Free manufacturing training program for women expands to Kanawha Valley

To increase the number of women in manufacturing, the Marshall Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMC) is partnering with West Virginia Women Work to expand a free machinist training program to the greater Kanawha Valley.

The 10-week Step Up for Women Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship program prepares women for manufacturing careers, teaching them the skills they need to succeed as machinists or in related industrial occupations.

Classes will begin Feb. 26 at the MAMC Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, South Charleston. Women 18 and older who have a high school diploma or the equivalent are eligible. No experience is necessary.

Women enrolled in the program receive free tuition and travel stipends as well as work clothes, boots and other safety gear. Their training prepares them for entry level manufacturing jobs and apprenticeships. The holistic program also helps participants sharpen job-essential soft skills such as effective communication, critical thinking, resume writing and interviewing techniques.

To learn more or to apply, visit

“There are many family-sustaining manufacturing career pathways in our region,” said MAMC Director Derek Scarbro. “To bridge the skills gap, we need to introduce more women – who only represent 29 percent of all manufacturing workers – to these opportunities.”

The Step Up for Women Pre-Apprenticeship is part of MAMC’s Apprenticeship Works, the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Partnership, which is funded entirely through a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship – Employment and Training Administration.

Jan. 29, 2024

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