National Apprenticeship Week


By Maysville Community and Technical College

November 20 marks the second annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), proclaimed by President Barack Obama to recognize apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy, nationwide. The United States currently has approximately 375,000 apprentices working with more than 150,000 employers.

Kentucky has its share of apprenticeship programs in a variety of industries, including advanced manufacturing. The KY FAME (Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) program was started by Toyota in 2009 and has spread throughout Kentucky to help fill the need for multi-skilled technicians.  Over 120 employers statewide are participating in the program and the purpose is to implement dual track, apprenticeship-style training that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers.

Currently there are ten KY FAME chapters across the state of Kentucky. In 2015, the Northeast KY FAME chapter was formed. Peter Feil, Vice President and General Manager of Stober Drives, is the chair of the Northeast chapter and also serves on the state KY FAME board. “Establishing a FAME chapter in our region is the first step by the private sector to create opportunities for individuals to gain needed job skills and work experience to help our economy grow,” said Feil. “Private sector leadership in collaboration with our education, workforce and economic development partners is essential for our region to meet the current and future workforce demands.”

After being accepted into the program, students earn a two-year degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) while attending classes at Maysville Community and Technical College two full days per week and working in a paid position at a local employer three days a week. This gives students the opportunity to graduate with a degree and two year’s work experience with little to no debt and a potential job.

In August, fifteen students paired up with ten Northeast KY FAME companies to begin their two-year journey. Companies participating in the program are Cooper Standard (Mt. Sterling), CTI Foods (Owingsville), East Kentucky Power (Maysville), KDMK (Mt. Sterling), Morehead Wood Products (Morehead), Regal Beloit (Morehead), SRG (Morehead), Stober Drives (Maysville), the Walker Company (Mt. Sterling) and Tyson Foods (Claryville). “We’ve learned many things in the class room, from hydraulic models to electrical circuits, but the one thing the KY FAME program has taught me the most is how to be a professional.” Austin Blythe, apprentice currently working with the Walker Company in Mt. Sterling.

“Not only do we cover the technical requirements of the program in the classroom, communication and professional behaviors are being taught as well,” claims David Hatton, KY FAME Instructor at MCTC. “The ability to communicate both verbally and written is a must in this modern fast paced industry and the skills the students are learning in this program they will be able to use the rest of their lives.”

“Today’s sophisticated equipment requires highly trained technical skills for operation and/or maintenance,” stated Regal’s Plant Manager Randy Norwood. “Regal believes that KY FAME, working in partnership with Kentucky manufacturers will fill this ever increasing need.  A solid education combined with real world work experience is a perfect combination! Regal Supports KY FAME.”

If your company would like to learn more about participating in the KY FAME program, if you would like to become a KY FAME participant or if you just want to learn more information, call MCTC’s Workforce Solutions at 606-759-7141, ext.66120 or visit

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