RCBI expands workforce efforts

Aug. 27, 2018

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) is addressing West Virginia’s workforce challenges through a major expansion of its career skills programs.

In partnership with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, RCBI launched new machining programs at Southern’s campus in Williamson and at the McDowell County Career Technical Center in Welch.

“The manufacturing industry in West Virginia faces a significant skills gap,” said Charlotte Weber, Director and CEO of RCBI. ”The new programs are critical to the industry, and to the students themselves.”

An ongoing survey conducted by the RCBI finds that West Virginia manufacturers are hiring for more than 1,000 positions, the majority of which are new jobs. The survey indicates a high demand for workers in machining, CNC (computer-numerical control) machining, and welding.

The new machining programs at RCBI are supported by Appalachian Hatchery, an economic development initiative that is creating new workforce training opportunities in southern West Virginia.

RCBI also has a Machinist Technology/CNC Program in Huntington, offered in partnership with Mountwest Community and Technical College, and a program in Bridgeport, offered with Pierpont Community and Technical College.

The instructors who teach in RCBI’s machinist programs have many years of industry experience. Students earn certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). During the 2017-2018 school year, RCBI students earned more than 50 NIMS certifications.

In addition to machining, RCBI also offers a welding program in partnership with Mountwest, Cabell County Career Technology Center, and Spring Valley Career and Technical Education Center.