Louisville manufacturers back two-year program at Jefferson Comm - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville manufacturers back two-year program at Jefferson Community and Technical College

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Chip Blankenship of GE Appliances Chip Blankenship of GE Appliances
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new two-year associates degree at Jefferson Community and Technical College will allow students to learn industrial skills while working as an apprentice at one of about a dozen manufacturers in Louisville like General Electric, nth/works and Atlas Machine & Supply. 

The first class of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician program will start in August at JCTC's technical campus at 8th and Chestnut streets, where students will take classes two days a week and work the other three days at one of the sponsoring manufacturing companies.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said it's modeled after the apprentice-style technical training common in Germany and other European countries.

“The interest in a prepared workforce has never, never been more intense,” Fischer said in announcing the program on Wednesday at JCTC's technical campus.

Fischer, who has prioritized growing “advanced” manufacturing jobs locally, said the program could eventually churn out 500 graduates a year.

The program will teach technical skills such as electricity, robotics, fluid power, mechanics, fabrication and industrial troubleshooting, according to a press release.

Chip Blankenship, president of GE's Louisville-based appliance division, said the graduates of the program will be ready for a “mid-skill” hourly job maintaining equipment, troubleshooting problems, programming robots and perhaps acting a liaison between management and hourly workers or outside contractors.

“It's a higher-level job than someone coming in to work on the line,” Blankenship said.

Asked what that of position pays, Blankenship would not comment specifically on GE's wages, but, “This is what all of us together at the national level note: Someone graduating with a two-year degree with two years, really, of on-the-job work experience can command a pay of $60,000 to $80,000 (a year).”

For more information or to express interest in the program: http://www.kyfame.com/students/

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