RCBI designated hub as part of national effort to revitalize U.S. manufacturing

Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) is among a select group of institutions launching innovation education hubs as part of a national initiative to revitalize American manufacturing and ensure a strong national defense.

Through a partnership with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), RCBI will advance a joint Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy initiative to reestablish American leadership in the machine tool industry through transformative thinking, technological innovation and workforce development.

“Marshall University is excited to partner in this national initiative to revitalize American manufacturing,” said President Brad D. Smith. “Marshall’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) – West Virginia’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center – has assisted manufacturers across our state and region for more than 30 years and delivered machinist training to thousands of individuals. We engage manufacturers daily, so we’re keenly aware of their workforce needs and have a history of developing innovative solutions to meet those needs. This partnership will greatly expand our efforts to prepare individuals in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky for in-demand manufacturing jobs right here at home.”

Specially trained RCBI instructors will deliver a series of free computer-controlled machining bootcamps in Huntington and South Charleston to individuals who are high school age and older. Instruction will include an online component and hands-on machine operation. No related experience or education is required.

“Participants will engage in bootcamps for all skill levels,” said Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director. “For some individuals, this will be their first exposure to machining. For many manual machinists, our bootcamps will provide an introduction to the operation of computer-controlled machines. And for experienced CNC (computer-numerical control) machinists, the bootcamps will teach advanced techniques and processes to improve efficiency, precision and productivity.

“This initiative is an important new component of our multi-faceted approach of creating the talent pipeline that manufacturers require to innovate, grow and create jobs,” Scarbro said.

The RCBI hub will serve the entire states of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Other hubs are housed at the University of Tennessee, Texas A&M University and North Carolina AT&T State University. In addition to the machining bootcamps at its technology centers, RCBI will partner with educational institutions and other entities in all three states to deliver machine tool training across a broad region.

As part of the initiative, RCBI will purchase additional CNC machining equipment for its education and training centers in Huntington and South Charleston to supplement the more than $22 million in advanced manufacturing technology currently available.

For more information about the RCBI CNC Machining Bootcamps, contact Carol Howerton, senior strategic advisor for workforce development, at 304.781.1680 or . Details about this and other RCBI education and training initiatives at https://www.mfg.marshall.edu/education-training/.

July 27, 2022

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