HOPKINSVILLE, KY. (Oct. 16, 2020) October is Manufacturing Month and Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) is proud to train students for jobs in advanced manufacturing. 

HCC has more than 25 advanced manufacturing partners and aligns its programs with local business needs. This prepares students to walk out of college and into a good paying career.  

HCC also has 17 business partners who offer work and learn experiences through the HOPFAME program, a local chapter of the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME.) KY FAME is a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement apprenticeship-style educational programs that create a pipeline of highly skilled workers. Students in the program attend classes two days a week and work for their sponsoring employer three days a week. Students are paid for their work and potentially graduate with no debt. 

According to the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM), more than 250,000 people are employed by Kentucky manufacturers and there are 4,500 manufacturing facilities in the state. 

Throughout October, KAM will recognize a student or graduate from each of the 16 Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) colleges with a Rising Star in Manufacturing Award.  KAM selected HCC alumnus Jacob Thomas for the honor. Jacob graduated in May 2020 with an associate in applied science (AAS) degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology on an Advanced Manufacturing Technician Track through the HOPFAME program.  

Jacob worked for Novelis as a student during his HCC HOPFAME experience and recently accepted a full-time position with the company. Jacob was one of two young men chosen by Novelis as the company’s first HOPFAME students. He had the unique opportunity to work with the company’s engineers and maintenance managers as their new facility in Guthrie, Kentucky was being built. Novelis is the leading producer of flat-rolled aluminum products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum. 

“From the beginning of his program and the HOPFAME relationship with Novelis, Jacob had a determination to learn, contribute and excel. He is respectful and appreciative of others who have helped him thus far. He’s not afraid to stop and ask questions when necessary. When he does have questions, he listens and takes that lesson forward as he grows as a technician. Jacob embodies the personal characteristics that we value and rely upon to ensure that our plant and company continue to excel and succeed. Jacob is not afraid to jump in and help or volunteer to take on a challenge. No job is beneath him. His confidence grows with each success and he truly does treat each day as an interview. His efforts and desires have continued without waiver since his position acceptance, and he has earned the confidence and respect of others. Our maintenance team has the final decision on adding new team members. The decision to offer a full-time position to Jacob was unanimous and took almost no time to conclude. Jacob realizes that he is just beginning the climb in his career and is steadily building a foundation with determination and education,“ stated Novelis Maintenance Leader Andy H. Greene. 

For more information about HCC’s HOPFAME Industrial Maintenance Technology program, contact HOPFAME Success Coach Tara Rascoe at (270) 707-3745 or email tara.rascoe@kctcs.edu

Jacob Thomas, HCC alumnus and Kentucky Association of Manufacturers Rising Start in Manufacturing Award winner.