Kentucky Chamber Board Chair Wil James joined Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday to announce the expansion of the Kentucky Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) to additional areas of the state.
The program, which offers students an apprentice-style education and training to help create a more highly-skilled workforce, is adding three new chapters in Louisville, northern Kentucky and Elizabethtown in addition to its central Kentucky chapter.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. President and current Kentucky Chamber Board Chair Wil James said Wednesday the KY FAME program is the pipeline of skilled workers that the manufacturing industry needs.
“With the Kentucky FAME’s guiding hand, I advanced manufacturing in our state can and I believe will reach its full potential,” James said. “At Toyota, this is the type of innovative collaboration that we are proud to be a part of. But like the dozens of companies that have joined KY FAME, we also realize that this is an initiative that we simply must get behind and support because our future truly does depend on it.”
Program participants attend classes at their local community college two days out of the week while also working 24 hours per week with a sponsoring employer to get hands on experience in the field.
Beshear said Wednesday the expansion of the program is important to the state’s future as it serves as a way to address the shortage of technically skilled workers in needed for jobs in manufacturing and other fields.
“I also want to stress the importance of these jobs for potential students. They are not, and let’s make this clear and say it all across the commonwealth, these are not the only factory jobs of the past. These jobs are for those students who enjoy technology, who want to be on the cutting edge, who have the discipline and intelligence to succeed in both the classroom and on the job site,” Beshear said.