Sunday, May 26, 2024

NWLA manufacturing education chapter grows with addition of International Paper in Mansfield

by BIZ Magazine

The Northwest Louisiana chapter of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (NWLA FAME) is excited to announce the addition of International Paper in Mansfield to its roster of employers working together to develop a pipeline of skilled technicians to support the regional manufacturing industry.

The NWLA FAME chapter membership is made up of seven manufacturers, Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) as training partner and the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP). There will be an Open House for applicants interested in applying for the fall 2023 class on January 25 from 4 pm to 6 pm in Building L on the BPCC campus, 6220 E. Texas Street, Bossier City. 

Manufacturing partners in the chapter represent a variety of manufacturing sectors and include Benteler Steel/Tube, Frymaster, International Paper (Mansfield facility), Maxim Watermakers, Music Mountain Water, Prolec GE, and Ternium USA. 

Those enrolled in the NWLA FAME Program will undertake a work/study program to earn an associate degree and certification as an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT). NWLA FAME AMT students will attend classes at BPCC two days a week and will work 24 paid hours a week for one of the sponsoring employers. 

“One of the greatest challenges for us is finding local talent with a maintenance and repair background to meet the needs of our manufacturing site,” said Douglas Bridges, Facilities Manager at Prolec GE and Chair for the NWLA FAME chapter. “Without a fresh pool of technicians, manufacturers in this area may not be able to function in the long run. Maintenance Technicians are key players in the manufacturing process; they keep the equipment operating.” 

Applicants may be recent high school graduates or those who have been in the workforce and are seeking a career change. No prior manufacturing experience is necessary to apply. Financial aid options to cover the cost of the training may be available. To apply for the program, visit, or visit the Open House January 25 to learn more about the program and meet with participating employers. 

“This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking for an interesting career that can support a great quality of life,” said NLEP COO Angie White. “Maintenance technicians are in great demand across the country. Enrolling in this program sets you up for job security.” 

The FAME model was developed by Toyota in 2010 and has since grown into a stand-alone program of The Manufacturing Institute, which supports thirty-four chapters around the country. The first Louisiana chapter, GeauxFAME, started in Natchitoches and launched its first cohort of students in 2017. To learn more about the FAME model, visit

If you are a manufacturer or other industrial company that is interested in participating in the NWLA FAME chapter, contact Angie White at [email protected]

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