HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – This inaugural class at Henderson Community College is small with just 5 students. Who needs a 4-year degree? There are 3 young men signing, who only took 2 years, to find 1 job they have dreamed of.
HCC hopes Friday’s small ceremony is the start of something big, as rookies in advanced manufacturing sign with companies they’ll be working for.
Most people have seen a star athlete sit at a table in a crowded room and sign a paper for their next journey. Not everyone is a star athlete, but it doesn’t make a student’s decision any less meaningful.
That’s why Henderson celebrates a signing day for students going pro in the workforce.
“This is a great day,” said HCC President Jason Warren. “Our students are getting great jobs.”
This first Kyndle FAME class kicks off a program aimed to thrust kids into high-demand and high-paying jobs at the start of their college career.
Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education is based on the nationally recognized Toyota Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) and Computerized Manufacturing and Machining (CMM) program.
The work-and-earn model allows participating students like Justin Russelburg to earn an industry-recognized degree while gaining valuable work experience in a manufacturing company.
“I wanted to get out there and start working as quickly as possible, making good money, and half my college is paid for as well,” Russelburg said.
Next year, HCC has another five students in the FAME program and the school is recruiting for its third class now.
Warren says there are thousands of open manufacturing jobs across the state, so he expects the program to grow.
“Students are in demand,” said Warren. “Local manufacturers, they really need qualified students.”
The community college system has 300 partners across the state.
“I’ve always liked to work on things, ever since I was little,” Russelburg added, “I just figured it’d be a good career for me to go in to.”
This is a new beginning, turning a couple of years of studies in the classroom into a living they can be proud of.
“There’s a lot I still have to learn,” Russelburg said. “I think I’m prepared for it.”