Manufacture Training Benchmark in Huntsville

Workers on engine line at Toyota in Huntsville

The factory of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama was the setting last week for a spotlight on a highly successful earn-and-learn apprenticeship program Toyota developed in the last eight years.

“What started as a pilot program at our Kentucky plant has significantly grown to include just under 400 partner companies in 13 states,” said Chris Nielsen, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America executive vice president.

Nielsen was joined in Huntsville by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute.

Occasion for the spotlight event was the transfer of Toyota’s apprentice program to the Manufacturing Institute for further expansion. The MI invests in programs, partnerships and research to promote modern manufacturing and jumpstart new approaches to nurturing manufacturing talent.

Toyota’s apprenticeship program — the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education — is an employer collaborative that consists of a two-year industrial degree known as the Advanced Manufacturing Technician program. AMT trains students of all ages and backgrounds—from recent high school graduates, to those interested in transitioning into manufacturing, to longtime manufacturing employees wanting to advance their career.

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“FAME has set the standard for industry-driven apprenticeships, and by taking it nationwide, we will open the door to high-paying manufacturing jobs for Americans across the country,” said National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons, who also serves as chairman of the board of the MI. “Manufacturers have a half million jobs to fill today, and we’ll have millions more over the coming decade. Our industry is stepping up to be the solution and provide opportunities for Americans to find meaningful careers in a growing and transforming industry. Manufacturers are grateful for Toyota’s vision in launching this program nearly a decade ago and for the Trump administration’s vocal support for expanding apprenticeship programs in America.”

Ivanka Trump said, “I applaud Toyota Motor North America and The Manufacturing Institute for expanding the FAME program, which will build upon the economic successes we’ve had in the manufacturing industry.”

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