RCBI expands program to train ex-inmates affected by opioid crisis

A one-of-a-kind initiative introduced last year by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University to provide formerly incarcerated women affected in some way by the opioid crisis a pathway to careers in manufacturing is expanding to include men.

RecoveryWorksWV, a free 15-week holistic program based at RCBI’s Huntington Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, will begin class orientation June 10 and 11. The program is open to residents of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio. Participants will receive:

  • Hands-on machinist training in the operation of computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) mills and lathes, coupled with classroom instruction in blueprint reading, mathematics, precision measurement and safety
  • On-the-job experience at area manufacturing facilities that will include an $8-per-hour stipend for their work
  • Peer counseling to support emotional development, especially as it relates to maintaining sobriety or dealing with family and friends struggling with addiction
  • Soft-skills training to advance recovery and prepare trainees for re-entry into the workforce. This will include resume writing, job interview preparation and time-management skills development.

“Having skills to gain sustainable employment improves the chances of long-term success for those recovering from opioid misuse,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI director and CEO. “As the world emerges from the pandemic, manufacturers are struggling to find enough machinists to fill open positions. This program teaches participants the technical skills to secure a job, provides on-the-job experience, and coaches the soft-skills to re-enter the workforce while helping manufacturers meet critical workforce needs.”

Companies around the region have agreed to participate by providing real-world manufacturing experience for participants. Marshall’s Creating Opportunities for Recovery Employment (CORE) program and Catholic Charities West Virginia will help identify candidates for the program and provide counseling and soft-skills training. Region 2 Workforce Investment Board and the employment agency Manpower will assist in recruiting industry partners.

For more information, contact RCBI’s Carol Howerton at 304.781.1680 or .

RecoveryWorksWV is supported in part by a grant from the Bernard & Audre Rapoport Foundation, a Texas-based philanthropic organization dedicated to improving the social fabric of life by seeking innovative solutions to intractable and persistent problems.

Other News

View All News

Robotics, drone teams to battle in Huntington

Teams from across West Virginia and beyond will battle it out by land and by air during two days of robotics competitions hosted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University. On Dec. 3, RCBI will host the Marshall University VEX IQ Robotics Qualifier...

read more

Veteran hopes minority-owned business inspires others

Milford Zeigler Jr. wasn’t looking to start his own business. The Charleston resident already had retired more than once. Interwoven with a career in the private sector was more than 20 years of military service, including stints as a gunner with the First Cavalry...

read more

Women excel in RCBI welding program

You may be aware of the significant contributions of Rosie the Riveters, but you may not know that during World War II, working alongside Rosies in factories, shipyards and munitions plants was another essential group of women: Wendy the Welders. In fact, during...

read more

New machining, welding classes begin in January

Individuals looking to start their career journeys or train for jobs in the in-demand fields of machining and welding don’t have to wait until fall 2023 to get started. The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI)’s nationally recognized Machinist Technology/CNC and Welding...

read more