Representatives of the College's Corporate Connections group participated in the event at Deutsche Bank Center in March
Five representatives of Lafayette College’s Corporate Connections group participated in the German American Business Update at Deutsche Bank Center in New York City on Thursday, March 9. Attendees included:
The German American Business Update (GABO) survey of German companies operating in the United States revealed insights into the current state of the U.S. economy and the impacts on German businesses. Jean-Claude Dubacher, B. Braun Medical’s chairman and CEO, located in Bethlehem, and Lutz Stoeber, Evonik Corporation’s head of venture capital and investments North America, located in Upper Macungie Township, contributed to an industry panel discussion about current trends and developments. Some of the top trends included the fact that German companies continue to recruit and invest in the American market and employees are seeking a flexible work environment.
Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley have deep historic and contemporary ties with Germany and other German-speaking countries. More than three-dozen German-affiliated companies operate in region—among them B. Braun, Bosch Rexroth, Julabo, Evonik, and Turner— and cover a wide variety of business sectors. Recognizing Pennsylvania’s economy is increasingly global, the Commonwealth’s International Business Development Program comprises 13 offices covering 45 countries. In 2021, Pennsylvania businesses exported $44.7 billion in goods, with top export destinations including China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
Lafayette’s German program, assisted by Lafayette’s campus-wide Corporate Connections group, has developed a strong relationship with the German American Chamber of Commerce. The partnership stemmed from the activities celebrating the opening in spring 2019 of the Max Kade Haus for German Studies and Visiting Scholars, located at 606 McCartney Street, with support from the Max Kade Foundation. The GACC and the College are working together to strengthen the German-American business and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Lehigh Valley. One strategy is to offer internship/externship and other co-curricular opportunities for students, both in Germany and with German-affiliated companies in the United States. Lafayette’s Gateway Career Center has identified three areas of initial interest: engineering, economics/business, and international affairs/government (a fourth may be in the arts, such as film). Students could continue in the summer following the spring programs in Bonn.
Lafayette offers one of the strongest German programs among the area’s colleges, and German instruction is required by the College’s 1826 charter. A large number of German majors are double majors in such areas as engineering, economics, and international affairs. The German program offers courses in business German and collaborates on the semester-long engineering program as well as a summer immersion program, both based in Bonn, Germany. The Max Kade Foundation provides scholarships for students with financial need enrolled in the summer program. Lafayette has one of the nation’s highest percentages of engineering students who study abroad.