RCBI Machinist Technology Program

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- The Machinist Technology Program offered by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) at its Huntington Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center has earned re-accreditation from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

NIMS re-accreditation for the Machinist Technology Program in Huntington follows re-accreditation for the programs at the RCBI Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Bridgeport and Rocket Center in February.

The five-year re-certifications are valid until 2015. NIMS Executive Director Stephen G. Mandes said the re-accreditation followed “a rigorous examination” that determined the RCBI program continues to meet the quality standards established by the organization “on behalf of the nation’s precision manufacturing industry.”

Begun in Huntington in 1998, the RCBI Machinist Technology Program boasts 270 graduates, who have earned 1,100 individual credits from NIMS.

“We’re enormously proud of the individuals who have completed our program,” said RCBI Director and CEO Charlotte Weber. “They’ve gone on to jobs in an industry known for providing the types of good wages and benefits that it takes to buy a home and raise a family.”

Weber said the RCBI training program was established in direct response to reports from industry, both in West Virginia and nationwide, of a critical shortage of skilled machinists. The RCBI program is the only one of its kind in West Virginia and was the first in the nation to require its graduates to earn individual credentials – currently in three of seven categories – that meet NIMS standards.

Individuals enrolling in the program can choose between full- and part-time coursework at any of the RCBI Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Huntington, Bridgeport or Rocket Center. Training takes place in both the classroom and in a shop-floor setting.

D. Mark Carter, chairman of the Advisory Board that helped develop the industry-focused curriculum for the RCBI program, noted that the hands-on nature of the program “minimizes the amount of technical training and re-training required after a worker is employed by industry.”

The program’s courses are available to high school graduates, dislocated workers, welfare-to-work participants, individuals in state or privately funded education and training programs and employers who are expanding the technical capabilities of their current workforce.

An important option in the program enables individuals to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Technical Studies from a local community college, such as MCTC (the former Marshall Community & Technical College) or Potomac State College of West Virginia University. As a result, the program has been endorsed by NIMS as a national model for community and technical colleges to follow.

Upon completion of either the full-time or part-time program, individuals undergo a process of national skill-certification that involves assessment of their performance and an exam. This process creates expanded employment opportunities because the certificates are portable, enabling those who earn them to use them anywhere in the nation.

For additional information about the RCBI Machinist Technology Program, individuals may phone 800.469.RCBI (7224) or e-mail machinistprogram@rcbi.org. Enrollment is limited. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

The Public Information group at the Robert C. Byrd Institute can provide timely information to the media on current events at RCBI as well as information regarding the manufacturing industry and its relationships with RCBI. For more information, call 800.469.RCBI (7224) or e-mail publicinfo@rcbi.org.

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