RCBI assists aerospace company in tackling challenges of expansion

An international company is teaming with the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) to develop the skilled workforce it requires to undertake a major expansion of its manufacturing operations.

Meggitt PLC, which specializes in high performance components for the aerospace, defense and energy markets, is working with RCBI’s aerospace program, RCBI AERO, and its National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Partnership, Apprenticeship Works, to launch a specialized apprenticeship program at the company’s Danville, Ky., facility.

In September 2019, Meggitt announced plans for a major expansion at the Danville plant, which manufactures carbon brakes for aerospace companies, including Airbus, Gulfstream, Dassault and Bombardier. When the expansion is complete, the facility will serve as an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) hub to meet the rising demand for aircraft maintenance and repair.

“With our unique combination of expertise serving the aerospace sector and delivering worker skills solutions through registered apprenticeships, RCBI is leveraging its versatile resources for Meggitt,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO. “Our assistance will enable the company to meet its challenging expansion plans as it increases capacity and, in the process, creates jobs.”

RCBI’s Apprenticeship Works initiative helps companies implement registered apprenticeship programs in 20 manufacturing occupations. Supported by a U.S. Department of Labor grant, the initiative currently has industry partners in 18 states.

The RCBI team worked with Meggitt to customize a CNC (computer numerical control) apprenticeship program specific to the company’s work processes. Apprenticeship Works also provides the related instruction and a learning management system to track the progress of the apprentices.

The CNC apprenticeship takes about three years to complete. During that time, the apprentices will learn new skills under the guidance of mentors at Meggitt.