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ANDERSON – The orientation session for the first class to prepare local residents for advanced manufacturing jobs is set for Friday.

The new Anderson Advanced Manufacturing Program, or AAMP, is a work readiness program that is bringing together local commercial and manufacturing businesses, economic development leaders and the local education system.

The city is making available $120,000 from food and beverage tax revenues for the economic development project.

Marc Slayton, deputy director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said the orientation session for the first 40 applicants is at 8:30 a.m. in the City Building council chambers.

The applicants will receive information, a handbook and practice materials for a test through JobSource, he said.

“We will take up to 30 people for the first training sessions,” Slayton said. “The first classes will start on April 1 at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.”

Participants accepted into the training program will be paid $10 per hour.

The second training sessions will begin in May, Slayton said.

The city is working through JobSource to provide job training for those local residents not able to participate in the AAMP program.

“Our goal is to offer training to any resident looking to improve their work skills,” Slayton said.

The Flagship Enterprise Center, JobSource, NTN Drive Shaft, NTK Precision Axle, Red Gold and Sirmax are providing additional funding and support for this program.

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said the city expects additional partners from the manufacturing community will join the AAMP later.

The program consists of a 160-hour course over a four-week period.

Broderick hopes the program will expand to 100 internships later this year.

“The city of Anderson is taking the lead in helping to develop the skills needed to obtain a quality job in the new world of advanced manufacturing,” Broderick said. “There are real opportunities in the workplace for an individual to acquire a position in an advanced manufacturing that can lead to very well-paying jobs with real opportunities for advancement.”

Last November, Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said candidates starting the internship program must be drug free, show up on time and put their cellphones aside for eight hours.

Purdue Polytechnic in Anderson worked with the city in creating the AAMP curriculum with coordination from partners NTN, NTK, Red Gold and Sirmax. AAMP is modeled after the Lafayette RAMP program created by Subaru and Conexus, which has successfully reduced new employee turnover by 60 percent while reducing costs.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.