Toyota joins Automation Alley, promotes workforce development apprenticeship program at Integr8, May 10

Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley
May 2, 2022
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Automotive giant Toyota has joined Automation Alley. Learn how they'll be highlighting their workforce development program at Integr8.

Toyota joins Automation Alley, promotes workforce development apprenticeship program at Integr8, May 10

From the rapid pace of technological change to supply chain disruptions, today’s manufacturers are faced with multiple challenges as they navigate an industry in transformation—including workforce development. Manufacturers are concerned that there’s not enough skilled workers in the talent pool, and that new hires are not work-ready or globally competitive. On top of that, their current technical employees are approaching retirement.  

Toyota—a new member to the Automation Alley ecosystem—will be sponsoring a breakout session at Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8, on May 10 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan on this very topic. The Manufacturing Institute will give the presentation.  

Toyota is the founding partner of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program, which was used by the automaker exclusively before expanding to other companies—which formed the basis for cooperative chapters later referred to as FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education). The program grew nationally beyond Toyota’s footprint, leading it to be transitioned to The Manufacturing Institute.  

FAME provides a comprehensive, hands-on education that prepares individuals for a rewarding career in manufacturing by matching students with employers. The apprenticeship program targets “middle-skilled” workers and combines classroom instruction with paid on-the-job experience. FAME partners with employers to develop a robust pipeline of qualified workers to close the skills gap. And better yet, a recent study released by Opportunity America and the Brookings Institution found that graduates of the program earned salaries far exceeding their peers at community colleges.

“Toyota Research and Development is excited to join Automation Alley’s effort to promote modern and agile manufacturing processes to manufacturers large and small in Michigan. We believe the FAME education model, in which employers help inform curriculum at community colleges and train workers, has a proven record to educate global best advanced manufacturing technicians,” says Dave Girvan, Group Manager, Technical Strategy and Planning, Toyota Research and Development.

The first Michigan FAME Chapter will begin in the Fall of 2023. The chapter will be led by the Jackson Area Manufacturers Association (JAMA). Washtenaw Community College will be the college partner.  

“We’re glad to see FAME taking shape in Michigan, providing another tool to help manufacturers of all sizes be even more competitive in an already strong manufacturing state,” said FAME National Director Tony Davis.  

Join us at Integr8 to learn more.  

Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley
Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley

Nicole Kampe is the Marketing Director for Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, and is responsible for overseeing the organization’s marketing strategy, digital experience, brand and image. Nicole is an experienced marketing, communications, and public relations professional with over 17 years of experience working in both journalism and corporate communications. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Oakland University and worked previously at The Oakland Press, where she was honored on multiple occasions by the Society of Professional Journalists before joining Automation Alley in 2012.

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