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A new program at Northwest Shoals Community College gives students jobs in their trade, in a unique partnership with big name businesses.
The program is called the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, also known as F.A.M.E. On Thursday, 19 students from Northwest Shoals Community College signed up with 12 local industry businesses. Kirkland Danielowicz is one of 19 students to be the first in the college's F.A.M.E. program.
"They've given me every opportunity and I am going to take full advantage of it," said Danielowicz. "To say it plainly, I am thrilled. It's the best opportunity I've ever had."
This is how the program works. Students go through rigorous interviews with big name local companies like North American Lighting, Tasus and Forsythe and Long Engineering, just to name a few. Once students are selected by the companies, they will continue their schooling and begin working in their industry. They can make up to $33,000.
"You work for them and they pay you while you're in school and that allows you to pay off your tuition while you're in school, and you don't have to worry about any debt once you're out," said Danielowicz. "You come out with a bunch of qualifications and the potential for having a job when you come out."
As each student went and signed with their companies, it was Danielowicz's turn to sign with Forsythe and Long Engineering. He said he's been working under their maintenance manager.
"Forsythe and Long has treated me very well. I went in with almost no experience," said Danielowicz.
Michelle Jones, who works for Forsythe and Long Engineering, said the F.A.M.E. program is fulfilling their need for skilled workers like Danielowicz.
"This part of the workforce is retiring, and we just feel like this is a huge need in our area right now," said Jones. "We're just so excited Northwest Shoals has brought this opportunity."
The students will have two full days of schooling a week and work three days a week with their companies.