435th CTS builds ties with local community
By Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 17, 2017
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Local national students who finish school with a diploma have an opportunity to learn trade skills and earn money on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Every year, the 86th Airlift Wing Civilian Personnel Office invites German high school age youth to apply for and participate in a three and a half to four year apprenticeship training program on Ramstein.
Applicants who are accepted would be embedded with a participating unit.
One of the units which conducts the apprenticeship program is the 435th Construction and Training Squadron.
Dieter Flachsland, 435th CTS director of operations, said the program makes a statement that the Air Force is eager to benefit the local area.
“It creates ties between the surrounding community and the military organization,” Flachsland said. “This shows families outside that there are job opportunities for local nationals. The U.S. military is one of the biggest employers in this area. This program even tells younger folks that there is an opportunity to work here.”
Flachsland added that besides providing employment for locals, his squadron’s three-year-long apprenticeship program also helps insure there is a continuation of skilled workers in the area.
Applicants hoping to work with the 435th CTS find themselves competing with their peers. For every job opening, there are two or three applicants, Flachsland said.
Felix Mayer, 435th CTS administrative service clerk apprentice, said he was grateful for being able to land a job with the squadron.
“I put a lot of effort into this whole process,” he said. “As soon as I heard that there were so many other guys that wanted this job, I was like, ‘I’m super lucky.’”
Mayer recounted the day he found out the 435th CTS hired him. When he read the acceptance letter, he could hardly believe he really got the job, he said.
“It felt unreal,” Mayer recalled. “As soon as I saw the Air Force symbol I was like, ‘Is this happening?’ It took me two days to realize that this is happening - that I would be working for the U.S. Air Force.
It’s an honor for me to serve the U.S. Air Force,” he continued. “Since I was 10 years old, I always wanted to be a part of it. A lot of my friends are American, so I was always around military people and I always wanted to be a part of that.”
Flachsland mentioned that the apprentices proved they had plenty of things to contribute since the training program started in 2016.
“Our folks learned in time that they have something to bring as well: motivation, curiosity, and eagerness to learn new things,” he said. “We learned that it is beneficial to us as well to mix things up a little bit more by having some younger folks on board.”
Those interested in Ramstein’s apprenticeship program shall contact the 86th AW Civilian Personnel Office at DSN 480-2167, or commercial line 06371-47-2167