Northern Kentucky has 13 four-year colleges and universities located within a 45-minute commute serving as hubs of innovation. Business leaders cite the talent –dedication, education, and training combined with a willingness to learn– as a major asset for NKY. SmartAsset named the Cincinnati region as the #1 city for new college grads in 2022, the fourth year in the top spot. The talent pipeline features more than 6,000 engineering graduates per year within 100 miles and rapidly growing manufacturing technician programs at Gateway Community & Technical College.
The Northern Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (NKY FAME) program at Gateway offers students the opportunity to work at a company focused on packaging materials or other advanced manufacturing while attending classes and earning a degree at Gateway, which is paid for by the manufacturing company. Safran, Perfetti Van Melle, and Bosch Automotive Steering are among 14 employers in the region attracting the next generation into manufacturing apprenticeships and NKY FAME.
Toyota started FAME in Kentucky and grew it into a national program of the Manufacturing Institute, which has dozens of chapters around the country. FAME works through regional partnerships with manufacturers to provide apprenticeship-style training in conjunction with classes for students while preparing them for well-paying careers in manufacturing.