Seth Futral said he heard about a work-based learning program at Southern Union State Community College and knew it was an opportunity he didn’t want to pass up. Now a Southern Union student who interns through the F.A.M.E. on the Plains program, he said the learning opportunity is just what he needed to move toward a successful career.
Futral spoke about the benefits of work-based learning during the monthly Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees meeting at Southern Union on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Futral interns as a maintenance technician at Sio2 in Auburn, where he learns to repair and maintain equipment that creates life-saving devices.
“I truly believe that Southern Union’s technical programs are the backbone to manufacturing in Alabama,” he said.
“This area of the state is like a manufacturing mecca with all the opportunities available. With F.A.M.E., they fill you up with a lot of knowledge for the two years, so you’re very valuable to the company. You’re not just being told concepts. You can actually apply them.”
Alabama F.A.M.E., or the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education program, partners students with industry while they take classes at select community colleges. The goal is for students to gain valuable employment experience with manufacturing leaders while also completing an associate degree.
There are several F.A.M.E. programs across Alabama’s community colleges.
A 2021 Valley High School graduate, Futral served as the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter president at the Chambers County Career Technology Center prior to attending college. He earned short certificates from Briggs and Stratton, NCCER and the Alabama Beekeeper’s Association while there.
He also earned a scholarship to attend Southern Union.
“At Southern Union I just felt so welcome, and that they truly wanted me to get on a career path that I enjoyed,” he said of his decision to attend the college.
Futral said his goal is to continue to train so that he can make positive improvements within the workplace.