The Owensboro GO FAME chapter is growing by leaps and bounds. The “work and learn” program in which students earn an Associates of Applied Science degree in as little as 18 months while working for a sponsoring employer began as a collaboration between the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (GO-EDC), Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC), and eight sponsoring employers. In the middle of the program’s second year, there are now twenty-two sponsoring employers.
Today, US Bank joined GO-EDC and OCTC in launching the “GO Career.”
Here’s where it gets a little confusing, so let me back up.
GO FAME is the Greater Owensboro chapter of KY FAME (Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education), an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program adopted from Toyota’s nationally-recognized training program. KY FAME and GO FAME allow participating students to earn an industry-recognized, multi-craft technician degree, and gain valuable experience while working in a manufacturing setting.
At the press conference this afternoon, GO-EDC President, Madison Silvert, explained that the GO FAME model is so beneficial it can be replicated in other fields outside manufacturing. Like US Bank, for example.
“GO Careers is now the umbrella under which other workforces beyond manufacturing can adapt the GO FAME model,” said Cindy Fiorella, VP of Workforce Development at OCTC. “We can foresee other fields such as technology, medical, engineering, and now finance, with US Bank.”
Today’s announcement was history-making, marking US Bank as the first company in the state of Kentucky to implement the KY FAME/GO FAME model outside the field of manufacturing.
“This community believes that education is the magic bullet. It pierces through poverty. It pierces through challenge. It pierces through everything that comes our way. And the more we take these opportunities, the better we are and the better employees we will be,” Silvert said.
But for US Bank, this is only the beginning.
“Today is just the first piece,” said an exuberant Tiffany Ray-Smith, Vice President of Employee Performance Management at US Bank Home Mortgage. “We’re very excited about phase one, but we’re taking a multi-pronged approach. We hope to implement phase two and phase three in the next 18 months.” Phase two, she says, is offering the GO Career model to others in the community who are interested in working at US Bank. Phase three includes working with local high schools to find high school students interested in the program. Ray-Smith says the company is focusing on the initial group of 20 US Bank employees in 2016 and working out details for the next phases in 2017.