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From industrial work to the digital world: Federal Labour Minister on a journey through timeHubertus Heil visited Cromford Industrial Museum and Mitsubishi Electric's German Branch in Ratingen

Ratingen, 21 November 2019 - Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, visited Ratingen on 19 November at the invitation of the friends and sponsors of the Cromford Industrial Museum, where he visited the Cromford Industrial Museum and then gave a lecture in the German Branch of Mitsubishi Electric on the subject of "From industrial work to the digital world" to over one hundred invited guests.

During his visit to the Cromford Industrial Museum, Federal Labour Minister Heil gained an impressive insight into the beginnings of industry. The Cromford textile factory in Ratingen was founded in 1783 and is considered the first factory on the European mainland. Today it is an LVR Industrial Museum branch.

The Wuppertal industrialist Johann Gottfried Brügelmann revolutionized the world of work more than two centuries ago with his textile factory. Even today, society is approaching a new trend-setting change, the fourth industrial revolution. Mitsubishi Electric (also a member of the top-class board of trustees of the Förderverein) is a global technology company that also supports the association here in Germany. The company is contributing its broad technological expertise to push forward and contribute to the digitalization of industry, sustainable and safe mobility, energy-efficient infrastructure and comfortable, climate-neutral living spaces.

During his visit to Ratingen, Federal Labour Minister Heil thus gained a comprehensive insight into industrial development from its beginnings to future technologies, which at the same time represented a symbolic bridge to his lecture. "The German economy is in the most elementary transformation since the beginning of industrialization. Digitalisation confronts both employers and employees with major challenges. It is important that we manage change in such a way that everyone can benefit from it. To achieve this, we must make wise use of one of Germany's greatest achievements, the social partnership. With the Qualification Opportunities Act, I have laid the first stone to ensure that today's workers can also do tomorrow's work. With the Work of Tomorrow Act, a second step will soon follow, with which I will provide a strong impulse for further training and qualification in structural change," said Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil during his visit to Ratingen.

Following his lecture, Federal Labour Minister Heil entered into a direct dialogue with the invited guests during an animated discussion round.

Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, during his lecture at Mitsubishi Electric

from left to right: Andreas Wagner, President of the German Branch of Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V, Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Kerstin Griese, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Wolfgang Küppers, Chairman, Friends and Sponsors of the Industrial Museum Cromford e.V., during a panel discussion following the lecture.

from left to right: Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, and Andreas Wagner, President of the German Branch of Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., during the tour of the "The World of Mitsubishi Electric" product exhibition

Entry in the Golden Book of the City of Ratingen at Cromford Mansion, in the garden hall

from left to right: Dr. Walter Hauser, Director of LVR Museums, Wolfgang Diedrich, First Deputy Mayor of Ratingen, Claudia Gottfried, Museum Director, Kerstin Griese, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Minister Hubertus Heil, Wolfgang Küppers Chairman of the Förderverein, Christiane Syrè, Museum Director

About the Friends and Sponsors of the Industrial Museum Cromford e.V.

The association was founded in 1993 with the aim of keeping alive the knowledge of early industrial development. Since then it has been networking business and culture in the textile factory Cromford with personalities from industry, politics and culture via its high-ranking board of trustees.

Represented by 240 dedicated employees, the association organizes numerous activities focused on preserving local industrial history - "History remains alive with us".

Further information can be found at

Press contact Friends and sponsors of the industrial museum Cromford e.V.:

Wolfgang Küppers

Tel.: +49-(0)203-93158090
(mail link)

About Mitsubishi Electric

With nearly 100 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, mobility and building technology, as well as heating, cooling and air-conditioning technology.

Embracing the spirit of its corporate statement, Changes for the Better, and its environmental statement, Eco Changes, Mitsubishi Electric endeavours to be a global, leading green company, enriching society with technology.

With around 145,800 employees the company recorded consolidated group sales of 40.7 billion US Dollar* in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

Our sales offices, research & development centres and manufacturing plants are located in over 30 countries.

Since 1978, Mitsubishi Electric is represented in Germany as a branch of Mitsubishi Electric Europe. Mitsubishi Electric Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Tokyo.

  1. *At an exchange rate of 111 yen to the US dollar, the rate given by the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2019

For more information visit

Press contact Mitsubishi Electric:

Niels Meinke

Corporate Communications
Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
German Branch
Mitsubishi-Electric-Platz 1, 40882 Ratingen

(mail link)
Tel.: +49-(0)2102-486 9922


Note that the press releases are accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice.