Calhoun FAME students and President Burke


Calhoun FAME Students hear first-hand from Ivanka Trump and Industry Leaders about the future of the FAME Apprenticeship Program

September 11, 2019
Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump greats students at the Robotics Technology Park during a tour of the program.
Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump greats students at the Robotics Technology Park during a tour of the program.

Today, students enrolled in Calhoun Community College’s Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program learned from Toyota Motor of North America, Manufacturing Industry Leaders and Ivanka Trump that Toyota has transitioned the national apprenticeship program to the Manufacturing Institute (MI), which is the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

In 2014, Calhoun Community College was the first institution to start a FAME program outside of the state of Kentucky, and from there, the program experienced an alarming growth rate. Calhoun’s program currently has 14 sponsorship companies most recently including Mazda Toyota and Westrock, a 71% graduation rate and the program boasts a 100% job placement rate for graduates seeking employment. “We are so honored to have been chosen as the lead higher education institution in the state of Alabama to assist in driving the expansion of FAME to other community colleges in our state”, commented Dr. Joe Burke, Calhoun’s Interim President. “Many of our students who graduated from the FAME program have secured high-paying jobs due to the dynamic hands-on experience they learn in our apprenticeship programs”, added Burke.

FAME is an employer collaborative consisting of a two-year industrial degree known as the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) 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. The program focuses on teaching technical qualifications in advanced manufacturing, as well as helping students develop professional skills and a deeper understanding of manufacturing.

“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 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.”

Calhoun is now accepting applications for the upcoming fall 2020 FAME AMT program. To apply, visit The deadline is March 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

For more information, please contact Terry Patterson, Calhoun’s coordinator for advanced manufacturing collaborative programs at 256-306-2915 or email at

View more photos of the event.

Calhoun FAME students and President Burke