DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Manufacturers across the country are facing the problem of having more open jobs than skilled workers to fill them. That’s why first daughter Ivanka Trump is getting involved in a program that could be a game-changer when it comes to skilled labor.
The first daughter stopped by the Alabama Robotics Technology Center in Decatur Tuesday to help launch an initiative to help increase skilled technicians in Alabama and the rest of the country.
“The president launched our pledge to the American’s worker just a little over a year ago. Toyota signed that pledge committing to reskilling 200,000 employees, creating new job opportunities, and training opportunities for them. NAM signed that pledge 1.2 million new training opportunities for American workers. In total over 340 companies have signed our pledge creating 13 million training opportunities for Americans of all ages across this nation,” said Trump.
Automation and manufacturing technology is revolutionizing the industry. It requires irreplaceable human skills, innovation, design and engineering.
Right now, there are some 500,000 open jobs in the private sector with not nearly enough trained workers to fill them. That’s where FAME comes into play. FAME, or the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, is an intuitive involving Toyota to train students to transition into manufacturing jobs. It’s a highly integrated career path that focuses on advanced manufacturing, training students of all ages and backgrounds to develop professional skills and a deeper understanding of the manufacturing industry.
“High-tech manufacturing and that is the future of manufacturing in America. We are committed to this. We are working in partnership with the private sector,” said Trump.
Trump called FAME a big win for Alabama and the country.
In Decatur, Trump got a firsthand look at what it takes to open the door to high-paying manufacturing jobs for Alabamians and the young minds looking for meaningful careers.
She said the need for skilled technicians is crucial.
"So the future is advanced manufacturing, and the jobs are being created and they’re good-paying jobs,” she said.
FAME is a career pathway allowing high school students and those looking to transition to earn a two-year associate degree, forgoing the burden of student loans with many entering the workforce almost instantly.
"FAME is based on a Toyota production system that teaches the technical aspects of manufacturing, modern manufacturing, lean principles, and it teaches front line leadership skills,” said Michael Lamach of Ingersoll Rand.
Modern manufacturing jobs are in demand. With more than 2 million jobs that could go unfilled over the next decade, companies hope FAME will help train a new generation of workers.
Luke Phillips credits FAME with helping him get started in a career at Toyota.
"Toyota is expanding rapidly. We’re adding on new lines, and with new lines comes new machinery, new technology, so getting to witness it firsthand and learn it firsthand, to be some of the first to actually see it and experience it helps in the long run with future experience and future opportunities,” said Phillips.
It’s a future that is looking much brighter with the launch of a program that could open the door to more high-paying jobs for Americans.