Coordinator named for women-in-manufacturing program

Lakiesha HinesLakiesha Hines has been selected as program coordinator of the Step Up for Women Pre-Apprenticeship Program, a training effort at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) that will address industry needs across North Central West Virginia.

Hines, of Fairmont, said she is eager to get the program started.

“We want to be a resource for the local manufacturing community, where they can find employees with the right skills,” she said. “We want the women in the program to learn that they can do this kind of work and find good jobs.”

Classes will begin in February 2018 at the RCBI Bridgeport Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (2400 E. Benedum Industrial Drive).

The 10-week Step Up for Women program prepares women for manufacturing careers, teaching them the skills they need to succeed as machinists or in related industrial occupations. The initiative is a partnership between West Virginia Women Work and RCBI’s Apprenticeship Works, the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Partnership.

Women enrolled in the pre-apprenticeship program receive free tuition and travel reimbursements as well as work clothes, boots and other safety gear. Their training prepares them for entry level manufacturing jobs and apprenticeships.

RCBI Bridgeport will provide machinist instructors, classroom space and access to its advanced manufacturing equipment as part of the effort’s expansion to North Central West Virginia.

The Step Up for Women Manufacturing program started in 2016 at RCBI Huntington. To date, 36 women have graduated from the program, most finding employment in the manufacturing industry.

The Step Up for Women program is accepting applications for the program at For more information about the program or to request a paper application, call Hines at 304-848-2283 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .