Florence, Ky. – The Northern Kentucky chapter of the Federation of American Manufacturing Education (NKY FAME) graduated its first class of apprentices this month. NKY FAME hosted the 21 graduates for a commencement dinner on Monday, May 15, at the Hilton Cincinnati Airport Hotel, featuring Mark Simendinger, General Manager of the Kentucky Speedway, as keynote speaker.

“FAME is special because it is led by manufacturers who work together to elevate the skill and talent needed in advanced manufacturing,” said Dennis Dio Parker, co-founder of KY FAME and Assistant Manager, Toyota North American Production Support Center. “Seeing our first class of NKY apprentices graduate with employment opportunities is a testament of how dedicated local employers are to making that happen. These employers are incredible”.

The celebration of NKY FAME’s first graduating class is timely, as they are host of the annual Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways conference this week, drawing 225 attendees from participating FAME chapters from 11 states. Most attendees are from employers such as Toyota, Mubea, Bosch, Safran Landing systems, L’Oréal, and Krauss Maffei, and 80 attendees are AMT apprentices.

“A lot of times, making investments is thought of as buying equipment, but not this,” said Drew Ferris, Apprenticeship Manager at Mubea North America and NKY FAME Vice President. “KY FAME is about people. If you want to grow, you have to grow your people.”


KY FAME (The Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) is a company-sponsored partnership of regional employers who share the goal of creating a pipeline of highly skilled workers.

Gateway Community and Technical College (GCTC) is Northern Kentucky’s only public, two-year comprehensive community and technical college, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACS). GCTC enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in 30 subject areas. Additionally, GCTC provides customized training to more than 3,000 people locally through partnerships with more than 400 local businesses. GCTC is one of the 16 colleges that comprise the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, the Commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses.

The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) serves as the primary economic development entity for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky.  Since its founding in 1987, more than 620 primary industry projects have located to or expanded within Northern Kentucky, creating more than 54,000 jobs and investing more than $7.3 billion. BE NKY is part of the Kentucky Innovation Network, a group of business leaders and mentors that encourages relationships, grows companies and creates jobs.