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BRIDGEPORT – The West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy Job ChalleNGe students are learning in-demand industry skills as part of a new partnership between the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University and the Academy.

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-a-half and 20 years old and interested in entering the West Virginia manufacturing workforce.

Classes currently are offered at RCBI’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 at Camp Dawson in Kingwood. RCBI 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 RCBI’s Apprenticeship Works program,” said Lucinda Curry, director of workforce development at RCBI.

Participants in the Manufacturing Technology Program learn how to set up, program and operate Computer Numerical Control machines, which are widely 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 RCBI’s two year machinist technology and CNC program, offered at four locations across the state, which can lead to a two year associate degree and national certifications.

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