NATCHITOCHES – Alan Crowder of Plainview was named recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award upon completion of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, a work/study partnership between Northwestern State University, the Central Louisiana Technical Community College – Natchitoches and sponsoring manufacturing companies in the region.  Crowder, who is employed with RoyOMartin, was selected based on outstanding performance both academically and on the job.  

AMT students are part of the Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), the program’s national umbrella, locally established as GeauxFAME.  GeauxFAME is the first and only chapter in Louisiana, joining 10 other states in FAME USA, which seeks to develop technical talent for manufacturing employers of technical workers. 

“The Distinguished Graduate Award is the highest award bestowed by the employers in the local FAME chapter and recognizes the AMT graduate who most fully embodies and presents all the key elements of the AMT Program,” said Laurie Morrow, dean of the Natchitoches CLTCC campus.  

The award considers performance at work, learning and application of professional behaviors, learning and application of the practices of the Manufacturing Core Exercises, leadership and program grade point average. 

“While the award is determined and bestowed by the employers, significant input to the award is also needed by the college partner. The faculty and staff at the college are the only ones who consistently see the AMT students altogether and can provide input on their performance relative to the areas of consideration,” Morrow said.

Crowder began the program in August 2018 as part of the second cohort of students to enroll in the program after its inception in 2017.

Students in the AMT program work three days per week in one of the sponsoring manufacturing facilities earning $12 per hour and take classes two days per week that are taught by NSU and CLTCC faculty.  Upon completion of the two-year program, graduates receive an AMT certificate, as well as an associate degree in engineering technology from NSU that is applicable to a bachelor’s degree should the student wish to continue studies.  Completers also have earned valuable hands-on work experience and a competitive edge over their peers, administrators said.

Crowder was recognized during GeauxFAME’s June meeting.

“The AMT program is uniquely different from other technical programs at the college in the sense that it’s led by an employer collaborative and has many activities and outcomes that go beyond the typical academic degree,” Morrow said.  “Many of these outcomes that are critical to the success of the AMT student and to the companies for which they work cannot be adequately considered by the existing awards.  As manufacturers are the lead entity of FAME chapter, it is appropriate for a high-level award to be sourced from the employers.”

“As the vice chair of the GeauxFAME Board, I am so proud of our Distinguished Graduate. Alan Crowder has grown in knowledge and skill in the maintenance department at OSB Oakdale. He is always willing to be a mentor and coach for new AMT students,” said Connie Baker, senior director of human resources at RoyOMartin.

The AMT program is supported by the Natchitoches Community Alliance an economic/workforce development group as well as CLEDA.  Partnering companies also include AFCO Industries, Alliance Compressors, Boise, RoyOMartin, Stella-Jones and Weyerhaeuser.

For more information on the GeauxFAME AMT program requirements and registration information, visit  Applications for Fall 2020 classes are now being accepted.