Wayne County student earns RCBI scholarship

September 22, 2017

Austin Blake Prichard resident Austin Blake is the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Robert B. Hayes & Mr. Everett Black Honorary Scholarship. The award recognizes Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) second-year machinist students who excel academically.

 Blake received $1,000 toward his associate degree in applied science from Mountwest Community and Technical College. His advanced manufacturing education focuses on CNC (computer-numerical-control) programming and design.

“Austin is a fantastic student,” said Rick Smoot, RCBI CNC instructor. “He’s studious, reliable and demonstrates the attention to detail that defines the best machinists. He’s truly deserving of this recognition.”

The scholarship was established in 2013 to honor Hayes and Black, two gentlemen who have contributed much to the Huntington, Marshall University, and RCBI communities. To be eligible, recipients must be second-year students enrolled in RCBI’s CNC/Machinist Technology Program. Created in 1998 as a direct response to industry need, the program boasts a 90-plus percent placement rate for its graduates, who earn industry recognized credentials from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

“We congratulate Austin Blake on this well-deserved recognition and look forward to Austin entering the region’s manufacturing workforce,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO.

For more information about the Hayes/Black Scholarship, contact RCBI’s Tracy Straub at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .