IMA's employer-driven initiative to advance technical skills
Screenshot of INFAME home page

IMA's employer-driven initiative to advance technical skills

The Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) creates INFAME, offering career opportunities, college degree options in manufacturing.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) has launched an employer-driven education initiative to ensure a pipeline of highly skilled workers will be available to meet the needs of Indiana’s manufacturing industry. The initiative – Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (INFAME) – builds on the state’s efforts to help students pursue career and technical education and to help employers establish a pipeline of talent.

INFAME work with regional manufacturers and educational institutions to implement dual-track training that includes both classwork and hands-on training. When students complete the course they will earn an associate degree that can move seamlessly to a bachelor’s degree program and will have two years of relevant, paid job experience that they can take immediately to the workplace.

“INFAME is a natural compliment to the recommendations of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and Governor Holcomb’s 2019 workforce agenda,” says Brian Burton, president and CEO of the IMA. “Our manufacturing base is critical to the state’s economic success, and this initiative will not only serve manufacturers, but also help more Hoosiers find successful and rewarding careers in the industry.”

The nationally-recognized FAME model currently operates in nine states. In Indiana, local FAME chapters will give businesses the chance to work with the IMA on education programs that meet their specific needs. Higher education partners such as Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University will provide tailored associate degree programs that will allow students to move into bachelor’s degree programs if they choose.

“Toyota is excited to partner with the Indiana Manufacturers Association in launching the FAME model in Indiana to address the needs of our manufacturing industry,” notes Millie Marshall, president of Toyota Manufacturing Indiana Inc. “The FAME program has a track record of developing a pipeline of the highly skilled workers who are excellent problem solvers and creating opportunities for participants to jumpstart their careers.”

INFAME will start by offering an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. The AMT curriculum includes electricity, fluid power, motor controls, maintenance of industrial equipment, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), welding, machining, drawings, robotics and troubleshooting. Students are also equipped with personal development skills such as attendance, communication, innovation, teamwork, and interpersonal relations. In addition to classwork, students will get practical work experience at an area manufacturer. AMT also teaches students safety culture, workplace organization, lean manufacturing, machinery maintenance and reliability and problem solving. In the future, employers who participate in the program can tailor educational programs to their specific needs.

“This initiative allows those of us in manufacturing to have direct input on developing the skills we need in our future employees,” says Matt Linville, HR director at Zimmer Biomet, and a member of both the IMA Board of Directors and the INFAME Board of Directors. “The opportunity to build on the AMT and other workforce offerings through INFAME is exciting and will offer Indiana manufacturers the flexibility they need to keep pace with the changing demands of the industry.”