GSCC FAME program signs 30 students


Photo: Taleasha Smoot (pictures second from rigtht) signs her FAME pledge and commitment to Bridgewater Interiors at the FAME Signing Day on May 18 at the Oxford Civic Center. Pictured with Smoot from left are Alan Smith, dean of Workforce Development; Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State; and April Stillwell, training and development coordinator at Bridgewater Interiors.

Gadsden State’s Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education Program hosted a signing night on May 18 at the Oxford Civic Center. Representatives from partnering companies presented their new employees with FAME certificates.

“FAME is one of my favorite programs at Gadsden State,” said Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State. “This wonderful program gives students the opportunity to work while earning a degree at the same time.”

Those in attendance included employees from Gadsden State, industry partners, current and past FAME students and the families of the signees.
Gadsden State’s Dean of Workforce Development Alan Smith referred to FAME as a “golden ticket” experience.

“Being a FAME student helps young men and women graduate debt free and with a job,” he said. “FAME is the global best. You’re not just learning to be the best in our service area, or in Alabama or even the best in the country. You are learning to be the best in the world. When you leave Gadsden State, you will be prepared for an awesome career.”

The Gadsden State FAME team exceeded its recruitment goals for the 2023-24 cohort. The 30 signees were chosen from 160 applicants. Diversity among the cohort increased by 15 percent.

“We look for the absolute best we can find in our FAME students, so we have the best pool of applicants for our industry partners,” Smith said.

Gadsden State’s Coordinator of Workforce Development Andy Robertson introduced each student as they came on stage to sign the FAME pledge alongside their employer, Murphy and Smith.

FAME signees and their respective companies include Taleasha Smoot, Bridgewater Interiors; Judge Daugherty, Eastman Chemical; Anthony Burns, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems; Michael Otten and Amalia Rochell, GH Metal Solutions; Kanyon Cox, Kayden Cox, Westin Day, Max Payne and Garrett Webb, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama; Hope Jenkins and Brylon Pilkington, Koch Foods; Joshua Kanaday, Koller Craft LLC; Oziel Gonzalez, Trent Hopkins, Bailey Mitchell, Gavin Moore, Rylan Owens, Jacovie Parker, Carson Whitehead and Ethan Wright, Krono Span; Cole Elder and Hunter Puls, Legacy Cabinets; Brody Wood, M&H Valve Company; and Evan Brown, Dalton Elliott, Will Martin and Brandon Whitlock, Prince Metal Stampings.

The alternates for FAME include Mason Jairrels and Ryan Reynolds. They will have the opportunity to join FAME by the fall semester or if a current member does not uphold their duties.

For more information about FAME visit

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