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First Advanced Workforce Manufacturing Technician Program in Michigan Launching in Jackson

May 26, 2021
Jackson (May 26, 2021) – Today, the Jackson Area Manufacturing Association (JAMA) and MichAuto, a statewide initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, announce a new two-year, debt-free Associate degree that equips students with the skills required for a rapidly evolving manufacturing industry. Michigan’s first Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program will provide students a pathway to meaningful, well-paying careers in an industry with a critical shortage of qualified workers. The state of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity projects that 75% of the jobs of the future will require a post-secondary degree.

Jackson Area Manufacturers Association (JAMA) will be the first in Michigan to launch this unique skilled workforce program in the state.

Bill Rayl, President of JAMA, says, “This program is an important part of a collaboration among K-12 education, higher education, and local industry to respond to Jackson’s workforce needs now and into the future. Our aim with the MI FAME JAMA chapter is to create a pipeline of global-best, entry-level multiskilled maintenance technicians to support manufacturers in and near Jackson, Michigan.”

“For more than 100 years, Michigan has been the global epicenter of the automotive industry, but for our state to remain competitive, it is critical that we improve and expand education opportunities,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director for MichAuto. “FAME provides a pathway for students to enter industry debt-free with the skills needed. This program will be good for students, good for Jackson, and good for manufacturers throughout Michigan.”

Created by Toyota in 2009, FAME has 35 chapters with more than 350 company partners across 13 states, including 10 new chapters launching this fall. There have been more than 1,100 graduates since 2010, with more than 300 graduates in Spring 2020 alone

FAME focuses on those who are interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing or a STEM-related field. Recruitment is underway for an August 2021 start. Students must submit an application by July 16,2021 to be considered for an interview. Orientation will take place in early August. Students can apply at www.jamafame.org. Students selected for the program will have a paid position three days a week with a participating employer and attend classes the other two days. After receiving 1800 hours of on-the-ground experience, 85% of graduates proceed to direct employment with a sponsoring company and earn wages that are, on average, 25% more than non-FAME graduates.

FAME provides an opportunity to change lives,” said Tony Davis Senior Director for Workforce Initiatives for The Manufacturing Institute and national FAME. “Our students have an opportunity to move into careers, not just jobs, to develop skills that can transport with them to wherever they need to go. It’s a game-changer for so many students that come from backgrounds where this may not otherwise be an option. It opens additional doors and multiple pathways come out of it.”

“FAME is also designed directly for employers,” says Dennis Dio Parker of Toyota Motor North America, who founded the FAME Career Pathway for his company’s need to address the workforce pipeline. “The FAME AMT Program produces global-talent that drives business results, and in the race for global competitiveness we want our FAME employers starting that race in the front row.”

“Investing in our future workforce demands in S.E Michigan with technical skill training and high paying salaries for the future of mobility team is critical to our industry’s success.” Said Shinichi Yasui, President of Toyota Engineering Manufacturing North America which has its Research & Development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This new chapter is a result of hard work, careful planning, and collaboration among JAMA, Toyota, FAME USA as an initiative of The Manufacturing Institute, MichAuto, and stakeholders across the industry and academia.