Opening Statement Judy Marks CEO, Siemens USA - U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

“Closing the Skills Gap and Boosting U.S. Competitiveness”

Category:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 3:27 pm EDT

Dateline:

Washington, D.C.

Thank you Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Nelson and Members of the Committee. It’s a privilege to testify here today.

As CEO of Siemens USA, I am proud to represent our over 50,000 U.S. employees who are located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

We have more than 60 US manufacturing plants. And we’re actually a net-exporter. We’ve reported revenue last year of $23.7 billion, and approximately $5.5 billion of that revenue came from products that were made in our U.S. plants and shipped around the world. So, even though we are a global company, we are proud to say we are U.S. local, and the U.S. is Siemens’ largest market in the world.

Our U.S. customers rely on Siemens to add value to their operations. Today they’re turning to Siemens to deploy software, hardware and digital technologies so they get the competitive advantage they need to retain and create high-paying manufacturing jobs here in the U.S.

This new technology requires workers to have new skills that simply weren’t necessary in yesterday’s manufacturing environment. Today, workers need new technical skills rooted in the STEM fields and they need education beyond high school. The nation’s training and education systems weren’t initially ready for this advanced manufacturing environment – and the skills gap is the result.

At Siemens, we’re now working to close this gap through what we call industrial re-skilling. We invest approximately $50 million annually for the training and continuing education of our own U.S. workforce.  We have also made a strong effort to hire veterans – recently as many as 2,500, training them on the technical skills they need to work in our business.

And we’ve focused our broader workforce development goals around three initiatives.

First, we are adapting the proven German-style apprenticeship model to the U.S. market, where we provide on-the-job training work with community college partners to train workers. We started in Charlotte, North Carolina – and we’ve since expanded it to three more cities. But we also wanted to encourage other companies to replicate these efforts nationwide. So we worked with Alcoa, Dow, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Department of Labor to develop a playbook for other manufacturers seeking to launch similar programs.

Second, we’re committed to helping students gain experience working with the software and digital tools they’ll encounter in advanced manufacturing. Earlier this month we invested $750,000 to help the University of Central Florida open a new lab where students will learn how to run a digital grid. UCF is also among the institutions that – in just the past few years – have been granted a total of more than $3 billion worth of our industrial software to incorporate into their curriculums.

Third, our Siemens Foundation, which I chair, is shining a spotlight on the opportunities for young adults in what we call STEM middle-skills careers – and on training models that work. As part of that effort, the foundation is a proud supporter of the Aspen Prize that recognized the remarkable work of Colonel Michael Cartney and the faculty of the Lake Area Technical Institute in South Dakota.

So, as you can see, Siemens is eager to form partnerships that serve to both close the skills gap and boost U.S. competitiveness.

I want to close by sharing with the Committee Siemens’ additional commitments to building a skilled U.S. workforce.

We’re going to double the size of our apprenticeship program.

We’re going to hire an additional 1,000 new veterans over the next three years

And we’re going to grant an additional $2 billion worth of industrial software to academic and training institutions – software already used by over 140,000 companies around the world.

I thank you again for the invitation to testify. And I look forward to your questions.