What is FAME?
FAME is the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education. It is a collaborative of employers across the nation who are cooperating with one another to implement and operate a program known as the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways.
The Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways include integrated, coordinated paths for:
- Technicians: Highly-paid skilled machine-maintenance workers who keep factory machines in continuous operation. Skilled workers in this program are trained to be multi-skilled, practicing several different crafts, rather than the norm of following just one craft. In the future the Technician area will also include a pathway for tool & die workers who build, maintain, and repair dies and molds.
- Engineers: High level problem solvers who guide the development and overall operation of the factory and its shops.
- Business: A pathway which teaches business operations and processes so that both technicians and engineers have a deeper understanding of their work in the fuller business operation of the company, making them better at their jobs. Also leads to key jobs in the “business” part of the operation, such as human resources, purchasing, production control, etc.
The Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways is a strategic initiative by FAME employers to develop a sustained pipeline of global best talent for key manufacturing career fields. It is based on the premise that companies are nothing more, and nothing less, than their people; therefore, if a company has the best people it will develop the strongest business model and impact, and thereby be the best company.
The root program of the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways is the AMT (Advanced Manufacturing Technician) Program.
What is the AMT Program?
It starts with the goals of the AMT Program.
Overall Goal of the AMT Program
The overall goal of the AMT Program is to produce the global best new-to-field technician at the point of graduation. Companies who are acquiring new-to-field global best talent will not be operating at a competitive disadvantage. They will be hiring the best available new talent with the greatest potential to impact their business outcomes over a work career.
Problem Solving Goal of the AMT Program
The problem solving goal of the AMT is to proactively solve 3 key problems which challenge U.S. employers:
- Shortage of skilled talent. A 2018 study by Deloitte projected that there were 508,000 unfilled skilled openings in U.S. manufacturing. It was the largest single job gap in any job sector. A 2015 study by Deloitte projects that the gap will grow to 2 million by 2025. The problem will be getting much worse before it gets better. The AMT Program is designed to provide sufficient numbers of skilled team members to participating companies on a year-over-year, continuous basis.
- New U.S. technical graduates are under skilled and not ready for work. They lack a comprehensive technical skill set. “Soft skills,” such as attendance, communication, initiative, problem solving are absent or much less than needed. At the point of graduation they are less skilled an d job-ready than new technical graduates from the best programs in Europe and Asia, creating a talent-based competitive disadvantage for U.S. employers. The AMT Program is designed to produce new-to-field technical graduates who are as good as or better than any in the world, providing new workers who are both work-ready and who provide a talent advantage for participating employers.
- The Silver Tsunami is creating a severe skilled worker gap right now. The age of current workers in the skilled force is disproportionately high. As current workers age out in the near future and retire Prob. No. 1 becomes much worse. The AMT Program is designed to be able to “turn up” an d “turn down” the flow of graduates to meet specific needs on a short/mid-term basis. It is designed to be a pull-system of worker talent.
Career Development Goal of the AMT Program
The Career Development goal of the AMT Program is to provide employers new workers who are much more flexible, more capable to learn, more ready to learn, more ready to continuously learn, and who have a higher desire to learn new technologies and to embrace and support new company initiatives and directions.
Employee Characteristics Goal of the AMT Program
The Employer Characteristics goal of the AMT Program is to provide employers new workers who both have the capability and the demonstrated practice of key employee values and practices such as reliable attendance, initiative, diligence, getting along with others, teamwork, communication, workplace organization, lean manufacturing, problem solving and project management.
Business Goal of the AMT Program
The AMT Program is designed to cost companies less to recruit new talent than required using existing customary methods, and to also acquire new employees with higher potential for career growth and performance.
The AMT Program is visioned, designed and operated to achieve all of the program goals.
AMT Program Overview
To remain internationally competitive in the manufacturing sector, America needs a reliable on-time pipeline of new technical talent that is as good as, or better than, the best in the world.
It is a program “owned” and led by employers. The employer group is generally known as “FAME,”, the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education. Local groups may have a state and/or chapter identifier added, such as “MO FAME,” “SKYFAME,” “KY FAME-Greater Louisville Chapter,” “TX FAME-Alamo Chapter,” etc. Education comes to the table of the local FAME group to support the program.
It is a program which has Four “Customers:”
- Employers: They need a continuous flow of reliable, global best talent.
- Students: They need to develop skills to pursue interesting, highly paid careers to provide a good life.
