Kentucky’s nationally recognized workforce training program has now expanded into south-central Kentucky.
Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) program is creating a new chapter in Bowling Green to serve the surrounding 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. “This is now the seventh chapter in the state, and we plan to add others before the end of the year. I want to congratulate the south-central Kentucky region for taking the necessary steps to form the newest addition to the program. KY FAME will go a long way toward creating one of the world’s most highly skilled and in-demand workforces right here in Kentucky.”
KY FAME student participants will enroll in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program.
Through AMT, students attend classes two days per week at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) 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.
Created in 2010, KY FAME currently includes 95 companies statewide. More than 40 students have completed the AMT program and over 200 students are currently enrolled.
KY FAME is part of the Kentucky Skills Network created by Gov. Beshear in 2014. Last year, the network provided training assistance to 84,000 Kentuckians and 4,100 companies. Interest in KY FAME is high, as it has grown from one chapter with 13 companies sponsoring 55 students a year ago, to more than 85 companies sponsoring more than 250 students today.
“We are thrilled to have KY FAME present in our area,” said Gregory Head, vice president at Davert North America and president of FAME Southcentral chapter. “Through this partnership between our industry leaders and SKYCTC, Southcentral Kentucky 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.”
“SKYCTC is committed to responding to the needs and expectations of the SKY 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 Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College President Phil Neal. “We understand that a skilled workforce is critical for business and industry and for the economic prosperity of our region.”
More than a dozen local companies from the region are leading the launch for the Southcentral Kentucky chapter:
- J. M. Smucker Co.
- Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel
- Meritor Inc.
- Franklin Precision Industries
- Logan Aluminum
- Delta Faucet
- Quad Graphics
- Sumitomo Electrical Wiring Systems
- Bowling Green Metalforming
- Champion Pet Foods
- Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products
- Davert North America
The leadership of the Southcentral chapter includes:
- President: Gregory Head, Davert North America
- Vice President: Todd Ramsey, Quad Graphics
- Secretary-Treasurer: Kelcie Dixon, SKYCTC
Southcentral Kentucky FAME will sponsor students beginning in the fall of 2016. To learn more about KY FAME in Southcentral Kentucky, contact Gregory Head at Greg.Head@Davert.org or Kelcie Dixon at email@example.com.
“It’s very exciting to see KY FAME grow into the Southcentral Kentucky 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.”
“This is an important opportunity for students in our region, as well as for the growing manufacturing sector,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green. “As the senator from Bowling Green, as well as the Chair of the Education Committee, I appreciate the value of KY FAME and its ability to combine higher education and career preparation for our students.”
“KY FAME is making progress and changing people’s lives throughout the Commonwealth, and I could not be happier that the program is coming to Bowling Green,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “I would like to thank the local businesses partnering with KY FAME and Governor Beshear for championing a program that makes sense and addresses the needs of our employers. KY FAME will ensure our community continue to be a leading economic driver in Kentucky.”
“In order for Kentucky and our region to grow and compete in the global economy of tomorrow, it is essential that we have a highly skilled, highly trained workforce for new and existing businesses like our growing auto manufacturing industry,” said Rep. Michael Meredith, of Brownsville. “Anything we can do to help achieve that goal is a positive for our economy.”
Other chapters include the Bluegrass Region (central Kentucky), Greater Louisville, northern Kentucky, Elizabethtown/Lincoln Trail, Greater Owensboro and Cumberlands regions. The goal is to eventually expand the program to all corners of the Commonwealth.