Continental (right), explains the benefits and process of applying for one of the 14 apprenticeship openings to recent graduates, (Left) Shane Hiatt (Mt. Vernon) and (Middle) Alex Bronson (Dix).


Matthias Kretschmer, CVT Division Engineering Manager with Continental, explained what they are looking for in their apprentices. "We are looking for motivated people who are ready to learn. We have the ICATT program to support them out of high school with their college education. This program has plenty of hands-on training to make learning the skills easier. After this apprenticeship, they would be ready to roll into our machine maintenance department. These individuals can be electricians, mechanics, welders, or anyone who is looking to work with Continental."

Kretschmer described some of the company's benefits: "Our starting pay, once they have completed, is $30.75 per hour with sign-on bonuses up to $3,000. Apprentices can expect to start at $18 per hour, $20 per hour in year two, and then $22 per hour in year three. We are an international working company. You can meet people worldwide and even work all over the world. With locations in 52 countries, there is something for everyone. We have 250,000 employees making for great flexibility and room for advancement. The sky is the limit."


(L-R) Shane Hiatt (Mt. Vernon) and Alex Bronson (Dix) learn about the robot's controller from Continental Tire Systems Specialist Aubreylee Jones.


Alex Bronson (Dix) recently graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in IT Database Specialist degree and an IT Security Specialist degree. "I came to the open house to learn more about what was offered," Bronson said. "Our instructor told us we might be interested since the openings share characteristics of our degrees. While networking is a little different, it shares the same implications; everything has to communicate somehow."

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(L-R) Shane Hiatt (Mt. Vernon), Alex Bronson (Dix), and Aubreylee Jones, Continental Tire Systems Specialist, exploring the robot's functions at the ICATT open house. 


Bronson and his classmate, Shane Hiatt (Mt. Vernon), spent some time with Continental's Systems Specialist, Aubreylee Jones, who gave the two participants a hands-on tour of a robot similar to those in the 100-acre facility in Mt. Vernon. The students test drove the robot and completed tasks such as picking up rolls of tape and placing them on top of a water bottle with absolute precision. After the demonstration, Bronson and Hiatt were excited to learn more about the openings. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Rend Lake College ICATT apprenticeship with Continental Tire, please reach out to one of the following individuals to get started:

Brody Wilson - Coordinator of Industry Training and Apprenticeships

[email protected] or 618-437-5321 ext. 1280

Tonya Odum -  Director of Apprenticeships and CTE Support

[email protected] or 618-437-5321 ext. 1277



Coordinator of Industry & Apprenticeship
Phone Extension: 1280
Building: Student Center
Office: 204
A.A. Rend Lake College | B.A. Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville 
Director of Apprenticeships, Community & Corporate Education
Phone Extension: 1277
Building: Student Center
Office: 207
M.A. Capella University | B.S. Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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