Financial Aid Now Available for Machinist Students

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Enrollees in the Machinist Technology Program offered by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) in cooperation with Marshall Community & Technical College (MCTC) are now eligible to apply for federal student financial assistance. Approval of the RCBI students was granted last week by the U.S. Department of Education.

“This is great news for our program, our students, and for the future labor market in the State of West Virginia,” RCBI Director and CEO Charlotte Weber said. “It means expanded opportunities for a great many individuals who simply could not afford post-secondary education and opens doors to first-rate training and excellent careers in manufacturing to potential students all across our region.”

Financial aid is available to degree-seeking students who enroll in the two-year MCTC Associate in Applied Science in Technical Studies: Machinist Option program. Applications are processed by the Marshall University Student Financial Assistance Office. Assistance in completing the federal student financial aid application (FAFSA) is available at the community and technical college.

A record 25 degree-seeking students have already applied for the Machinist Technology Program classes which begin Aug. 25 at RCBI Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Huntington, Bridgeport and Rocket Center, W.Va., according to Larry Cartmill, retired Cabell County educator who serves as recruiter for the program. Still others are expected to complete their applications soon, he said. Those who seek the degree option at Rocket Center, which is located in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, will be enrolled at Potomac State College of West Virginia University at Keyser.

“Opportunities abound for those completing the Machinist Technology Program,” Ms. Weber noted. “Nationwide, there are an estimated 33,000 openings for machinists, and there is a significant shortage in West Virginia. Historically, more than 90 percent of those who have completed the machinist training curriculum have been placed directly into well-paying manufacturing jobs. It has been an extremely productive program. This latest development gives us the tools to make it even more successful by expanding the reach and ultimate labor pool in West Virginia.”

A one-year Machinist Technology Program option is also available through RCBI but it does not qualify for student financial aid, Cartmill said. “We encourage students to enter the two-year degree program because we believe it better prepares them to advance into more sophisticated manufacturing work such as CNC (computer-numerical-controlled) machining,” he noted.

Those wishing additional information may visit www.rcbi.org or call Cartmill at (304) 781-1678.