Robert C. Byrd Institute launches Composite Technician Apprenticeship program

In partnership with IACMI, the new program will provide composites manufacturing training for a variety of industries.
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IACMI Scale-Up Research Facility for composites manufacturing training

IACMI hosts workforce training workshops and events at its Scale-Up Research Facility (SURF) to introduce individuals to materials and processes in the composites industry and to train an adaptable composites industry workforce. SURF is the only location in North America with a 4,000-ton Schuler compression molding press that is available to industry for R&D testing. Source | IACMI


The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI, Huntington, W.Va., U.S.) has announced the creation of a new apprenticeship training program for composite technicians, that was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Introduced by Lucinda Curry, workforce director at RCBI, at an Aug. 21 meeting of the Composites Coalition in Chattanooga, Tenn., U.S., the Composite Technician Apprenticeship program is designed to prepare individuals for composites manufacturing work in industries including aerospace and automotive. Individuals will be trained to perform tasks such as fabrication, assembly, preparation, finishing and repair. 

manufacturing apprenticeship training

Apprenticeship Works and its partners extend apprenticeship programs nationally in a variety of advanced manufacturing fields. Source | RCBI

For this program, Apprenticeship Works, RCBI’s National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Partnership (NAMAP), has partnered with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI, Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.) and its members and industry partners on the vetting of on-the-job competencies and related technical instruction to create a program to upskill employees on the use of composite materials and processes.

“IACMI is dedicated to building the workforce of tomorrow,” says Joannie Harmon Heath, workforce manager of IACMI. “The apprenticeship program is critical to ensuring we’re able to support the need for a skilled workforce through collaboration and industry support, while providing diverse opportunities in the advanced manufacturing and composites fields.”

“Manufacturers across the country are struggling to fill their skilled positions,” says Curry. “We work with companies in a number of states to design apprenticeship programs that meet their specific needs. Our clients cite many benefits to registered apprenticeship programs, including improved hiring, training and retention.”

Apprenticeship Works is supported by an American Apprenticeship Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Manufacturers in 18 states have partnered with Apprenticeship Works to launch apprenticeship programs in 20 different advanced manufacturing occupations.