LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- October is National Manufacturing Month, and students in Kentucky are learning that the demand for qualified workers is increasing. 

KCC Companies -- a heating and cooling manufacturer and metal fabricator in Jeffersontown -- hosted Manufacturing Day and Career Day at its new facility on Grassland Drive Thursday morning. Students from JCPS high schools and area technical colleges attended the event to learn more about careers in the field, where the demand for qualified workers continues to grow. 

According to a news release from the city, the manufacturing sector employs more than 80,000 workers in the region at approximately 1,400 companies. 

Mayor Greg Fischer touted a program at JCPS Academies of Louisville that helps students explore possible manufacturing careers, provides early training opportunities, and a chance to get a degree without going into debt. 

"We have developed a program called FAME -- which is an apprenticeship for manufacturing -- where young people like our leaders behind us here can get a two-year degree without any debt by doing an apprenticeship with manufacturing companies, industrial maintenance and other areas as well," Fischer said. 

Manufacturing makes up 12 percent of the region's employment at home appliance, machining and chemical companies.

Last year, more than 2,000 students chose to pursue studies in manufacturing at the Academies of Louisville, and KentuckianaWorks has helped clients earn more than 600 certificates through the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center.

KentuckianaWorks is planning a job fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center, 160 Rochester Drive. The event will include employer booths, legal aid and expungement, college admissions advisors, live music, free food, and giveaways.

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