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

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - Students in the West Virginia National Guard's Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy Job ChalleNGe are learning in-demand industry skills thanks to the academy's new partnership with the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University.

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 1/2 and 20 years old and interested in entering the state's manufacturing workforce.

Classes currently are offered at the RCBI 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. RCBI will continue to deliver the instruction.

Participants in the Manufacturing Technology Program learn how to set up, program and operate CNC (computer numerical control) machines 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, according to RCBI. They also will be eligible to enroll in RCBI'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.

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