RCBI quickly pivots to deploy strategic workforce training

The Covid-19 Pandemic necessitated that schools around the world close their doors and transition to a virtual learning format. The staff at Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) reacted swiftly by creating online opportunities for students to continue to learn remotely.

“Our instructors and staff have remained engaged throughout this time with all of our students,” said Charlotte Weber, director & CEO. “This interaction has resulted in a 100 percent completion rate for our first-year Machinist Technology/CNC students and a 100 percent job placement rate for our second-year students.”

In addition, through the web-based delivery system RCBI instituted in response to the pandemic, 27 Machinist/Technology CNC and Welding Technology students in Bridgeport, Huntington, Welch and Williamson earned 484 manufacturing industry certificates.

RCBI – working closely with its West Virginia Community and Technical College partners – has begun allowing students to return to its facilities, deploying a staggered summer schedule and adhering to all personal protective equipment protocols, enabling the students to test for their national certifications.

“We want our West Virginia businesses to be able to get back to work,” Weber said. “We also want to welcome new businesses to the safe and beautiful Mountain State. “Providing the best educated and nationally certified workforce to help make this all happen is what we do.”

RCBI is enrolling new machinist and welding students for the fall term, which begins in August. Students in RCBI’s career skills programs earn nationally recognized industry certifications and have the opportunity to earn a college degree from either Mountwest Community and Technical College or Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Both programs qualify for the West Virginia Invests Grant Program, which pays toward the full tuition costs for students pursuing careers in such high-demand fields as machining and welding.

To enroll in either RCBI program or learn more, contact Tracy Straub, RCBI workforce recruiter, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 304.781.1678.