International Exchange for U.S. Technical College Students Made Possible

January 7, 2021

Joachim Herz Foundation provides grants for exchange program between Atlanta Technical College and Felix Fechenbach-Berufskolleg in Detmold, Germany

ATLANTA (January 7, 2021) – There has been an existing exchange program between Atlanta Technical College (ATC) and Felix-Fechenbach-Berufskolleg (FFB), a technical college in Detmold, Germany, for more than 20 years. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, this program was in danger. Because of cuts in public funding, Atlanta Technical College would have been unable to finance a trip to Germany for its students and faculty. The Joachim Herz Foundation, located in Hamburg, Germany, stepped up and provided additional funding in the amount of 10,000 euros to secure a visit for eight ATC students and two faculty members in the coming year.

“Transatlantic relationships thrive on mutual understanding. And you get that with experience in the respective places. Especially in these trying times, we would like to help meaningful and proven links like this long-standing exchange goes on,” stated Dr. Henneke Lütgerath, Chairman of the Board of the Joachim Herz Foundation. Fiona Evans, U.S. Consul General in Dusseldorf, Germany, welcomes the commitment of the Joachim Herz Foundation.

“Exchange programs are the foundation of the German-American Relationship. We, therefore, applaud the Joachim Herz Foundation’s engagement for additional funding for the Detmold-Atlanta exchange program.” Projects with and within the United States play an especially important role at the Joachim Herz Foundation because of its founder’s close ties to the country. Joachim Herz, an entrepreneur from Hamburg, Germany, has done business in the Atlanta region and has promoted young American scientists there, even before the foundation was established in 2008.

The foundation already funds travel for the students from Detmold to Atlanta through its program “German American Training Exchange,” or GATE. With the additional grant provided for ATC students, the foundation will make it possible for the US delegation to have a stay of one or two weeks in Germany. “At Atlanta Technical College, we strive to provide our students with excellent education and training. This support from the Joachim Herz Foundation will allow global exposure that would otherwise be impossible. We are delighted to continue our partnership and connection with Felix Fechenbach, our sister college from ‘across the pond’,” stated Dr. Victoria Seals, President of Atlanta Technical College.

At Atlanta Technical College, students who are often still part of the workforce take technical and professional training to increase their level of skills and improve their employability. Felix-Fechenbach-Berufskolleg in Detmold offers classes for apprentices in the areas of culinary arts, health care, social studies, and technical training. In addition, students can receive a qualified high school diploma (Abitur) or a post-secondary diploma (Fachabitur) that will allow them to transfer to a university.

Students from all programs at the Berufskolleg and Atlanta Technical College are taking part in the exchange, which comprises one week at college and another week at participating companies.