Our thanks to Kristal DiCarlo and Rebecca Maddox with the KY Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) Lincoln Trail Chapter for presenting at the first Facility Managers Meeting of the year.
The meeting took place at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC). After attendees enjoyed a lunch provided by ECTC’s Culinary Arts program, ECTC President/CEO Dr. Juston Pate addressed the meeting to express his appreciation for EHCIF and regional manufacturing leaders in the room and to tout the success of partnerships with regional manufacturers made possible through programs and initiatives such as the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program and the KCTCS-TRAINS fund.
In addition, EHCIF Vice President Andy Games made a few announcements, discussing upcoming meetings and events and reminding everyone in attendance to think about and plan their participation in potential events for Manufacturing Month in October.
Following these introductions, Maddox, who serves as Apprenticeship Coordinator for ECTC, and Dicarlo, who serves as Regional Sustainability Leader at AGC Automotive Americas, gave a presentation on KY FAME. Through partnerships between regional manufacturers, the purpose of KY FAME is to implement apprentice-style training to create a pipeline of highly-skilled workers. The concept offers a five-semester college degree program that matches higher education with continuous real-world experience.
The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing (FAME) was started in 2010 in Kentucky through a partnership between Toyota and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Today, FAME has expanded to include chapters across manufacturing sectors and the country, training hundreds of multiskilled technicians each year, and is implemented by nearly 400 company partners in several states.
KY FAME’s Lincoln Trail Chapter was founded in 2014. This year, the chapter currently has nine employer sponsors and 17 students.
Over the course of the two-year program, students work three days a week and attend class two days a week. By the time students graduate, they will have earned an Associates in Applied Science, received an abundance of practical experience in their chosen field, and increased their potential to be hired into a full-time position faster.
“KY FAME students that come out of the program know their worth,” Maddox said. “They’ve got this confidence and know that they’re leaders. You can tell them apart from a crowd of people who have the same degree.”
Students in the program are also compensated for their work by their sponsor, which allows them to earn while they learn.
KY FAME students are selected based on a criteria that includes academic success measured through grades and testing, math capability (a minimum ACT score of 19 is required), a commitment to remaining drug-free, and through a resume and interview process.
“We want to make sure that the students chosen for the program are set up for success,” Maddox said.
Maddox explained that KY FAME is not only beneficial for students but can also be a great asset for employers. For companies who wish to become a sponsor with KY FAME, they are able to train future employees from the start, work with eager students, keep an employee for two years and help create a stronger workforce.
“Once [students] connect the dots and they see that this is a competitive program and they want to be a part of it, they want to please,” Maddox said. “They will want to be your best worker.”
For businesses to participate, they must interview students during an interview event hosted by the chapter and a journeymen mentor must be assigned to train students in the workplace. Students must also be able to work three days a week and receive appropriate compensation. In addition, representatives from sponsoring businesses are asked to attend monthly chapter meetings. Businesses are not required to hire students after they complete the program.
Business representatives also have the opportunity to volunteer for leadership positions with KY FAME’s Lincoln Trail chapter, Maddox said.
“We have different areas, just like in a lot of your business associations, where you can participate and make a difference in the organization,” Maddox said.
To learn more about KY FAME, visit elizabethtown.kctcs.edu/workforce-solutions/training-development/kyfame.
Next month’s Facility Managers Meeting will be held at Kruger Packaging in Elizabethtown. General Manager John Keith is expected to share information on the facility and host a plant tour for attendees.
For more information, or if interested in attending the next Facility Managers Meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.