Earlier this month the Alabama Community College System hosted Gardner Carrick, Vice President of Workforce Solutions at The Manufacturing Institute (MI), at several colleges to discuss challenges and successes of their current FAME Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education programs. Also traveling with Gardner was Pooja Tripathi, MI Director of Workforce Initiatives, and Ali Jackson, MI Associate Director of FAME USA.

On Wednesday, August 10, Carrick and Jackson were special guests at the ACCS Board of Trustees meeting.  During the meeting, Gardner shared that “the ACCS has been the model partnership at the community college level and the ones we brag on everywhere we go. We are really impressed and thrilled with the work that has been done and thank you to all of the college Presidents that have made this happen. We are looking forward to the next stage in the partnership.”

With support of the Department of Labor Scaling Apprenticeship through Sector Based Strategies grant, the ACCS is currently working in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute to expand the FAME program, and to develop the first FAME Process Technology program that will be scaled nationally.

FAME was originally created by Toyota and moved to the Manufacturing Institute in 2019 to scale nationally. As the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute manages FAME USA as it continues to grow across the country with the support of more than 400 manufacturers.  Currently, Alabama has seven FAME chapters at various colleges spread across the state including Calhoun Community College, Northwest-Shoals Community College, Wallace State Community College – Hanceville, Gadsden State Community College, Southern Union State Community College, Trenholm State Community College, and Bishop State Community College.

During their visit, MI and ACCS met with several FAME chapters across the state to discuss challenges with their programs that include recruiting students, increasing the number of employer sponsors, and communicating the great career opportunities for advanced manufacturing technicians and potential career pathways to teachers, parents, and students.  MI and ACCS also were able to meet with several other colleges and employers to discuss potentially beginning a FAME chapter in other parts of the state.

The ACCS is appreciative of MI’s support and look forward to growing our partnership to support Alabama’s workforce.