PAC joins TX FAME project to support talent pipeline in advanced manufacturing
October 6, 2023
Palo Alto College has partnered with the Texas Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (TX FAME) to support an innovative workforce development program, creating a robust regional talent pipeline for the advanced manufacturing industry in Bexar County. This fall, PAC welcomed its inaugural cohort of 19 students.
The cornerstone of this initiative is a paid, apprenticeship-style program that empowers students with both education and real-world experience.
“The TX FAME and Palo Alto College partnership is a testament to our commitment as a workforce-ready institution,” said Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College. “By offering students a clear pathway to a fulfilling and debt-free career in advanced manufacturing, this program not only transforms individual lives but also contributes to building a highly skilled and capable workforce in the region.”
Using the “earn while you learn” model, these students will earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) through Palo Alto College, attending classes two days a week while spending the remaining three days at a sponsoring company gaining crucial hands-on experience and valuable industry insight. These individuals also earn an apprenticeship certification from the Department of Labor.
The partnership between Alamo Colleges District and Toyota to develop an advanced manufacturing pipeline began with St. Philip’s College. However, due to high demand, it has expanded to PAC and is taking advantage of the newly opened Rio Grande Building, which boasts a state-of-the-art AMT center and labs. The Rio Grande is expected to serve 804 advanced manufacturing students over the next five years.
The College recently hosted an Advanced Manufacturing Day Showcase at the new facility to connect students with local industry partners.
Maurice Salazar, Skilled Group Leader at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, said that as technology evolves, the workforce must do the same.
“You can’t fill these positions quickly enough. These are highly sought-after positions by the industry of advanced manufacturing. At Toyota, we continue to look for highly technical technicians, individuals who are multi-skilled in different disciplines, like electrical, mechanical, and fluid power programming, who are the future of advanced manufacturing.”
Tyler Twyman, who has worked at Toyota since he was 18, is excited to be a part of the TX FAME program.
“One opportunity leads to another. I started working at Toyota after working for one of their suppliers,” said Twyman. “Watching maintenance fix problems at the plant made me want to understand what they were doing and how they troubleshoot the issues. It motivated me to learn more. Being accepted into the program, especially without previous experience, is a big opportunity. I am so grateful.”
Graduates of TX FAME are highly sought after by the industry’s top employers, offering a rewarding career in the rapidly growing industry. TX FAME - Alamo Chapter companies include Toyota, H-E-B, Caterpillar, Toyotetsu, Joyson Safety Systems, Kautex, C.H. Gunther & Son, Metalsa, and CPS Energy.
To learn more about the Advanced manufacturing program at Palo Alto College, please visit alamo.edu/pac/advanced-manufacturing.
The TX FAME Alamo Chapter is a partnership of regional manufacturers in and around the San Antonio area. Since its inception in 2016, TX FAME has been the catalyst for developing excellent technical talent while primarily focusing on meeting the demands of the advanced manufacturing industry.