Somerset Community College and KY FAME Partner to Sponsor First Advanced Manufacturing Technician Class | SCC

Somerset Community College and KY FAME Partner to Sponsor First Advanced Manufacturing Technician Class

KY-FAME Cumberlands Chapter Board of Directors, speakers and students in the first Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program that were present at the AMT orientation include (front, left to right): Chris Hicks (UGN); Alesa Johnson (SCC); AMT students Tom Prater, Matthew Cureington, Mitchell Speaks. Briana Smith and Matthew Hurst; Shirlene Taylor (Kentucky Career Center); Simon Mortimer (Aisin); and Chris Hall (SCC AMT Instructor).
Back row, left to right: Richard Snowden (American Woodmark); Donnie Slagle (TTAI); AMT students Keith Vance, DJ Smith, Homer Hazelbaker, Jeffrey Adams, Matthew Whitis and Avon Kennedy; Kim Chasteen (Belden); Vickie Glenn (Superior Battery); and Roger Angevine (SCC).
The inaugural Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) class recently met at Somerset Community College (SCC) for orientation and to start the fall semester of classes. The Cumberlands KY FAME chapter is partnering with SCC to implement a dual-track, apprenticeship style training that creates a pipeline of highly skilled workers.

The program, which seeks to create a stronger workforce that meets todays challenge of global competitiveness in manufacturing, involves employees from Toyotetsu America, Inc. (TTAI), UGN, Inc., Superior Battery, Inc., Belden Inc., Aisin Automotive Casting, LLC, American Woodmark, and Highlands Diversified.

Dillard (DJ) Smith, a clerk in the Production Profit Improvement Team (PPIT) at TTAI, is part of the AMT program. He and the other participants will earn an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology (IMT) - Advanced Manufacturing Technician track after completion of the program.

I have always been interested in machine maintenance dating back to my time working on the production floor, said Smith, a 36-year-old Somerset native. I chose to enroll in the AMT program through KY FAME because it is a great opportunity. This program is unique in that while I attend college, I also receive training and experience as a maintenance tech. Qualified industrial maintenance technicians are a very sought after skilled trade.

Smith and the other AMT program participants work three days per week at their jobs, which, for Smith, will change to an industrial maintenance position. They then attend class at SCC two days per week. Many manufacturing companies assist with paying for the program as well.

Ive worked at TTAI for more than 15 years, Smith said. I started taking classes at SCC after high school, but didnt finish. Obtaining a degree had always been something I wanted to do. This program allows me to fulfill that goal while also getting hands-on experience in my field.

The AMT program is designed to be completed in five semesters. Once the AAS degree has been obtained, participants have the opportunity to continue their education either through a business or engineering route.

My dad and mom are excited that Im getting the opportunity to go back to school, Smith said of his parents, Dillard and Rosemary Smith of Somerset. I hope to learn as much as I can in regards to electricity, hydraulics and robotics. I want to absorb as much information as possible so that I can apply that in my career.

The KY FAME Cumberlands Chapter is governed by a board of directors including Donnie Slagle, TTAI; Chris Hicks, UGN, Inc.; Vickie Glenn, Superior Battery, Inc.; Kimberly Chasteen, Belden Inc.; Jackie Hogan, TTAI; Simon Mortimer, Aisin Automotive Casting, LLC; Colleen Parrish, Highlands Diversified Services, Inc.; Alesa Johnson, SCC; Shirlene Taylor, Kentucky Career Center; Mardi Montgomery, Pulaski County Board of Education; and Dr. Beth Hargis, Pulaski County Area Technology Center.

To find out more about KY FAME AMT program or to apply to the Cumberlands KY FAME chapter, contact Donnie Slagle, Cumberlands KY FAME Chapter President, at 606-274-2810, or go to