RCBI AERO is the Robert C. Byrd Institute’s aerospace proof-of-concept and training facility centered in Cabell and Wayne counties. The goal is to expand the aerospace footprint in the region by connecting local manufacturers to the supply chain, attracting new companies to the region, and establishing an FAA-certified aircraft maintenance and repair facility that will benefit southern West Virginia.
RCBI AERO operations will enhance aerospace businesses, diversity the region’s economy and develop new job opportunities.
In partnership with the West Virginia Development Office, Marshall University Research Corporation, Marshall’s Lewis College of Business, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, HADCO, the Wayne County Economic Development Authority and Region 2 Workforce Investment Board, RCBI is delivering a broad base of client services that include:
- Access to advanced technology and expertise
- Market research, evaluation and business planning
- Technology transfer services (copyright, trademark, patent and intellectual properties protection)
- Connections to contracting and supply chain opportunities, both public and private
- Links to private investment partners
- Workforce training to meet specific industry demands
A 2016 feasibility study commissioned by the Huntington Area Development Council confirmed that Cabell and Wayne counties are well positioned to support and expand the region’s aerospace industry. The study cited assets such as Tri-State Regional Airport, the 95-acre Tri-State Aeroplex industrial and business development site near the airport, RCBI, supportive leadership in a variety of public and private organizations and the existence of established aerospace manufacturers such as Level 1 Fasteners and Star Technologies, both of Huntington, and Carbon Fiber Composites of Ona.
RCBI was awarded a Regional Innovation Strategies grant by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to establish the new aerospace center.