Huntington — The Robert C. Bird Institute at Marshall University is located on the corner of downtown Huntington on 4th and 10th Avenues, well known as RCBI. Founded 30 years ago to help manufacturers and businesses respond to the changing forces of the market.
“This will continue to be our core mission,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director and CEO.
That mission was tested for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like others, new protocols such as temperature checks, mask mandates, social distance and disinfection guidelines, and other protective measures need to be implemented to mitigate the health risks of clients, students, and staff. “I did,” Weber explained. “We also needed to leverage technology in new ways to continue to provide services and training while maintaining internal and external communication channels.”
RCBI did not stop the operation except for the initial forced shutdown.
“Our doors remain open, participation in online training has skyrocketed, we have been able to graduate from the largest mechanics / CNC classes in recent years, and our graduates have earned a record number of industry qualifications and certifications. “Weber said.
According to Weber, the RCBI has done its best through the pandemic. It’s about finding innovative ways to provide the best solutions to complex problems.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, we recognized the importance of introducing our own skill set and advanced technology to RCBI to meet the critical needs of personal protective equipment commonly referred to as’PPE’.” She said.
PPE is a device worn to minimize exposure to risks that can cause serious injury or illness in the workplace.
“We worked with the West Virginia National Guard and other groups to design and manufacture face shields and masks for healthcare providers and other first responders,” Weber said. “Because everyone is pivoting business operations, and even after society has returned to’normal’or’new normal’, we continue to do this through a pandemic. “
Medical Manufacturing Initiative Announced
Last year, the sudden and urgent demand for personal protective equipment shed light on the challenges faced by healthcare providers in securing healthcare supply chains and healthcare products and equipment.
“Our new healthcare manufacturing initiative goes beyond the PPE we all hear and read,” says Weber. “This provides healthcare professionals with additional opportunities to innovate new devices, create actionable prototypes, initiate manufacturing processes, and ultimately bring life-changing products to market. It also focuses on shortening the supply chain by facilitating the design and manufacture of critical components here in West Virginia. “
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the country’s healthcare supply system,” said Jerome Gilbert, President of Marshall University. “Thanks to the Governor for directing the funding of the CARES Act to bring this new initiative to fruition. Governor’s leadership and vision will drive current and distant future drug production in West Virginia. Helps you. “
New medical manufacturing equipment with complex precision and just-in-time production is being deployed at RCBI’s advanced manufacturing technology centers in Charleston and Huntington, according to RCBI officials.
“Companies are leveraging our team’s expertise and this new technology to not only quickly manufacture personal protective equipment, but also to create new biomedical business opportunities in West Virginia. We can manufacture other medical devices that help us, “said Eddie Webb. Director of RCBI Manufacturing Services and Founding Director of New Medical Manufacturing Initiative.
“Installing this equipment at RCBI allows companies to build more reliable domestic supply chain connections in West Virginia because it is available locally and affordably,” Weber said.
EDA Awards $ 975,000 for Aircraft Maintenance Program
The $ 975,000 award from the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) announced last week is a joint venture between Marshall University, Mount West Community & Technical College, and RCBI to help develop new aviation technology and maintenance programs in the region. The latest major grants from. Manage the program.
The program will be held at Huntington Tristate Airport and will offer the first joint associate degree in West Virginia. In addition to Federal Aviation Administration airframe and power plant certification, students enrolled in 18 months of training will receive an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from Marshall and Mount West.
“While applying for FAA certification, we expect first class students to begin in the spring of 2022,” Weber said. “Our program not only helps meet the important needs of new aviation engineers and mechanics, but also acts as a catalyst for economic development by attracting new industries and expansions in our region. “
“Skills taught in aviation technology and maintenance programs are sought after in many other industrial sectors,” said Interim Program Manager Jim Smith. “In addition to aviation, program graduates prepare for employment in areas such as automobiles, maritime, oil and gas, and renewable energy.”
According to Smith, the latest EDA awards fund the tools and specialized educational equipment needed to meet FAA certification requirements. These include piston and jet engine test beds, aircraft systems, avionics trainers, as well as equipment needed for structural sheet metal and composite courses.
The program previously received approximately $ 1.75 million in federal and local funding to support staff and general operating costs for the first two years. Refurbishment of the two airport hangers, which will serve as classroom and laboratory spaces for the program, will soon begin. In addition, the process of hiring directors and certified instructors is underway.
The program is part of Marshall’s new aviation school, which trains pilots at the Birnoye Flight School at Yeager Airport in Charleston, and also includes a Bachelor of Business Administration in Aviation Management.
“The $ 975,000 EDA grant helps Marshall, Mount West, and RCBI build robust aircraft maintenance and technical programs by providing the tools and specialized educational equipment needed to meet FAA certification requirements. It helps, “Weber added. “Our program creates demanding aircraft mechanics and technicians to meet the needs of key industries while at the same time attracting new businesses to our region. This is the region’s aerospace. It’s just the latest in a multifaceted approach to expanding our footprint. “
RCBI ARC Award Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative Finalist
Meanwhile, the Appalachia Regional Commission has announced the RCBI as one of the finalists for the Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative, which will invest approximately $ 1 million in the education and training of highly skilled workers in Appalachia.
“We are honored to be one of the few finalists selected through the Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative, a partnership between the Appalachian Regional Commission and the National Institute of Energy Technology of the US Department of Energy.” Weber said. “RCBI has a long history of educating highly skilled, nationally certified welders and other manufacturing professionals needed by the industry to remain globally competitive. Money allows us to serve more companies faster and expand our ability to train additional individuals to do high-paying jobs at home. “
“The abundant energy resources extracted in the Appalachia region create a value chain that can create thousands of high-paying, high-skilled jobs for Appalachia workers, including advanced manufacturing technologies,” said the ARC Federation. Co-Chair Tim Thomas said. Release to announce RCBI as a finalist. “Some of these are good jobs in advanced welding, so ARC has partnered with the National Institute of Energy Technology to invest in programs to ensure that employees are prepared for this unique opportunity.”
“The future of the Appalachian energy and petrochemical industry depends on a skilled workforce. The DOE’s Fossil Energy Department has welded specialty metals and advanced manufacturing essential to the economic future of the Appalachian energy and petrochemical industry. We are proud to support AWWI, which provides training, “said Stephen Wimberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Petrochemical Energy, in a statement. ..
RCBI’s 2021 outlook is “strong”
Despite the pandemic, Weber states that the 2021 RCBI outlook is strong.
“We continue to provide a variety of services and training, as well as hands-on access to the advanced technologies that entrepreneurs and manufacturers need to thrive,” she said. “The machining and welding program has a large number of students enrolled and will soon be partnering with Marshall University and Mount West Community & Technical College to launch a new aircraft maintenance and technical program. It’s exciting not only for RCBI, but for the entire region as well. Each investment enhances RCBI’s ability to serve entrepreneurs and businesses, develops innovative new products, expands and grows. It is designed to help you find the skilled workforce you need. “
For more information on RCBI and its programs, please visit: www.rcbi.org..
RCBI continues to provide solutions to complex problems | Business
Source link RCBI continues to provide solutions to complex problems | Business