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Money to aid underrepresented students pursuing careers as machinists, welders

HUNTINGTON — The Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University has scholarship opportunities for underrepresented students as part of its effort to expand opportunity, build a more diverse workforce and help bridge the manufacturing skills gap.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations, rural low-income, female and minority students enrolled in the Machinist Technology/CNC and Welding Technology programs are eligible for scholarships for career skills classes that are offered in collaboration with Mountwest Community and Technical College.

The institute has trained nearly 750 individuals, delivering hands-on learning and intensive interaction with instructors that has resulted in students earning more than 2,500 national industry certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills and American Welding Society. In 2019, the entire Machinist Technology/CNC senior class boasted job offers prior to graduation.

“These scholarships will allow us to provide opportunities to students who otherwise may not be able to participate in our programs,” said Carol Howerton, senior adviser for workforce development at RCBI. “We are extremely appreciative of the Hearst Foundations’ support because it will make training more affordable and attainable, and it will enable us to increase the numbers of skilled workers needed by the manufacturing industry.”

The Hearst Foundations, founded in 1946 by media mogul William Randolph Hearst, fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.

Both the Machinist Technology/CNC and Welding Technology programs are enrolling students for the fall term. More information is available at www.rcbi.org/career-skills.

For more information about scholarship opportunities, contact Howerton at carol.howerton@rcbi.org or 304 781-1680.

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