Fourteen more women graduate from manufacturing program

March 26, 2019

Fourteen women have completed a one-of-a-kind program preparing them for careers in manufacturing, and many of them already have accepted jobs with local manufacturers.

The Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a collaboration between the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) and West Virginia Women Work. The program is offered at RCBI Huntington and RCBI Bridgeport.

The Step Up program delivers hands-on training to women for entry-level manufacturing careers, teaching them skills to succeed as machinists or in related industrial occupations.

The Huntington graduates are Amanda Collins of Olive Hill, Ky.; Allison Dalipsingh of Huntington; Sandra Dyer of South Point, Ohio; Penny Rowland of Bidwell, Ohio; August Tomlin of Proctorville, Ohio; Ashley Wolfe of Greenup, Ky.; and LeeAnn Zeek of Fort Gay.

Bridgeport graduates are Nina Nicoletti, Fairmont; Cabrina Pierson, Clarksburg; April Statler, Pursglove; Roxanne Montgomery, Flemington; Lauren Delawder, Fairmont; Karen Orres, Morgantown; and Trilinda Pemberton, Clarksburg.

The tuition-free Step Up program provides participants travel reimbursements, safety gear as well as industrial work clothes and boots. Believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, the 10-week course serves as a model for other pre-apprenticeship programs that aim to bring more women into manufacturing.

New Step Up classes are scheduled to begin in June. Enrollment information is available online at Step Up for Women is made possible through the U.S. Department of Labor’s American Apprenticeship Initiative.