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NINE PATHFINDERS
PHOTO COURTESY DAYTONA STATE COLLEGE NINE PATHFINDERS — These students comprise the inaugural chapter of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education at Daytona State College. In the front row, from left, are Justin Murray, Kevin Metcalf, Tyler Cheatham and Jacob Havens, while in the back row, same order, are Ean Le, James Brady Jr., James Giesinger, Nicholas Le and Tanner Thacker. Metcalf, Cheatham, Havens, Giesinger and Thacker are from West Volusia.

Daytona State College has officially launched Florida’s first chapter of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), a collaborative effort between DSC and local manufacturers designed to match students in the Associate of Science Engineering Technology program with job opportunities in the community.

A group of nine students who make up the first cohort were paired with sponsoring employers during a “Signing Day” ceremony in July at the Advanced Technology College, which kicked off three days of training and orientation. Students worked with their respective companies full time until classes began Aug. 23, after which they’re attending college two days a week and working three at their sponsoring company, with at least 24 hours per week on the job.

Companies currently working with Daytona State through the FAME program are: ABB, B.Braun, Boston Whaler, Dougherty Manufacturing, Dynamic Engineering Innovations, Everglades Boats, Germfree, Hudson Technologies, Pentair, SCCY Firearms, and Sparton.

Students selected to participate include five from West Volusia: Kevin Metcalf of DeBary, and Tanner Thacker, Jacob Havens, Tyler Cheatham and James Giesinger, all of Deltona. Other students in the program are Ean Le of South Daytona, and James M. Brady Jr., Justin Murray and Nicholas Le, all of Palm Coast.

“This inaugural cohort of our FAME program is the culmination of several months of work with key stakeholders,” said Dante Leon, associate vice president of the DSC College of Business, Engineering and Technology. “The local companies that formed the FAME chapter, the Volusia Manufacturers Association and Volusia County Schools were instrumental in getting this program launched. We are very excited to be part of this initiative that will create a pipeline of highly trained technicians.”

The signature purpose of FAME is to implement work-based learning education that will create a pipeline of the most highly skilled new workers. It currently has 36 chapters in 14 states, nearly all of them in conjunction with college associate degree programs.

Daytona State is using its A.S. degree in engineering technology, mechatronics specialization, as the academic home of the FAME program. Industry experts provided input into course selection and sequencing to customize this degree for the workplace. Graduates will earn their A.S. degree in two years with approximately 1,800 hours of paid on-the-job training with their sponsoring company.

Students finishing the FAME program are well-grounded in both their technical and professional skills, have relevant work experience in their field, and often finish with little or no student debt. Additionally, the program at Daytona State is aligned with the B.S. in engineering technology offered at DSC and other colleges and universities in Florida, providing access to continued career, personal and professional growth.

Daytona State will soon start accepting applications for its second cohort, which will join the program in the fall of 2022. Interested students can visit DaytonaState.edu/FAME for complete eligibility requirements and the process for application.

For more information about the program, please contact Wendy Samuel, work-based learning adviser, at FAME@DaytonaState.edu or 386-506-4139.

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