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Gulf Coast FAME Chapter


Gulf Coast FAME Chapter Establishes in Northwest Florida

The Bay Economic Development Alliance (Bay EDA) and Gulf Coast State College partners with local manufacturers to bring a program to the Northwest Florida region that grows highly skilled manufacturing talent.


The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) is a national work-study program that develops global entry-level multi-craft maintenance technicians.  It is through the collective efforts of multiple community partners including but not limited to Trane Technologies, Gulf Coast State College, Bay EDA, and CareerSource Gulf Coast, the Gulf Coast FAME Chapter is established. The Gulf Coast FAME Chapter strives to ensure that our local industry continues to recruit the talent needed to support operations.


In 2010, the first FAME Chapter was established in Kentucky to support local manufacturing operations. From there, chapters have grown to over thirty locations throughout the United States. Recently, FAME was recognized by the Brookings Institute for the impressive participant success after graduation.  Their study found that FAME graduates earned 63% more than non-FAME graduates who had similar education experiences and similar careers. 


For the Gulf Coast FAME Chapter, founding companies include Trane Technologies, Berg Pipe, Merrick Industries, Eastern Shipbuilding, ACMT, EPS, Maritech Machine, and others. Over time, this program is designed to create a pipeline of broadly trained individuals who can transition to full-time employment upon graduation. For participating companies, this program will become a critical pipeline for attracting skilled talent into their advanced manufacturing operations.


The program recruits students and pairs them with a sponsoring company to complete a two-year apprenticeship program. During the program, students receive formal classroom training two days per week and work onsite at their sponsoring company three days a week.


Participants in the FAME program can be recent high school graduates, military members transitioning to the workforce, or individuals looking to move into a new career path. The FAME program is designed to give students hands-on experience while also providing formal educational credentials. The program  has focuses on professional presence skills, lean manufacturing acumen, as well as formal technical capabilities. The starting cohort of students will be recruited throughout Spring 2021 and will begin the FAME program in Fall 2021.


Trane Technologies, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable, and efficient environments, recognized is a founding member in the Gulf Coast FAME Chapter. According to Brad Van Haitsma, Plant Manager of the Lynn Haven Trane CHVAC location, “The FAME program definitely fills a void that traditional college programs cannot while setting participants up for high paying, skilled work that can be applied to many different industries. Combining strong character and work ethic with having tangible, relevant skills like the ones taught in this FAME program are the skills that will provide the participants with building blocks to make their own careers successful. I look forward to sponsoring participants and watching their career aspirations come true as they learn new skills and apply them in our facility.”  


Gulf Coast FAME is currently recruiting manufactures who are interested in attracting and developing skilled talent into their manufacturing operations and students to participate in the first cohort. Interested manufacturers should reach out to the Bay EDA (Garrett Wright at or Tara Beck at for more information. 

Additional information can be found here

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