TechConnectWV and RCBI Announce New Program
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – To help create new high-tech manufacturing jobs, TechConnectWV and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) have announced the launch of a new program, “StartUp WV Manufacturing,” made possible by a grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The program will help individuals and entrepreneurs turn their ideas for new products or processes into reality, generating new jobs across the state.
“This program will help entrepreneurs and start-up firms find the expertise they need to get their product or device to market,” said Anne Barth, Executive Director of TechConnect WV. “West Virginia is extremely fortunate to have an advanced manufacturing technology center like RCBI with its experienced staff and wide range of state-of-the-art equipment. It’s an incredible asset, and TechConnectWV is proud to partner with RCBI on this exciting initiative that will create new opportunities for West Virginia’s small manufacturing businesses.”
Charlotte Weber, Director & CEO at RCBI, said, “If you are entrepreneurial, innovative and interested in using manufacturing technology to make your dreams a reality, this opportunity is definitely for you.”
The $85,000 grant from the EDA will provide financial assistance to turn an idea into a working model. This opportunity helps resolve the age-old concern of how to pay to produce a prototype or working model.
This effort will help attract, create and encourage new business opportunities as well as retain and grow existing businesses, especially those in the technology-based manufacturing sector of our economy.
Weber said, “This is an important opportunity for forward thinking West Virginians to bring their ideas to reality. Using RCBI’s newly-announced Design Works labs, we will be able to assist in the concept-to-reality portion, which will help jumpstart the idea, turn it into a prototype and then move it forward to the production phase.”
TechConnectWV is a non-profit coalition with broad representation from private industry, the public sector, and higher education. TechConnectWV works to enhance awareness, spur collaboration and raise the discussion of issues surrounding technology-based economic development. Its goals are to diversify the state’s economy, promote economic prosperity and create high-paying jobs.
For more than 20 years RCBI has provided access to cutting edge technology and technical training to manufacturers and entrepreneurs across the region. Operating Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Huntington, Charleston, Bridgeport and Rocket Center (near Keyser in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle), its mission includes developing a quality, just-in-time supplier base for the Department of Defense, NASA and the commercial sector.