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Looking for a Good Job? A Big Manufacturing Hiring Fair is Set for Wednesday

Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) joined eight manufacturers to announce the launch of the Northern Kentucky Chapter of the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KYFAME, which is focused on attracting veterans and students to the manufacturing workforce.

Members of the NKY FAME Chapter include advanced manufacturers with major operations in the region, Hahn Automation, Linamar, L’Oreal, Mubea, SAFRAN (Messier-Bugatti Dowty), Stober, Wagstaff and ZF Steering Systems. Mike Hirsch, Vice President of Operations at ZF Steering, has been named President and Andrew Farris, Apprentice/Training Manager at Mubea, is Vice President.

“Advanced manufacturing accounts for 10 percent of the jobs in Northern Kentucky and manufacturers need to fill more than 600 positions per year as older employees retire or leave the workforce,” said Hirsch. “One way to address this problem is to attract veterans and high school students into manufacturing, which has become more technical and offers high paying jobs.”

NKY FAME’s first event is a hiring fair and open house for veterans, students, parents and educators, on Wednesday, December 17 at the METS Center, 3861 Olympic Boulevard, Erlanger, Kentucky, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with advanced manufacturers in the region and can apply for a new advanced manufacturing technician apprentice program that begins in Fall 2015.

“There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the manufacturing industry,” added Farris. “Manufacturing operations today are highly technical and require advanced skills. The apprentice program will provide on-the-job training and education from Gateway Community & Technical College.”

“Workforce readiness and capacity is a topic that we hear about from many advanced manufacturers in our visits through the business retention and expansion program, NKY Boost,” said Wade Williams, VP of Business Retention & Expansion/Manufacturing and Secretary of NKY FAME. “We are working with our employers and education institutions to find solutions.”

 “NKY FAME is focused on attracting students to apply for two dozen apprenticeship positions and this is just the beginning,” added Hirsch.

“We want our manufacturers to continue their growth pattern and provide new jobs for families in Northern Kentucky,” said Williams. “NKY FAME shows we’re committed to finding a solution to attract new students to the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Gateway.”

A November 2014 report from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Foundation forecasts manufacturing production will average 3.3 percent growth, above the national GDP average, over the next five years. In addition, high-tech manufacturing is expected to grow more than eight percent in 2015 and 2016.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Program and associated Kentucky Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) grew out of Toyota’s drive for continuous improvement and its recognition that it would need to replace large numbers of retirees from North American plants, starting with its 25-year-old Georgetown plant. Toyota partnered with the Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) on a program for new trainees, which now has dozens of students enrolled in an apprentice program with 12 manufacturers in the Bluegrass region.  

According to Dennis Dio Parker (architect of the KY FAME program at Toyota) “The Advanced Manufacturing Technician is a U.S. employee responsible for the equipment performance of a manufacturing operation, and who is educated and prepared to be a better performer in all key worker characteristics than those prepared by any other nation in the world.”  For more information, visit

-From Tri-ED