News Archive

SCC and Area Schools Collaborate with Local Industry, Start KY-FAME Chapter

Collaborative Initiatives Focus on Engineering, Science and Manufacturing

Above: Lauren Murphy, Pulaski County HS, Bio-Med program
Sydney New, Pulaski County HS, Bio-Med program
Destiny Molden, Southwestern HS, Bio-Med program
Shade Killen, Southwestern HS, Bio-Med program
Henry Phan, Southwestern HS, Bio-Med program
Grant Nelson, Pulaski County HS, Engineering program
Brentley Johnson, Pulaski County HS, Engineering program

2nd L-R:
Lance Hall, Southwestern HS, Engineering program
Tanner McDowell, Southwestern HS, Engineering program
John Hargis, Southwestern HS, Engineering program teacher
Tara Phelps, Southwestern HS, Bio-Medical Science teacher
Sharon Whitehead, SCC Dean of Arts and Sciences

Back L-R:
Mardi Montgomery, Director of Next Generation Programs, Pulaski County School System
Linda Bourne, SCC Associate Dean, Dual Credit
Zack Shibasaki, TTAI
Donnie Slagle, TTAI
Kathy Lewis, SCC Math Professor
Dr. Tony Honeycutt, SCC Provost
Alesa Johnson, SCC Associate Dean Workforce Solutions

Somerset Community College and other educational and industrial representatives in the Lake Cumberland region recently met to discuss the start of a Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY-FAME) chapter.

At the meeting, led by Toyotetsu America Inc.s (TTAI) Donnie Slagle, representatives from Pulaski County Schools, Somerset Community College (SCC), TTAI, other industries from the region and KY-FAME discussed the success of local educational and economic development initiatives, as well as how to expand those initiatives to include other manufacturers.

One of the initiatives discussed stems from the partnership of SCC and Pulaski County Schools in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) programs in engineering and bio-medical science. PLTW is a leading provider of activity, project and problem based instruction in K-12 STEM programs. These programs create pathways for students to pursue two-year technical degrees leading directly into the workforce, filling the need in manufacturing for skilled workers. The programs also help facilitate successful transfer to four year institutions for study in the fields of engineering or bio-medical science.

Dual credit students in PLTW engineering and bio-medical science courses in Pulaski County Schools, along with their teachers, posed for pictures with the others in attendance at the meeting to highlight the success of these educational programs in promoting the study of engineering, science and technology in local schools.

A second initiative involves SCC, Pulaski County Schools and local industry in creating career pathways for students who wish to participate in work/study programs like KY-FAME. In this program, high school students (some enrolled in PLTW classes), current industry employees, displaced workers or veterans with technical backgrounds may apply to be accepted into a specific technical program at a KCTCS college, such as SCC. Students accepted into the program are sponsored by local industry. They attend college two days per week and work three. A successful example of this partnership is the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, which covers five semesters and combines real work experience with an education. The student graduates with the AMT certification and an Associate Degree in Applied Science.

Those attending the conference are pictured below. To find out more about these initiatives, contact: Donnie Slagle at TTAI, 606-274-2810, for information about the local chapter of KY FAME; Alesa Johnson at SCC, 606-451-6693, for information about SCCs technical programs and KY FAME; Mardi Montgomery,, for information about the PLTW Programs in Pulaski County Schools; or Kathy Lewis, SCC,, for information about SCCs partnership with PLTW and role with KY FAME.