National foundation funds machinist scholarships at RCBI

Sept. 13, 2018

A national foundation has awarded $16,000 to the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) to support individuals pursuing careers in manufacturing.

The Gene Haas Foundation award will support machinist students enrolled in classes at four RCBI sites across the state: Huntington, offered in partnership with Mountwest Community and Technical College; Bridgeport, offered with Pierpont Community and Technical College; and Williamson and Welch, offered with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and McDowell County Career Center.

This is the second award RCBI has received from the Gene Haas Foundation. The first award is funding scholarships this year for 11 students in the RCBI Machinist Technology/CNC Program. Scholarship recipients are Berton “Roger” Craft of Nitro; Dylan Sturgeon of Hurricane; Kevin Gross and Whitney Bostic of Huntington; Jacob Justice of Varney; Tracy Spaulding and Dewey Spaulding of Dunlow; Dillan Sexton of Logan; Talan Schoonover of Elkins; Lee Floyd of Morgantown; and Andrew McCarty of Fairmont.

“We’re proud to play a pivotal role in working to meet the workforce needs of manufacturers and prepare skilled workers here in West Virginia,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO. “We’re even prouder to be able to say that more than 90 percent of our machinist graduates boast employment in their chosen field.”

The machining program at RCBI prepares students to earn individual certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, which are recognized nationally. The program also offers students the opportunity to earn an associate degree.

“The Gene Haas Foundation is committed to supporting students advancing their education and career in CNC technology,” said Toni Neary, director of education at Haas Factory Outlet - Midwest.  “We are excited to offer this opportunity for RCBI students to receive scholarships as they pursue their CNC education at a premier location in West Virginia.”

Gene Haas is the founder of Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Haas has been a valuable, long-term partner of RCBI, providing state-of-the-art machine tools for instructional use in its Machinist Technology/CNC Program.