DANVILLE, Ky. - The Danville campus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College will add a new associate degree program to its offerings beginning the Fall 2015 semester. The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program will result in an associate degree in Applied Science.
The AMT program originated through collaboration between Toyota Motor Manufacturing and Bluegrass Community and Technical College in 2010 to meet Toyota's anticipated need for industrial maintenance employees with multidisciplinary technical skills and knowledge. In 2014, the Georgetown-based program expanded to include more than a dozen additional sponsoring companies in central Kentucky.
"When I first learned about the AMT program at Toyota, it seemed to me that it was a no-brainer that the program could - and should - be implemented in Danville," said Steve Rinehart, administrative manager at Denyo Manufacturing Corporation and chairman of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce's Workforce Development Committee.
"The Danville BCTC campus already offers nearly all of the technical and academic components of the program - and the region that the Danville campus serves has a significant number of manufacturing companies that need employees with the skills that the AMT program provides," he added.
In addition to a full-time, five-semester academic schedule, participating students gain 24 hours of paid work experience per week at a sponsoring manufacturing company.
Since there is no summer break, students can complete the academic requirements for an associate degree in five consecutive semesters, or approximately 16 months.
While not guaranteed, the intent is that students who are selected and successfully complete the program will be hired by one of the sponsoring companies.
Unlike many other co-op or work study programs, the AMT program also emphasizes the "soft skills" that today's manufacturing work environments require: attendance, diligence, initiative, teamwork, interpersonal relations and communications, Rinehart said.
Students also must demonstrate competence in manufacturing core areas, such as good safety practices, workplace organization, lean manufacturing principles, problem solving and productive maintenance.
"It is such a positive program addition for the campus and our community," said BCTC-Danville Campus Director Erin Tipton. "It is exciting the college was able to respond quickly to our local and area manufacturers who identified the need for these types of highly skilled workers. We look forward to continued partnerships with our area businesses and industries".
The addition of the AMT to the Danville campus will mark the culmination of efforts by the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce's Workforce Development Committee, with the support of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, the Boyle County Industrial Foundation, local school systems and area manufacturing companies.
"It's also another first for 'The City of Firsts,'" Rinehart said. "Danville will be the first BCTC campus - other than Georgetown-Toyota - to implement the AMT program."
For more information on the program, contact BCTC at (859) 239-7030.