Willis named recipient of AMT Distinguished Graduate Award


Kristy Willis was named recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award upon completion of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, a work/study partnership between Northwestern State University, the Central Louisiana Technical Community College – Natchitoches and sponsoring manufacturing companies in the region.  Willis, who is employed with Boise, was selected based on outstanding performance both academically and on the job.

AMT students are part of the Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), the program’s national umbrella, locally established as GeauxFAME.  GeauxFAME is the first and only chapter in Louisiana, joining 14 other states in FAME USA, which seeks to develop technical talent for manufacturing employers of technical workers.

“The Distinguished Graduate Award is the highest award bestowed by the employers in the local FAME chapter and recognizes the AMT graduate who most fully embodies and presents all the key elements of the AMT Program,” said Tommy Peek, President of the Louisiana GeauxFAME chapter.

The award considers performance at work, learning and application of professional behaviors, learning and application of the practices of the Manufacturing Core Exercises, leadership and program grade point average.

“While the award is determined and bestowed by the employers, significant input to the award is also needed by the college partner. The faculty and staff at the college are the only ones who consistently see the AMT students altogether and can provide input on their performance relative to the areas of consideration,” said Laurie Morrow, CLTCC Campus Dean.

Students in the AMT program work three days per week in one of the sponsoring manufacturing facilities earning $12 per hour and take classes two days per week that are taught by NSU and CLTCC faculty.  Upon completion of the two-year program, graduates receive an AMT certificate, as well as an associate degree in engineering technology from NSU that is applicable to a bachelor’s degree should the student wish to continue studies.  Completers also have earned valuable hands-on work experience and a competitive edge over their peers, administrators said.

Willis will be recognized during GeauxFAME’s June meeting.

“The AMT program is uniquely different from other technical programs at the college in the sense that it’s led by an employer collaborative and has many activities and outcomes that go beyond the typical academic degree,” Morrow said.  “Many of these outcomes that are critical to the success of the AMT student and to the companies for which they work cannot be adequately considered by the existing awards.  As manufacturers are the lead entity of FAME chapter, it is appropriate for a high-level award to be sourced from the employers.”

“As the President of the GeauxFAME Board, I am so proud of our Distinguished Graduate. Kristy Willis has grown in knowledge and skill in our Leadership ranks at Boise Cascade’s Engineered Wood Production Facility. She is an active contributor to our production leadership team and always mentors and coaches junior AMT students,” said Tommy Peek, Human Resources, Boise Cascade.

The AMT program is supported by the Natchitoches Community Alliance an economic/workforce development group as well as CLEDA.  Partnering companies also include AFCO Industries, Alliance Compressors, Boise, International Paper – Mansfield, RoyOMartin, Stella-Jones and Weyerhaeuser.

For more information on the GeauxFAME AMT program requirements and registration information, visit www.geauxfame.com.   Applications are currently being accepted for the fall 2021 cohort.

The AMT Commitment Signing for the next cohort will be at 10 a.m., Aug 10.

The AMT Graduation #4 will be at 10 a.m. July 27 at the Natchitoches campus