Kentucky’s nationally recognized workforce training program is coming to western Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) is creating a new chapter in the Greater Owensboro region.
KY FAME is a partnership of manufacturers that have teamed up to address the shortage of technically skilled workers needed in advanced manufacturing. The program offers innovative, apprentice-style education and training designed to create one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world.
“Since we first announced plans to take KY FAME statewide back in January, interest in the program has grown exponentially,” said Gov. Beshear. “I want to congratulate the Owensboro region for taking the necessary steps to form this newest chapter. KY FAME will go a long way toward creating one of the world’s most highly skilled and in-demand workforces right here in western Kentucky.”
KY FAME student participants will enroll in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. Through AMT students attend classes two days per week at Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) and work an additional 24 hours per week for a sponsoring employer. Upon completion of the program, students receive an associate degree in Applied Sciences, and, with the practical skills gained during their paid work experience, most begin full-time employment with the sponsor. Others may decide to further their technical education to obtain bachelor’s degrees in engineering or business.
Greater Owensboro now marks the fifth chapter of KY FAME. Other chapters include the Bluegrass Region (central Kentucky), Greater Louisville, northern Kentucky and Elizabethtown/Lincoln Trail regions. The goal is to eventually expand the program to all corners of the Commonwealth.
More than a dozen local companies from the region are leading the launch for the Greater Owensboro chapter:
- OMICO PLASTICS INC
- The Hines Group Inc.
- Precision Roll Grinders Inc.
- Toyotetsu Mid America
- WPT Nonwovens Corporation
- Sun Windows
- Castlen Steel
- Ken-Tron Mfg. Inc.
- National Office Furniture
“It’s very exciting to see KY FAME grow into the Owensboro area,” said Kim Menke, manager of government affairs for Toyota and president of the KY FAME board of directors. “KY FAME programs produce high quality employees for Kentucky companies. I’m thrilled that additional chapters will have the opportunity to support local companies and grow our manufacturing workforce across the Commonwealth.”
The leadership of the Greater Owensboro chapter includes:
- President: Farrah Corbett, The Hines Group
- Vice President: Christy Miller, Kimberly-Clark
- Secretary: Theresa Jackson, Toyotetsu Mid America
- Treasurer: Matt Castlen, Castlen Steel
“We are thrilled to have KY FAME present in the Owensboro area,” said Farrah Corbett, human resources director at The Hines Group and president of Greater Owensboro FAME. “Through partnership between our industry leaders and OCTC, Greater Owensboro FAME is taking proactive measures to produce a skilled labor pool for the area. We feel confident this is only the beginning of a long and successful partnership.”
“OCTC is committed to meeting the needs and expectations of the KY FAME partners by providing the students engaged in this work and learn program with the knowledge, skills and abilities desired by the industry partners,” said Larry Durrence, interim president of Owensboro Community & Technical College. “We understand that a skilled workforce is critical for business and industry and for the economic prosperity of our region.”
“We are proud that the Greater Owensboro region is joining the growing list of communities joining the KY FAME initiative,” said Madison Silvert, president and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. “The quality of our workforce is – and will be for the foreseeable future – the most important economic development driver of our economy. Whether it is in recruitment or in working with our existing industry, the availability of a skilled and productive workforce is the primary concern of business. KY FAME will help ensure that our manufacturing workforce will be competitive for years to come.”
Created in 2010, KY FAME now includes 64 companies statewide. More than 40 students have completed the AMT program, more than 60 students are currently enrolled and over 150 students will begin classes in the fall of 2015.
To learn more about KY FAME, visit www.KYFAME.com.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.