A “Once in a Lifetime” Opportunity: A Conversation with a FAME Grad
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As an engineering student at the University of Louisville, Chaise Blissett didn’t like the idea of a career where he would be sitting at a desk all day. He’s always been a hands-on learner and grew up working on trucks and tinkering with small engines. When a friend told him about his experience in the Federation for Advance Manufacturing Education (FAME) AMT program, Blissett knew it was the right program for him.
What is AMT? The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) training program was developed by Toyota and is now overseen nationally by The Manufacturing Institute. It is a FAME maintenance training program and trains students of all ages and backgrounds, from recent high school graduates to experienced manufacturing employees looking to advance their careers. Students earn a two-year associate degree while working in their sponsor’s manufacturing facility as an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT).
What FAME AMT offers: Blissett showed up “eager and ready to learn,” and he’s thankful for all the support he received in the program—from his employer, from his teammates and from his mentors. Beyond the network he built, program highlights included:
- On-the-job training: FAME AMT blends classroom studies with work experience. For a hands-on learner like Blissett, the FAME AMT program was a more effective learning environment than school alone would have been.
- A technical degree: The associate degree and FAME certificate that Blisset earned set him apart from other job applicants and accelerated his career path.
- Professional competencies: Beyond the technical skills, FAME AMT also teaches students the soft skills they need for working in a professional environment — the kinds of things “you don’t learn in college,” Blissett said. Students dress professionally for class and give regular presentations at both work and school. They also get regular practice working in teams, learning how to “work with all kinds of people in all kinds of different circumstances.”
What now: Blissett accepted a full-time technician role at Nucor Tubular Products, a manufacturer of carbon steel piping and tubing in Louisville, Kentucky. As he says, his journey has just begun—and he’s excited to see where the knowledge and skills he has acquired will take him.
Advice for FAME students: “The FAME program is what you make of it,” Blissett says.
- “Be driven, show eagerness to learn, and do your work to the best of your abilities. If you do these three things you will receive endless support in your goals.”
- “Be appreciative and show that you are hungry. Your mentors and professors are investing their time to mold you into the best possible student they can.”
The last word: “The opportunities presented to me during this program were once in a lifetime,” said Blissett. “I do not think I could have found a better fit for me.”