Photo Caption: Pictured at Southern Union’s Spring Commencement are recent FAME graduates Hayden Aderholt of Auburn, Jordin Roysdon of Roanoke,, and Andrew Williams of Beauregard
Two years ago, nine students entered the FAME program at Southern Union State Community College. This past May three members of that cohort became the first graduates of the program.
The FAME program is an earn-and-learn apprenticeship where students spend time in the classroom and on the job at their sponsoring company. Upon completion of the program, students graduate with an Advanced Manufacturing degree, and usually a job opportunity.
Originally developed and refined by Toyota, stewardship of the FAME program has recently transitioned to The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. FAME chapters are currently operating in 13 states with nearly 400 partner companies.
Hayden Aderholt , Jordin Roysdon, and Andrew Williams are now employed by their sponsoring company, (RAPA, West Frazier, and Baxter, respectively) after spending a minimum of 24 hours a week at their respective companies, and 16 hours a week in class at SUSCC over the past two years. The students say that they enjoyed learning about the day–to–day aspects of the workplace and appreciated the chance to gain insight from a wide range of coworkers.
Roysdon said the program showed him that there is a lot more to manufacturing than just producing a product. “My experience with the FAME program was great. In addition to learning about industrial maintenance as a whole, I learned speech and leadership skills, as well,” he said.
The FAME apprenticeship program teaches the skills and the culture of manufacturing. Students graduate with the tools to not just fill open jobs—but to be successful leaders in the manufacturing industry. Roysdon and Aderholt say they were teamed with other technicians and were exposed to various departments within the plant.
“It was nice to have the other employees show you the normal routines of what goes on in the plant,” said Aderholt. Roydson added, “I had a variety of people who were willing to help me learn the ropes.”
As a whole generation of skilled workers is retiring, there is a gap left for employers. The FAME program helps students get an education while helping to fill this gap. “I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to participate in the program,” said Aderholt.
“I am proud of these guys for believing in the program since they started it during the COVID year (2020) and stuck with it through all the challenges. It’s a small group of graduates, but they are quality young men who represent SUSCC and their high schools well, said Tim Beasley, FAME Coordinator at SUSCC.
For more information about the FAME program at SUSCC, visit www.fameontheplains.com, or contact Beasley at email@example.com.