The Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT) of Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME)

FAME is a collaborative of employers across the nation who are cooperating with one another to implement and operate programs known as the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways.  “The Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways is a strategic initiative by FAME employers to develop a sustained pipeline of global best talent for key manufacturing career fields. It is based on the premise that companies are nothing more, and nothing less, than their people; therefore, if a company has the best people it will develop the strongest business model and impact, and thereby be the best company.” (From the FAME USA website.) FAME is organized by local and regional employer boards that oversee the Advance Manufacturing Technician (AMT) 2-year degree program at their local community college.

The overall goal of the AMT Program is to produce the global best new-to-field technician at the point of graduation. Companies who are acquiring new-to-field global best talent can operate at a competitive advantage. The AMT program graduates skilled workers educated and trained to be multi-skilled, (several different crafts) rather than learning a single craft. They are sometime referred to as multiskilled technicians, or multiskilled maintenance technicians. Typically, the technical content of the AMT program mirrors many advanced manufacturing, mechatronics or similarly names programs across the country that are delivered in a more traditional format and schedule.  In the future the AMT program will also include a pathway for tool & die technicians who build, maintain, and repair dies and molds.

The AMT is the heart of the FAME programs which also define manufacturing pathways in high schools, employer engagement in primary and middle grades, as well as manufacturing-focused bachelor’s degree programs in both business and engineering.  These 4-year degrees are meant to be post-AMT pathways to be sure AMT graduates have relevant career growth opportunities in manufacturing. This article will be focused on the 2-year AMT program and why it’s capturing the attention of employers and students across the country.

However, the heart of FAME is its AMT technician program, which produces the needed high skilled technician workers for advanced manufacturing. The work/study component is one of the most powerful aspects. Students attend college classes one day and work the next day, seeing immediately application of what they have learned in the classroom in the hands-on working environment. 1800 hours of real-world work is the minimum in the program with many AMT graduates logging over 3000 hours of work experience during the five-semester program. The academic portion of the program typically aligns to the graphic summary below from Indiana FAME.

From the 10,000-foot level, the AMT program is a blend of a traditional 2-year community college program, a co-op program (students alternate school and work by semester) and an apprenticeship.  The FAME program completely blends the work and study portions by integrating the workplace experience and environment more tightly to the academic portion. FAME AMT does this several ways. First AMT has the students work part time while attending school. Second, they integrate the workplace environment and culture in the classroom (e.g., students attend class all day, 8-5). Third, employability skills are taught, emphasized and practiced in the classroom. This provides students with two environments that support their learning without conflicting professional behavior expectations.

Employer engagement works similarly to an apprenticeship where the students are recruited, interviewed, selected and hired by employers. Employers run the local chapter, determine the curriculum.  However, apprenticeships, the company can offer the related classroom experiences onsite or partner with a college to provide it, which can it more difficult for the apprentices to get an associate degree as well as finish the apprenticeship program.

The FAME program evolved within Toyota while developing programs to recruit, train, and retain their technical workforce in the US.  FAME emerged as a “solution” in Kentucky on the campus of the Kentucky Toyota facility where a branch facility of the KCTCS (Kentucky Community and Technical College System) was established to host the academic Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) 2-year technical degree program. It was envisioned by Dennis Dio Parker and others at the Kentucky Toyota facility to help fill their technician workforce needs. The program organized and expanded quickly through the automotive manufacturing sector as well as their suppliers and other interested local manufacturers. Today, there are 33 in 13 states that include 12 that are in active startup phase, anticipating their first AMT student cohort to start in 2020 or 2021. There are also 7 sites with strong emerging interest in starting the program. In the fall of 2019, the national program transitioned from Toyota to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to be operated and overseen by their education and outreach are, the Manufacturing Institute.

FLATE is excited to share the the FAME program is coming to Florida!  Next month we will report on the new FL FAME Sunshine chapter. You can learn more about the FAME programs at or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at

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