Wallace State’s newest FAME cohort recognized at induction ceremony and safety banner signing

Wallace State student Hunter Graham was selected by LP Building Solutions. (Photo courtesy of WSCC)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State’s Center for Career and Workforce Development and the North Central Alabama Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program have introduced the third and newest AMT (Advanced Manufacturing Technician) apprenticeship cohorts at the college.  

The latest group was recognized at an induction and safety banner signing event on campus this week.

Eighteen AMTs were inducted and each in attendance announced their safety pledge. Safety is a key component in the FAME classroom curriculum for Wallace State students.

“This is a great group. One of my favorite things is the diversity of the group as far as where they’re coming from in their lives. We have students right out of high school and others who are choosing a different career path. They all bring unique qualities to the classroom and program,” said Bethany Campbell, Wallace State’s FAME coordinator and student success coach. “We’ve added five new companies to our chapter in a six-week stretch, and that’s exciting. More companies are definitely starting to see the value of this program and the pipeline of skilled technicians it produces.”

Wallace State’s new FAME cohort consists of the following students:

Phillip Lewis – AGCO

Ryan Knutson – Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies

James Young – American Cast Iron Pipe Company

Xander Waddell – Cerrowire

Gaven Mattison – HFI

Micheal Moore – Jack Daniel Cooperage

Vincent Cox – KAMTEK

John Michael Landers – LP Building Solutions

Hunter Graham – Orchid Orthopedic Solutions

Katie Brooks and Breanna Ralph – Reliance Worldwide Corporation

John Foles – Sonoco Reels and Plugs

Lawton Farr – YKTA

Wallace State students pending sponsorships are Michael Huckabee, Blake Ray, Roger Rives, Brian Taylor and Brian Torbert.

Among the safety pledges announced, were:

“Never take shortcuts and always do the job right.”

“Keep my hands clear of moving parts while on the job.”

“Always wear reflective gear when working around heavy machinery or hard-to-see places.”

“Always be aware of forklift proximity.”

“Use the designated crosswalks in the workplace.”

The FAME program is a five-semester program, allowing students the opportunity to earn wages while completing an associate’s degree in Industrial Maintenance. Students spend two days per week in the classroom and three days per week at their respective industries.

Louisiana Pacific Building Solutions, which has a facility in Hanceville, is among the closest sponsors in proximity to the college and has selected a student since the program’s inception at Wallace State.

“It was a hard decision for all of us to choose just one student. I see great things in the future from this cohort. You’ve picked an awesome program. Stick with it, study and work hard and you will succeed,” said Lora Gilliland of LP Building Solutions.  

Wallace State Dean of Applied Technologies Wes Rakestraw welcomed individuals to the event.

“This is a great opportunity for our students. I want to congratulate you on your hard work thus far. I know you have good things coming your way,” Rakestraw said.

Charles Daniels, the NCAL FAME chapter president and of ACYT in Cullman, and Wallace State FAME instructor Dean Autry, also addressed the attendees.

 Said Autry, “I’ve been blessed to teach this class for now four weeks. This group is excellent. They come in each day at 6:45 a.m. and arrive with great attitudes and work hard. They’re going to make great employees.” 

Orchid Orthopedic Solutions is among the new sponsors, and student Hunter Graham expressed his gratitude for the opportunity.

“I can’t wait to see where this takes me the next two years. It’s a new experience and I’m excited,” Graham said.

For more information about Wallace State’s FAME program, visit https://ncalfame.com/ or contact Campbell at 256-352-8372 or Bethany.campbell@wallacestate.edu.