NRMC joins GeauxFAME

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From left are Kirk Soileau, NRMC CEO; Gene Cain, Bio-Med Director; Dr. Nabin Sapkota, AMT Instructor; Gwen Fontenot, Natchitoches Campus Dean; Aidan Weeks, AMT intern; Randy Caskey, AMT instructor; Phil Rider, NRMC Director of Engineering; and Tom Matuschka, NRMC VP of Business Development & Philanthropy.

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is the first healthcare facility in the nation to partner with the Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME). NRMC joined the local chapter GeauxFAME to help drive workforce development initiatives in Natchitoches Parish. GeauxFAME delivers the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, in partnership with Northwestern State University (NSU) and Bossier Parish Community College Natchitoches Campus (BPCC Natchitoches), to develop and grow a skilled pipeline of workers through collaboration with industry in the community.

NRMC will sponsor students in the hospital’s maintenance department. Each AMT student will have a mentor to provide regimented, hands-on training to gain a practical set of valuable skills to carry with them through their careers. “With the addition of NRMC to the GeauxFAME partnership, it’s an exciting expansion opportunity that is unique within skilled labor,” says Tommy Peek, GeauxFAME Chairman and HR Director at Boise Cascade. “Although not a manufacturing organization, skilled labor and technical expertise is required to keep our community healthy and strong. GeauxFAME looks forward to the leadership and technical insight NMRC brings to our community leadership table.”

This article published in the July 30, 2022, print edition. Subscribe to the print or e-edition by calling 318-352-3618.

Participants in the GeauxFAME program attend classes at NSU and BPCC Natchitoches while also working for local employers and being paid a competitive wage. Graduates complete the program with an Associate Degree from NSU, Certificate of Technical Studies from BPCC Natchitoches, 80 college hours and two years of work experience – all with no school debt.

Kirk Soileau, NRMC CEO stated, “NRMC is a strong advocate for economic development opportunities in the area and having a skilled workforce is a big factor in attracting industry to the community. Our driving passion for innovation made participation in the GeauxFAME program a unique way to model outside the box thinking. We are excited for the opportunity to be a part of this initiative and join forces with other industries in the area like Alliance Compressors, RoyOMartin, Modern Electronics and Equipment, International Paper and Boise Cascade.”

For additional information about the AMT GeauxFAME program, contact Gwen Fontenot, BPCC Natchitoches Interim Campus Dean, at 318-357-3162.