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Advanced Manufacturing Education Program

College students working toward their degree, are being paid to get hands-on work experience. Lamar State College Orange and its stakeholders announced the Advanced Manufacturing Education program.

College administrators, elected officials and community members gathered at the Brown Estate in Orange to announce the creation of a local chapter of the national Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education Program, or FAME. The Golden Triangle Chapter is the fourth FAME Chapter in Texas, said International Paper Global Manufacturing Training Coordinator and Chapter President Stacey Nichols.

FAME was started in 2010 by Toyota, when they found themselves struggling to find the workers they needed. The Washington, D.C.-based Manufacturing Institute Director for Workforce Initiatives Pooja Tripathi explained.

The program has more than 35 chapters across 14 states and has graduated more than 1,500 students since 2012.

“This organization will help us achieve a talent-strong Texas right here (in the Golden Triangle),” said LSCO President Tom Johnson. “Billions are forecasted to be invested in Southeast Texas in the coming years. Industry projects and the creation of this FAME Chapter with our partners in industry is another example of how we are attempting to meet the immense needs for skilled, ready-to-work employees.”

The idea to establish a FAME Chapter in the Golden Triangle formed about a year ago when Nichols learned that International Paper participated in it at another one of their facilities, she said.

“I knew we needed (this) in Southeast Texas, based on the industry coming to our area ,” she said. “Honestly, the FAME Program, once you know a little bit about it, it’s really an easy sell.”

Nichols said the FAME Program will help the region face a prevalent issue — having a qualified local workforce that can take advantage of the jobs produced by multiple Orange County projects.

“The FAME Program is going to be combined with Lamar State College Orange’s electromechanical technology program,” she said. “It’s five semesters — students are going to be prepared for all the skills they’re going to need for these jobs. They’re going to be the next generation of folks here that are going to take over and be leaders in our community.”

Education and Industry Partners

Beginning in the Fall 2023 semester, LSCO students enrolled in the program will attend class two days a week to learn technical skills and spend the other three days of the week learning hands-on tactical skills at one of the various industry partners in the FAME Program, who will also pay them for their work, Nichols said.

Industry partners include International Paper, Cloeren Incorporated, ISS/Buna Electric Motor Service, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Dow Sabine River Operations, United Rentals, the Orange County Economic Development Corporation and Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas.

“That’s what makes this whole group stand apart,” Nichols said. “It’s a group of industries coming together as one whole unit to figure out how we’re going to have a program that prepares students for what we need.”

International Paper, Cloeren Incorporated, ISS/Buna Electric Motor Service and United Rentals will sponsor students through the program, beginning in Fall 2023.

No Student Debt

Nichols said the chapter set a minimum pay of $15 per hour for its industry partners to pay students. They may pay more if they wish to. The $15 is comprised of $7.25 minimum wage, with the rest covering the program cost. Meaning students could potentially leave the program with no student loan debt.

“Some partners, in addition to that $15 minimum hourly wage, they’re going to pay for tuition as well,” she said. “It’s not a requirement for industry partners to do that, but some can and have the option to go above and beyond to do that.”

Students who graduate from the program will earn an associate’s degree in electromechanical technology and certification and will be able to pursue employment as robotics engineers, machinist technicians and automation mechanics, among other fields.

Source: Advanced Manufacturing Education Program

For more information about the local FAME Chapter and to become an industry partner, visit For advising questions, students can contact

The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME)

The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) network is comprised of employer-led chapters sponsoring students through a work/learn model over five semesters in conjunction with a college partner. The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, a FAME co-op, produces global-best, entry-level multiskilled maintenance technicians to excel in today’s advanced manufacturing environments. The FAME USA network is managed and supported by The Manufacturing Institute; learn more at

International Paper (NYSE: IP)

is a global producer of planet-friendly packaging, pulp and other fiber-based products, and one of North America’s largest recyclers. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., we employ approximately 39,000 colleagues globally who are committed to creating what’s next. We serve customers worldwide, with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, North Africa and Europe. Net sales for 2022 were $21.2 billion. Additional information can be found by visiting

Cloeren Incorporated

is a family-owned business headquartered in Orange, Texas. Cloeren is the global leader in the design and manufacture of extrusion tooling used to produce food, medical, and pharmaceutical packaging, personal care products, and other consumer goods. Cloeren operate facilities in Orange, TX; Marshall, TX; Eau Claire, WI; and Micheldorf, Austria; as well as service centers around the globe. In addition, Cloeren have recently ventured into the aerospace industry and are supplying custom made components to exacting tolerances for space flight out of its Orange, TX facilities.

ISS/Buna Electric Motor Service

is a customer-focused service for motor repairs, sales, and storage. We are an established service to all types of industries nationwide like steel mills, power, refineries, chemical plants, and manufacturing.

Chevron Phillips Chemical

is one of the world’s top producers of olefins and polyolefins and a leading supplier of aromatics, alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, plastic piping and polymer resins. With approximately 5,000 employees, Chevron Phillips Chemical and its affiliates own nearly $18 billion in assets, including 31 manufacturing and research facilities in six countries. Chevron Phillips Chemical is equally owned indirectly by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Phillips 66 Company and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas. For more information about Chevron Phillips Chemical, visit Also, follow us on Twitter: @chevronphillips.


combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance leadership to achieve profitable growth and help deliver a sustainable future. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,800 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $57 billion in 2022. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

United Rentals (NYSE:URI)

was founded in 1997 and quickly became the world’s largest equipment rental provider. Today, our company continues to build on its industry leadership. With a best-in-class range of resources and the largest customer service network of its kind in North America.

Lamar State College Orange

is part of the Texas State University System. The System, founded in 1911, is Texas’s first university system. TSUS member institutions serve more than 87,000 students on 13 campuses from far West Texas to the Gulf Coast.

Orange County Economic Development Corporation

was formed in 2003 to better serve the economic development needs of Orange County. The County of Orange, the Orange County Port and Navigation District and the Cities of Bridge City, Orange, Pinehurst, Vidor, and West Orange realized the strengths gained by pooling resources to attract quality jobs and investments to Orange County. The Corporation provides tools and resources to assist new and existing businesses expand or relocate to Orange County.

Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas

is a business-led group of volunteers that evaluates and oversees the delivery of all workforce training and employment services in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange Counties. The board’s overall mission is to identify opportunities and create partnerships that effectively link employers and job seekers. Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas brings together a myriad of programs for easy access for employers and job seekers.


Advanced Manufacturing Education Program

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