- Economic Development: ED needs programs which provide the best possible talent so that they can provide high paying jobs that contribute to the local economy and society. A source of the best possible talent both strengthens existing employers and attracts new employers.
- Post-Secondary Schools: Schools need the best programs in order to develop their own academic strength, new students to sustain their revenue stream, and need programs to supply new workforce talent.
It is a new kind of Industry/Education partnership in which employers and educators work closely together as a team to develop new talent. Employers are not an advisory committee, but an active participant in the program.
It re-defines the Customer Relationship for the education arm (for this program only; schools are not asked to change practices for their other programs):
Old Model: The Student is the No. 1 Customer
New Model: The Employer is the No. 1 Customer
Outcome: Results in a better education program a near 1-to-1 employment ratio.
It re-designs the learning environment. Transforms the place of learning to look/feel/function like the place of work (Classroom environments are unrealistic based on real work environments). The learning space is known as “The Advanced Manufacturing Center.”
It re-designs the learning dynamic. Transforms from a Learn It and Leave It model to a Learn It and Live It model in which students at school continually practice newly acquired skills in “living” work simulation environment (complements the new Advanced Manufacturing Center learning environment) and immediately practice the new acquired skills in their actual work environment.
Emphasis is on the “Technician” (development of the whole person) and not just the “Technology.”
But there’s still more technology in this program than in traditional programs.
It is a Work/Study “virtual scholarship” program. Paid work is sufficient to cover college expenses. Paid work covers educational expenses, enabling most students to graduate debt-free. Additionally, this powerful outcome significantly aids in recruiting the top tier of students.
It re-designs the entire academic experience:
- Selective program, targeting best talent from the K-12 system.
- 100% use of every learning minute
- 8 contact hours per day
- 5 days per week (2 at school/3 at work)
- 5 straight semesters
- It changes the core learning from being focused on technology only to three, equal components: Technology, Personal Behaviors, Manufacturing Core Exercises
- Every course pre-selected by the FAME employer group to maximize preparation for advanced manufacturing environment, and to align and coordinate with the larger career pathway network.
- Adds 5 extra-curricular semester-long activities to teach the DNA of manufacturing, known as the Manufacturing Core Exercises
- Semester 1: Safety Culture
- Semester 2: Visual Workplace Organization
- Semester 3: Lean Manufacturing
- Semester 4: Problem Solving
- Semester 5: Machine Reliability
- Emphasizes key work behaviors and capabilities and soft skills.
- Proactively seeks to diversify the face of technology & engineering in manufacturing.
It is a career pathway. Achieving an actual global-best outcome cannot be accomplished by doing only one part of human development very well. The entire development pathway must be designed and managed to plan key activities and achieve best outcomes at each level, ultimately resulting in a new-to-field employee who is the best in the world at what they do. Key steps in the pathway are:
- Primary/Elementary School (K-5) – stimulating STEM engagement and interest in children at their formative stages.
- Middle School (6-8): Continuing STEM engagement and interest, strengthening career awareness, introducing manufacturing as a great career consideration.
- High School (9-12): Continuing STEM engagement and interest, strengthening problem solving capabilities, encouraging extracurricular engagement, directly promoting manufacturing as a career field-of-choice. 12th grade: Recruit for the AMT Program
- Community/technical 2-year college: Complete the 5-semester AMT Program.
- Internship: Work full time, deepen floor-level skills, demonstrate capability to meet all responsibilities.
- Employment: work in an active, highly paid job field sustaining factory equipment operations. Continue Career Development: growth to support and sustain new company initiative and needs.
The AMT Program is currently active in 8 states:
- Kentucky (12 community college campuses, 2 universities)
- West Virginia (1 community college campus)
- Indiana (1 community college campus)
- Mississippi (1 community college campus)
- Texas (1 community college campus, 1 university)
- Tennessee (1 community college campus)
- Alabama (1 community college campus)
- Missouri (1 community college campus)
One state, Kentucky, has leveraged FAME and AMT to become a state-wide program.
- The Economic Development Cabinet incorporated KY FAME as a state-wide organization with the ability to create local chapters.
- The governor appointed a state-wide board of directors to guide KY FAME.
- The Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) established a named degree track for AMT.
The ability to use the academic portion of the program at any community college campus in Kentucky combined with the ability to establish a FAME employer group anywhere enabled the AMT Program and the other career pathways to be used anywhere in the state. Find out more at www.kyfame.com.