Metalsa U.S. Regional Coordinator Ciro Valdes said Owensboro Community & Technical College has been instrumental in the company’s progress to support a meaningful learning experience for students while also growing its workforce.

Metasla has participated in OCTC’s Greater Owensboro chapter of the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, or GO FAME, since the program’s local inception in 2015. The program allows participating students to earn industry-recognized, multi-craft technician degrees. In this work-and-learn model, students attend college for two days a week and work three days a week at their sponsoring company.

“Our goal is to continue working with community partners such as OCTC to go beyond the classroom and introduce our students to the real world where they acquire knowledge and experience organically where they pursue a career in our industry that they desire,” Valdes said.

The companies currently involved with the GO FAME program include Kimberly Clark, TTMA, Castlen Steel, OMICO Plastics, Inc., Metalsa, Sun Windows, Paramount Tool & Die, ADM Industries, Specialty Foods Group, Unifirst, DSSA, Big Rivers, Industrial Mold & Machine Co., Whitworth Tool, RWRA, Hausner Hard Chrome, Precision Roll Grinders, Inc., Hollison Technologies, Dart Polymers, DCPS, Waupaca, Sceptre Mechanical, Perdue Farms, Tri-Fecta, MPD Inc., National Office Furniture, Alliance Coal, LLC, Ken-Tron, Domtar, Daramic, Southern Tank, Miles Enterprises, Yager, Hunter Douglas, Hines Group, and Dal-Tile.

OCTC is currently seeking new employer partners and accepting student applications for the upcoming cohort. The deadline for applications is March 11.

Katie Vincent, director of employer engagement for OCTC’s Workforce Solutions division, said new companies can join the program at any time. However, if they are interested in participating in this latest pool of applicants, they should contact her by March 11.

She said this program is helpful for organizations to “grow their own” employees.

“This model continues to be highly successful for the students and the sponsoring companies,” she said.

OCTC has had such success with this model that they have expanded the offerings to include advanced manufacturing technician degrees, as well as computerized manufacturing and machining, and industrial maintenance technology degrees. They also have developed a similar work and learn program, called GO Careers, which is a business administration program.

Interested students and employers interested in participating in the upcoming GO FAME cohort should contact Antoine.Smith-Rouse @kctcs.edu 270-686-4641 or Katie.vincent@kctcs.edu 270-686-4423 for more information.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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