When Bullitt Central High School 2017 alumnae Kyle Gilbert was selected to participate in the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME), he heard great things were on his horizon as long as he studied and worked hard.
According to their website, KY FAME is a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement dualtrack, apprenticeship-style training that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers. The primary method to achieve this goal is through partnerships with local educational institutions to offer the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT).
The 19 year-old son of Jess and Donny Gilbert applied himself in KY FAME classes during the past five semesters and will successfully complete his KY FAME commitment in May 2019 with a degree in Heavy Maintenance and Robotics and certificates in welding and robotics.
“It has been an amazing experience,” Kyle said as he prepared for a talk at the Bullitt County Area Technology Center.
Kyle told students to ask their high school counselors about the KY FAME opportunity.
“I filled out an application, including references, then was interviewed,” he explained, “It’s like a big rotation or, an NFL draft, in which the team, or company, picks you.”
Kyle takes classes two days a week at the Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) downtown Louisville campus and works as a maintenance technician three days at Republic Conduit on Greenbelt Highway. He performs daily maintenance on many machines and repairs machines that are broken down in the plant.
If school is cancelled, he still reports to work. Kyle is compensated $12 an hour for work and school.
“The company is part of KY FAME and allows students a flexible schedule. There are also online classes,” he noted.
Kyle emphasized those picked for the program must prove their worth by first showing up for classes.
“Attendance is a very big thing with the KY FAME program,” Kyle said adding he leaves home 45 minutes early daily to avoid traffic when going to class or work.
“I’d rather be early and on time that late,” he said. “You are penalized if you are constantly tardy.”
KY FAME involves hands-on work. Kyle urged interested students to select something they like doing.
“This is probably going to be your career; I plan to retire from what I am doing now,” he said.