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Charleston, W.Va. - An ongoing survey conducted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) finds that West Virginia manufacturers are in the process of hiring more than 1,000 positions, the majority of which are new jobs. The survey further indicates a high demand for workers in specific areas, such as machining, CNC machining, and welding.

“We were pleased to uncover that our West Virginia manufacturers are hiring – with some companies reporting the need for up to 40 to 50 available new positions,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director and CEO. 

Derek Scarbro, Director of the Appalachian Hatchery, said, “RCBI will continue to monitor the state of hiring in West Virginia through its Appalachian Hatchery program, a POWER project, that has allowed RCBI to hire up to seven new outreach specialists who are visiting our manufacturers every day.”

Many of these job openings are listed on RCBI’s new Business-to-Business Marketplace – www.b2bwv.com, a free online networking tool for manufacturers and support companies to post information about their businesses’ products, services, capabilities, contract opportunities, equipment, and job openings. 

“In addition to new positions with companies that recently located or plan to locate in West Virginia, many existing companies are looking for qualified workers as they expand operations in West Virginia,” said Rebecca McPhail, President of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA). “With additional planned investment in the state’s manufacturing economy along with anticipated workforce retirements, we certainly expect this trend to continue.”

Weber said RCBI has developed a multi-pronged approach to identifying the workforce needs of state manufacturers, then rapidly training skilled workers to fill those needs.    

“RCBI staff members fan out across the state each day to assess the workforce needs of state companies, deliver customized training to meet these needs, and develop apprenticeships and recruit the next generation of workers to fill these in-demand manufacturing jobs,” Weber said. “In addition, we have expanded our career skills programs in Machinist Technology/CNC from two to four state locations and we expect to announce a third Welding Technology training facility later this year. Economic growth demands that we deliver the highly-skilled, just-in-time workforce that industrial expansion requires.” 

RCBI works with the state’s employers to offer a variety of training programs to meet today’s demanding workforce needs. “Both the WVMA and RCBI understand the need to continue to build the future workforce of the Mountain State,” said Scarbro. “The WVMA through its education foundation offers manufacturing exploring programs in West Virginia middle schools and RCBI through its MakerVault, 3D Printing Camps, Coding Camps, and West Virginia Makes Festival reaches more than 6,500 West Virginia youth each year. Both our organizations work in collaboration with the state’s manufacturers to prepare the next generation of manufacturin