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SKY FAME - Program hands manufacturers the controls


Male student working on equipmentAs Kentucky s manufacturing workforce dwindles, a job training program at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College is trying to create a pipeline of skilled workers for regional manufacturers.

We re seeing a lot of people retire, a lot of baby boomers retire, said Teresa Montgomery, a human resources manager with Morgantown-based Delta Faucet.

Delta Faucet joins 15 other manufacturers as partners of SKY FAME, SKYCTC s chapter of the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education.

The Southcentral Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (SKY FAME) chapter is a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement dual-track, apprenticeship-style training that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers, Kelcie Richart, the program s advanced manufacturing technician success coach, said in an email.

Richart said KY FAME began in the Georgetown-Lexington area as a partnership with Toyota. SKY FAME was established as the program s seventh chapter in September, she said.

The program selects 30 students gifted in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Over the course of the five-semester program, students will divide their time between going to classes twice a week and working for a company three times a week. Person welding

Manufacturers are involved in the program from beginning interviews to choosing which student they hire after finishing the program.

What I hope students recognize is that manufacturing isn t dark, dirty and dangerous, Richart said. It is a field that is bright and upcoming.

Richart estimated that program graduates could make between $40,000 and $50,000 annually.

Manufacturers get a lot out of the program as well.

It helps everybody grow and expand the knowledge within our maintenance departments, said Tye Burklow, manager of public relations with the Franklin Precision Industry, which is a program partner.

This gives us an opportunity to bring people in and give them the knowledge while also making our companies stronger, he said.

SKYCTC will host a recruitment event at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at its Franklin-Simpson Center at 175 Davis Drive in Franklin.