RCBI Machinist Program boasts 100 percent job placement rate

All upcoming grads also are employed

Every 2022 graduate of the Robert C. Byrd Institute’s (RCBI) Machinist Technology/CNC Program found employment in the manufacturing sector and each student who is expected to complete the career skills program this spring already has a job.

“The exceptionally high placement rate of our graduates is a testament to their competence and the overwhelming demand for skilled machinists in our state and region,” said Carol Howerton, RCBI senior strategic advisor for workforce development. “Year in and year out, nearly all – if not all – of our machinist grads find jobs in their chosen fields. We need more students to consider careers in machining. There are good-paying jobs waiting to be filled.”

Merle Wooten, owner of Wooten Machine in Huntington, said the ability to find skilled machinist is an ongoing challenge for his company. “RCBI has always been and continues to be a great partner to the industry by producing quality workers,” he said. “Most recently we hired three [RCBI] students as interns while they are completing their education. All have demonstrated great work ethic and a desire to learn and grow. We are excited to have brought them on board during their studies and look forward to them continuing employment with us beyond graduation.”

In addition to Wooten Machine, RCBI’s 2022 graduates and current students are working at manufacturing facilities across the state and region, including American Babbitt Bearing in Huntington; Engineered Profiles in Ironton, Ohio; FLSmidth in Winfield, Industrial Plating & Machine in Bluefield; HPS Co. in Charleston; Huntington Steel in Huntington; JM Precision in Normantown; Liberty Engineering and Machine in Craigsville; ML Dillion Co. in Milton; Micro Machine Works in Vincent, Ohio; Mouldagraph in Nitro; Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems at Rocket Center; Special Metals in Huntington; and U.S. Bearing and Power Transmission Corp. in Scott Depot.

Hayden Plum, a 2022 graduate, said he had multiple job offers but decided to accept a position at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Mineral County, which he described as his “dream company,” adding “I wanted to thank you guys (RCBI) for being a large contribution to my success.”

RCBI’s Machinist Technology/CNC Program enables students to earn industry recognized credentials from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and a career-enhancing associate degree in partnership with Mountwest Community & Technical College. Because the RCBI program qualifies for West Virginia Invests, most in-state students graduate debt free.

Individuals can complete the program in as little as 18 months. New classes begin each August and January. For more information, contact RCBI’s Jill Goheen at or 304.781.1678.

March 28, 2023

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