John Wood Community College signs 12 for FAME program

fame signees

Front row from left, Wyatt Schemerhorn, Hunter Hibbert, Korbyn Hynek, Dominique Spurgeon and Draven Little; Middle row from left, Stacey Giltner (General Mills), Valerie Howell (General Mills) and Chuck Makins (Knapeide); Back row from left, Hailey Dunker (Titan), Rob Phillips (Gardner Denver), Masson Kurk, Eugene Haynes, Christopher Gill, Adam Venvertloh, Noah Ingram and Luke Neiderhauser (DOT). | Photo courtesy of John Wood Community College

QUINCY — The first cohort for JWCC’s new Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program signed with their respective companies during a signing ceremony June 20 at the Workforce Development Center.

JWCC, in collaboration with the Great River Economic Development Foundation and five founding company partners, launched Illinois’ first FAME chapter in February 2024.

“Manufacturing, transportation and distribution are vital components of our regional economy,” JWCC president Bryan Renfro said in a press release. “The investment these companies are making in the workforce is both visionary and essential for the tri-states to remain competitive on a global scale. This represents an incredible opportunity for those chosen. We eagerly anticipate the contributions this inaugural cohort of students will make to all our Great River FAME partners.”

This year’s FAME cohort consisted of 12 students. The students selected to participate in the FAME program and work for one of five regional employers are:

DOT Foods

  • Noah Ingram

Gardner Denver

  • Nathan Howell
  • Wyatt Schemerhorn

General Mills

  • Christopher Gill
  • Eugene Haynes
  • Masson Kurk
  • Adam Venvertloth


  • Draven Little
  • Lucas Mason
  • Dominique Spurgeon

Titan Wheel

  • Hunter Hibbert
  • Korbyn Hynek

Several signees have already commenced their work duties, while others are scheduled to start soon. Signees will begin coursework at JWCC in August. They will earn at least $21 per hour. Upon completion of a two-year degree, employers have agreed to pay students a minimum starting salary of $63,000 annually.

Recruitment for next year’s cohort will begin in the fall of 2024 and will continue through the spring of 2025. The new signees will have six to eight weeks of hands-on training starting in June 2025 and will begin coursework in August 2025. Details can be found at or by contacting Kayla Wentz at or 217-641-4957.

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