Wallace State’s Electronics Technology launches its Alabama F.A.M.E. program chapter

HANCEVILLE - Wallace State Community College’s Electronics Technology program will be an Alabama Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (F.A.M.E.) chapter beginning in the Fall 2019 semester.
Wallace State FAME is five-semester program, allowing students the opportunity to earn money while completing an associate’s degree in Industrial Maintenance. Students enrolled in the program will be sponsored by an industry partner throughout. The entire program consists of 73 credit hours.
Over a two-year span, students can earn as much as $33,500, spending two days per week in the classroom and three days per week in the industry.
The FAME program began in Kentucky in 2009 with Toyota as one of the main initial industry sponsors, and the initiative has recently been established in Alabama. The Wallace State launch was announced during a luncheon on campus.
“We are getting ready to remodel our classroom later this year and name it the Advanced Manufacturing Center in conjunction with this program,” said Wallace State Electronics Technology instructor and program head Keith Tolbert. “This is an extremely important opportunity for our students. Those selected for this program will be considered honor technical students. They are going to be the best of the best. Students will have to meet strict criteria to be a part of this program. We’re definitely excited and honored to present this to our students.”
Students with strong interests in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field are prime candidates for the FAME program.
“The support of the workforce in your area is well-known. It’s known statewide. Wallace State is a leader in this area and students are willing to drive longer distances to come to your programs,” said Art Rousseau, the Alabama Community College System Director of Career and Technical Education.
Rousseau complimented Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics, ACCS Chancellor Jimmy Baker and Governor Kay Ivey for their continued support in manufacturing education, and presented the history and background behind the FAME program.  Since earning its establishment in Kentucky, students in the FAME program across multiple states have a 92 percent retention rate from the first to second year, an 89.2 percent graduation rate and nearly a 100 percent placement rate.
Students in the program complete technical core principles in measurement and technical drawings, electricity, PLCs, robotics, fluid power, mechanics and fabrication in addition to system integration and industrial troubleshooting. Different levels of manufacturing and safety cores MCE are included each semester to better prepare graduating students for eventual roles in maintenance management roles.
Rousseau said he wants the Alabama FAME chapters to be among the best in the nation.
“Your involvement in the Alabama chapter will set a national standard. Alabama is building it for the nation. All of us are coming together to build something other states are going to be asking about,” Rousseau said.
Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics, WSCC Dean of Applied Technologies Jimmy Hodges and Sherry Worsham, Project Lead the Way Director of School Engagement, also spoke at the luncheon.
“We are fortunate our business and industry partners are here to help us launch FAME at Wallace State and statewide. FAME is about developing the whole professional individual. There’s value and beauty behind it. Students get exposed to you as industry leaders and you help shape that person professionally,” Karolewics said.
Wallace State’s Electronics Technology program already has multiple industry partnerships in place and the FAME program will increase those even more.
Added Tolbert: “Our local companies are going to benefit from this. Not only are they going to get a great technician, they’re going to get a technician that could possibly be their next maintenance manager or their next project leader. We hope our local industry partners will help with this FAME chapter and make it one of the best.”
For more information on Wallace State’s FAME program, visit https://wsfame.com/

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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