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Community Invited to Open House for WKCTC's Kentucky Program for Advanced Manufacturing Education June 12

PADUCAH, KY (06/07/2018) The community is invited to an Open House on Tuesday, June 12 to celebrate the success of seven recent West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) graduates who were the first to complete the college's Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) program. The event will also be a time to recognize Dr. Steve Freeman as he retires from the college after more than 23 years of service.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the KY FAME program at the event, which will be held from 4-6 p.m. at the Skilled Craft Training Center, 70 Hickory Road in Hickory, Ky.

The program offers education and training for high-paying and diverse career options in advanced manufacturing, partnering with business and industry companies who sponsor the students throughout the five-semester program. Program participants gain on-the-job experience with a sponsoring company 24 hours a week while attending classes at WKCTC two full days a week. This allows students to reinforce classroom instruction with paid, hands-on-training.

The seven students in the inaugural KY FAME cohort recently earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology from WKCTC. The graduates and their sponsoring companies are Micah Cunningham of Paducah with iwis; Joseph Henson of Hardin with iwis; Morgan Puckett of Mayfield with Centrifugal Technologies, Inc. (C.T.I); Austin Sanders of Murray with iwis; Brian Toon of Fulton with Vanderbilt Chemical, Bobby Washer Jr., of Puryear, Tenn., with Progress Rail, and Aaron Wilkerson of Hickory with Progress Rail.

Dr. Steve Freeman, a Marshall County native and WKCTC's dean of community, workforce and economic development, has helped to build the success of the college's KY FAME program. He has successfully secured and/or overseen more than $40 million in grant funding awards and was instrumental in securing approximately $4.2 million in external and grant funding to purchase the Skilled Craft Training Center and for program development.

"I would first like to extend my congratulations to these seven outstanding graduates of the KY FAME program and the leadership of Dr. Steve Freeman. The student accomplishments would not have been possible without intentional partnerships with our regional business and industry leaders, and at the same time showcase the regional workforce and education footprint of the college," said Dr. Anton Reece, WKCTC president. "My goal is for the KY FAME program to grow significantly among other business and industry partners who can further provides access to jobs and a dual benefit for students to gain valuable hands-on technical training, in addition to the classroom experience."

Programs provided at the Skilled Craft Training Center include Nurse Aide Assistant, Welding Technology, Welding Technology, Air Conditioning Technology and Adult Agriculture, which are all within the five industry sectors identified by Governor Bevin in the Work Ready Skills Initiative. Adult Education for Graves County is also housed at the center.