By Ricky LaCour
Many gathered at Central Louisiana Technical Community College’s Natchitoches Campus on Aug. 8 to witness the signing of the third cohort of students to participate in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. The students were joined by their sponsoring manufacturers, program supporters, local and state officials, family and friends.
The AMT (Advanced Manufacturing Technician) program is a partnership between Northwestern State University, CLTCC, the Natchitoches Community Alliance and seven regional manufacturers who are members of GeauxFAME, the local chapter of FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education). Through the AMT program, students work as paid employees in a facility three days per week. This includes intensive classes two days per week with CLTCC and NSU faculty. TOPS and TOPS Tech scholarships are applicable to tuition for this 2-1/2 year program, which they had to meet admissions criteria and pass a rigorous interview process to get into.
The third cohort consisted of 10 students:
RoyOMartin- Marvin Gistarb of Cloutierville, Malcom Phillips of Winnfield, and Ethan Seiley of Glenmora
Weyerhaeuser- Jonah Chandler of Winnfield
Alliance- Troy Davis of Shreveport
Boise Cascade- Ory Coffman of Oak Hill, Colton Coker of Calvin, Jared Lucht of Pitkin, Keenan Smith of Coushatta, and Kristy Willis of Leesville
The students were excited and thankful for the opportunities and support they’ll receive from this program.
Upon completion, students will hold a certificate from CLTCC and an associate degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from NSU. Credits will transfer to a bachelor’s degree program for students who choose to pursue a 4-year degree.
“These students are the cream of the crop,” said Laurie Morrow, dean of CLTCC-Natchitoches Campus. “We’re looking forward to watching them learn and grow as a part of this program and our community.”
NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio praised the partnerships between higher education and industry that makes the program possible. He credited Natchitoches Community Alliance, NCA Director Tony Davis, GeauxFAME and faculty, administrators and recruiters from NSU and CLTCC.
“When we originally had this idea back in 2016, we were all anxious to see it through,” he said. “We really wanted to hit the ground running. Our collective vision was to prepare the next generation of manufacturing leaders in this region.”
Earlier this week, the first AMT class that began the program in 2017 was recognized for completing the program. Administrators hope to build next year’s cohort up to 20 students.
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