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Oklahoma City - An OSU Degree in OKC.

FAME signing day celebrates first manufacturing student cohort for Oklahoma’s workforce


OKLAHOMA CITY (June 26, 2024)– Eight students were celebrated as the first cohort of students in Oklahoma for the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program at a signing ceremony this Wednesday, June 26, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City’s STEM Technologies Building.  

FAME, a highly successful hybrid academic and training program originally created by Toyota and nationally scaled by the National Association of Manufacturers, helps fill the manufacturing pipeline by providing global-best workforce development. FAME prepares students for highly skilled, globally competitive jobs in the manufacturing world. To provide hands-on experience for students, OKC FAME has partnered with manufacturers across various industries: Climate Control Group (HVAC), IDEX Energy – Advanced Flow Solutions (fuel measurement and movement devices), Canoo (electric vehicles) and OMADA International (aerospace).  

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome the first students to the OKC FAME program. We look forward to having these students learn on the job skills while supporting their educational goals,” said John Behrend, senior HR director at Climate Control Group. “This effort has been an exciting partnership between employers and education, and we look forward to seeing it grow.” The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is excited to assist in launching Oklahoma’s first chapter of the FAME program. The Chamber will act as the convening partner for OKC FAME, while OSU-OKC will act as the educational partner.  

Students will be able to work directly with these employers 24 hours a week at a pay rate of at least $16 an hour. With a schedule such as FAME’s, students can pay for the program while they are enrolled, and they also gain experience before accepting a full-time position at a manufacturing company.  

"At IDEX, we take pride in our winning culture where people are encouraged to be the best version of themselves every day,” said Cheri Goodman, HR coordinator - IDEX. “We are excited to help these impressive students kickstart their careers in manufacturing." 

Specifically, OMADA International provides its students with aerospace manufacturing experience.  

“As a leading aerospace manufacturer, it is crucial for us to grow the industry in Oklahoma City, starting with the workforce,” said Jason Jentsch, director of operations - OMADA. “We are excited to welcome the first students to OKC FAME and help them pursue an exciting career in aerospace manufacturing.”  

The Chamber believes with the presence of OKC FAME and its talented students, Oklahoma City will increase its numbers of much needed high-tech workers for the city to grow further economically.  

Outside of working for one of the program’s four employers, students will visit the OSU-OKC campus two days a week for course lectures.  

Kyle Wray, OSU senior vice president of system affairs, explained how OKC FAME is an ideal fit for OSU Polytech, which encompasses applied technical education programming in Oklahoma across the OSU system.  

“OSU has been the undisputed leader on Polytech education for more than 60 years, making OKC FAME and Polytech work seamlessly into the construct of OSU’s commitment as a modern land-grant university,” Wray said. “Programs such as OKC FAME are an excellent way to bring together the best from the classroom and the ‘real world’ to produce students who are ready to work day-one following graduation.”  

Dr. Ronna Vanderslice, OSU-OKC interim provost and vice provost of academic affairs of the OSU System, said the combination of OKC FAME and OSU-OKC intersects education and paid training to help students earn an associate degree and the certifications needed to land jobs in a modern manufacturing workforce.  

“This partnership with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and a growing number of outstanding Oklahoma industrial companies is helping Oklahoma address its shortage of high-tech workers and spark a revolution of hiring and economic growth,” Vanderslice said.  


About the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber  

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has been the voice of Oklahoma City business and industry for more than a century, taking an active role in helping create a business climate in Oklahoma City that is conducive to its longterm growth and vitality. The Chamber supports its members and the business community through its divisions of Economic Development, Education, Government Relations, Marketing and Communications, and Membership. Visit OKC is also a division of the Chamber, promoting Oklahoma City as a first-class visitor destination. Whether through economic development and workforce development efforts and activities, promoting business-friendly legislation, coalition building, promoting tourism, engaging in strategic community initiatives, or enhancing Oklahoma City’s name and image, the Chamber is poised to continue its mission of ensuring Oklahoma City’s standing as one of nation’s best places in which to live and work. 

About Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City 

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) is part of the modern land-grant system of Oklahoma State University. OSU-OKC is a two-year public institution, offering more than 40 degrees and certificate options. Through quality education, a supportive environment, leadership training and service opportunities, OSU-OKC trains students to work and educates them to lead. OSU-OKC graduates are found throughout the community serving as police officers, firefighters, nurses, teachers, healthcare professionals and business owners. More information is available at