From left Dianne Clark, interim director of Northwest Louisiana Technical College; NSU’s Acting President Dr. Chris Maggio and Jimmy Sawtelle, chancellor at Central Louisiana Technical Community College. Standing are Laurie Morrow, campus dean of Northwest Louisiana Technical College – Natchitoches; Lori Sepulvado, human resource coordinator at Boise Cascade-Lena; Dr. Ali Ahmad, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology; Tony Davis, president of Natchitoches Community Alliance; Donna Bailey, RoyOMartin corporate director of employee engagement at RoyOMartin; Connie Baker, RoyOMartin director of human resources; Ken Gardner, Alliance Compressors Natchitoches plant manager; Michelle Brundige, Alliance Compressors director of human resources; David Elliott, plant manager at Boise Cascade-Lena; Wayne Kusmierczyk, division manager at Stella-Jones; Mike Wolff, director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana; Kimberly McCullough, Pilgrim’s Pride. and Wayne Denley, Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
Northwestern State University, Northwest Louisiana Technical College and Central Louisiana Technical Community College have developed a work-based learning program that will allow individuals to earn an associate of science degree in engineering technology while they are employed with a sponsoring manufacturer.
Students participating in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program will earn the associate degree from Northwestern State with additional courses through the NWLTC-Natchitoches and CLTCC. Applications for the Fall 2017 class are now available.
Administrators and representatives from area industry and economic development organizations gathered Monday as documents were formalized for the program, which was developed so that individuals can work while earning an associate degree and apply their new knowledge and skills on the job.
The program was supported by the Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation and is made possible through agreements with five sponsoring manufacturers, Alliance Compressors, RoyOMartin, Pilgrims, Boise Cascade and Stella-Jones. NSU’s Acting President Chris Maggio called the program “cutting edge, out of the box collaboration.”
“This is an exciting day for the state of Louisiana,” Maggio said. “When you work together, collaborate and are committed to each other, big things can happen.”
The AMT program was developed over the last year after a regional manufacturers summit in which industry management sought input on how to merge opportunities for individuals to acquire skills for lucrative jobs in manufacturing with education opportunities.
“The manufacturers saw the value of connecting education with manufacturing and the fact that we have five manufacturers involved speaks volumes,” said Mike Wolff, director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana. “We appreciate the partnership which has made this so successful.”
“I think this is going to become a model,” said Dianne Clark, interim director of Northwest Louisiana Technical College. “I appreciate the manufacturers stepping in and proving its worth it.”
“This is the next step for us. I look forward to seeing more individuals enter high tech, high demand careers,” said Jimmy Sawtelle, CLTCC chancellor.
“Programs like the AMT are difficult to make a reality but can be very successful when you have engaged stakeholders like those involved in this project,” said Tony Davis, president of Natchitoches Community Alliance. “We are proud of our part in having brought together these great stakeholders–both institutional and the employers–and we’re excited to move into the next phase as we create a more robust workforce in central Louisiana and beyond.”
For more information on the AMT program, contact Dr. Ali Ahmad at (318) 357-6751 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Laurie Morrow at email@example.com or (318) 357-2443 or Wolff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (318) 581-3594.
Dianne Clark, interim director of Northwest Louisiana Technical College; NSU’s Acting President Dr. Chris Maggio and Jimmy Sawtelle, chancellor at Central Louisiana Technical Community College