RCBI, Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy partner

Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy students learn to use a computer numerical control mill at the Robert C. Byrd Institute’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Bridgeport. (Photo Provided)

HUNTINGTON — The West Virginia National Guard Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy and the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University have joined in a partnership.

The Mountaineer Job ChalleNGe Program is a new 22-week course that provides advanced manufacturing skills training that leads to national certifications and job placement. The program is open to graduates of the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy who are between 17¢- and 20-years old and interested in entering the West Virginia manufacturing workforce.

Classes are offered at the institute’s Bridgeport Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, and will eventually be offered at a new training center under development at the new Job ChalleNGe Training Site located at Camp Dawson in Kingwood. The institute will continue to deliver the instruction.

“The effort is an expansion of the pre-apprenticeship program currently offered to cadets at the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy through (the institute’s) Apprenticeship Works program,” said Lucinda Curry, director of Workforce Development at the institute.

Participants in the Manufacturing Technology Program learn how to set up, program and operate computer numerical control machines used in advanced manufacturing.

Students also learn blueprint reading, precision measurement and computer-aided design.

Students who complete the program will be prepared for entry-level careers in manufacturing.

They also will be eligible to enroll in the institute’s two year Machinist Technology/CNC program, offered at four locations across the state, which can lead to a two year associate degree and national certifications.