Women prepared for careers in manufacturing

March 26, 2018

HUNTINGTON — Ten women from the Tri-State are set to graduate from a one-of-a-kind program that prepares them for careers in advanced manufacturing.

The Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a partnership between West Virginia Women Work and Apprenticeship Works, the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Partnership at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI).

The Step Up graduation is Wednesday, March 28, at RCBI Huntington, 1050 Fourth Ave. The event begins with a reception at 3 p.m. followed by the ceremony at 4 p.m.

The expected graduates are Amber Carpenter of Huntington; M. Cati Christian of West Hamlin; Megan Conley of Kenova; Jessica Gibson of Ashland, Ky.; Carey Holley of Wayne; Magdeline Liddon of Huntington; Laura Mills of Kenova; Tamara Mounts of Huntington; Misty Pauley of Huntington; and Tina Tran of South Point, Ohio.

The 10-week Step Up program prepares women for entry-level manufacturing careers, teaching them the skills they need to succeed as machinists or in related industrial occupations. Participants receive free tuition and travel reimbursements as well as industrial work clothes and boots.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, the Step Up program serves as a model for other pre-apprenticeship programs across the country that aim to bring more women into manufacturing. The Step Up program expanded to RCBI Bridgeport in 2017.

The Huntington program is currently recruiting for the summer 2018 class. Interested women should call Program Coordinator Melinda Perron at (304) 528-9991 or go to wvwomenwork.org/stepupamp and fill out an application.

Supported in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Apprenticeship Works is creating apprenticeships across the United States in 17 manufacturing occupations. The partnership works directly with manufacturers to establish and manage customized programs using RCBI’s collaborative model to educate workers and bridge the skills gap in American manufacturing.