RCBI invests in equipment, training to serve southern WV
Jan. 30, 2018
The Robert C. Byrd Institute’s (RCBI) Appalachian Hatchery program, which is funded by POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization), has begun installing nearly a quarter million dollars’ worth of new machining equipment at Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College’s Williamson campus. New training, national certification and associate degree programs will be launched in the near future.
To promote economic development and skills training across southern West Virginia, RCBI and Southern CTC have partnered to bring RCBI’s nationally recognized advanced manufacturing programs to the college’s Williamson campus. Students and adults will have the opportunity to earn industry endorsed certifications and work toward a two-year associate degree in machinist technology.
“We are committed to the economic revitalization of southern West Virginia,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO. “We believe in the power of education and training – and after more than 25 years working across our great state – RCBI understands the distinct challenges we face in southern West Virginia and are committed to being a catalyst in the region’s economic transformation.
“This partnership would not be possible without the support, belief, guidance and direct investments made by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation through POWER,” Weber said.
POWER is a multi-agency initiative that delivers federal resources to help communities affected by job losses in coal mining and related industries.
Derek Scarbro, Director of RCBI’s Appalachian Hatchery, praised Southern’s commitment to the region and its workforce. “Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College’s expansive presence in the region combined with its commitment to educating the region’s workforce make the college an ideal partner as we expand our skills training program,” he said.
The president of Southern expressed his commitment to the partnership and to ensuring it has a measurable impact on communities across the region.
“Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is excited to partner with the Robert C. Byrd Institute to provide this new machining technology opportunity for our community,” said President Robert Gunter. “The prospect of adding Machinist Technology/Computer Numerical Control to our excellent technical education programming will help us become indispensable in providing high wage and in-demand skills in a combination of programming areas not offered within our region. I am grateful for the investment in Southern West Virginia and the potential jobs that this partnership represents.”
RCBI began delivering leading-edge equipment in mid-January at Southern’s Applied Technology Center in Williamson. When complete, the hands-on classroom will begin educating the workforce of today and tomorrow in advanced manufacturing. It also will offer a state-of-the-art workshop for budding entrepreneurs to design, develop and turn ideas into marketable products, according to Weber.