Accelerator exposes apprentices to rewarding manufacturing careers

Apprentices are getting a head start on careers in manufacturing through the Manufacturing Tech Accelerator at RCBI.

Participants are learning the skills they need to succeed in entry-level positions in manufacturing. RCBI’s Apprenticeship Works initiative offers the program at no cost.

Chandler Call, 20, and Jacob Marsh, 20, signed up for the program to learn more about the core skills of welding and machining. The friends and former classmates at Cabell-Midland High School have enjoyed the program so far and would recommend it to others.

“Everyone says you need to go to college, but college isn’t for everybody,” Chandler said. “We need the skilled workers. Blue-collar workers make the world go around.”

During the first week, apprentices attended class at RCBI’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Huntington where they studied blueprint reading and precision measurement. During the second and third weeks, they learned and practiced welding skills under the guidance of RCBI instructors.

During the fourth week, apprentices will learn about computer-controlled machining and complete hands-on projects. In the final two weeks, apprentices will learn about 3D printing, industrial safety, and other manufacturing topics.

Throughout the six weeks, apprentices are completing online courses to fulfill the requirements of their apprenticeship and to prepare for industry certifications. In addition, they will meet West Virginia manufacturers who offer apprenticeship programs in partnership with Apprenticeship Works.

Upon completion of 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training with a participating employer, the apprentices will qualify for a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship in the occupation of manufacturing technician.

With the support of the U.S. Department of Labor, RCBI’s Apprenticeship Works partners with 30 companies in 20 states to develop registered apprenticeship programs. For more information about Apprenticeship Works, contact Director Lucinda Curry at 304.720.7742 or .
July 28, 2021

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