The 2018 National Association of Manufacturers ‘State of Manufacturing Tour’ Enjoys Stop at BCTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center

Published on Feb 14, 2018

photo of Carolyn Lee with BCTC faculty
Marly Jenkins, instructor at BCTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, discusses the campus with Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute, as Pam Hatcher, dean of Academics and Workforce Development, looks on. The AMC was a stop on the national “State of Manufacturing Tour.”

LEXINGTON, KY  — Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) was honored to host officials from the National Association of Manufacturers’ “State of Manufacturing Tour” at the Georgetown-Scott County Campus yesterday afternoon.

After a tour of the campus’ Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) and watching student demonstrations, Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said, “This is a truly spectacular investment here, one of the nicest campuses I’ve seen. This is a model program and you’re part of something special.”

Also taking part in the tour of the campus was Big Ass Fans’ Jamie Hillegonds, director of global operations and Alex Reed, director of consumer product marketing. Robert Chiappetta, director of government affairs, at Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) was also in attendance. Each met with manufacturing students to discuss workforce opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

In addition to learning about BCTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, Lee wanted to learn from the students why they chose manufacturing and what they like about the program.

“I was thinking about studying engineering at WKU but decided to get a degree at a 2-year college,” Robby Ryan, BCTC student shared. “Now I’m getting hands-on experience, paying less for college, and I’ll get in a great job right out of school.”

BCTC student Andrew Miller said, “At my job at Toyota, I get to practice in the real world what I’m learning in class, and I get paid! You need to tell more high school kids about this.”

Reed told students, “You stand out as candidates because of your determination. Big Ass Fans is hiring all of the time. When you finish this program, you’ll have hands-on experience that every employer wants.”

The national manufacturing tour is part of CreatorsWanted.org, the campaign to enhance the perception of modern manufacturing careers. Students were encouraged by Lee and Chiappetta to “tell your story about what you’re doing and how it’s changing your life.”

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest industrial trade association in the United States, representing many of America’s leading manufacturing brands. Together with the foundation, The Manufacturing Institute, it is promoting the modern manufacturing narrative, making communities aware of the hi-tech industry that is about people, passion and progress in advancing careers that will create the future.

For those who want to earn a short-term certificate and go to work quickly, BCTC offers the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, funded by the state. It covers up to 32 hours of tuition free for programs in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, logistics, business and information technology.

For more information on manufacturing or other programs at BCTC, visit BCTC's program page. The summer semester begins in May.