RCBI creates robotics workforce training program to meet needs of 21st Century manufacturing
CHARLESTON — FANUC Robotics America Inc. Tuesday (April 30) unveiled details of a Certified Education Robot Training Program during announcement of a new partnership with the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI).
During Tuesday’s event at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Charlesotn, FANUC showcased the industrial robots that manufacturers use. Officials said workers across West Virginia and the region will be trained to use them thanks to the new partnership between RCBI and the FANUC Robotics, explaining that continuing to develop the skilled, high-paying workforce that industry increasingly demands is at the heart of a new partnership between RCBI and the FANUC Robotics.
“The way for the United States to stem the tide of jobs lost overseas, and to restore its economy, is by investing in manufacturing technologies that make U.S. companies more competitive in the world market,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI’s Director & CEO. “Unfortunately, our nation is suffering from what has been called the ‘skills gap,’ where there are more high-tech jobs available than workers trained to do those jobs. The partnership between RCBI and the FANUC Robotics’ Certified Education Robot Training (CERT) program will produce certified individuals with the skills necessary to advance West Virginia’s high-tech workforce.”
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and representatives for Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Joe Manchin also participated in the announcement.
“In order for our country to maintain its competitive edge, we must make sure that we align the training our workers receive today with the jobs that will be available tomorrow,” Rockefeller said. “I am so pleased with RCBI’s new initiative; it’s exactly what I’ve been advocating for years. Rebuilding our economy and boosting high-tech manufacturing in West Virginia requires out-of-the-box ideas, and RCBI’s robotics program can help transform our workforce just as technology is transforming the way we make products and deliver services.”
“Enhancing our manufacturing technologies is critical for both our workforce and industry,” Manchin said. “West Virginians are the hardest working people and they can compete with any workforce in the world. They deserve the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing and FANUC Robotics America Inc. are providing vital support and training to West Virginians through this important investment.”
Advanced Manufacturing Software by SolidWorks and Mastercam was demonstrated at the event as well. Officials from Gestamp and Toyota talked about the value of workers trained in the robotics field, and Karen Price of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association noted that workers need to be properly prepared to fill jobs such as these that are being created in the state.
“Our member companies have a growing need for skilled workers, and this program will help prepare West Virginians to fill those slots,” Price said. “We appreciate RCBI and FANUC taking a leadership role in ‘reshoring’ manufacturing jobs to our country and our state.”
Launched in 2008, FANUC Robotics’ CERT program certifies instructors to train their students to program and operate FANUC robots through on-line and hands-on training courses. Graduates will start their careers with industry-recognized certifications.
“Skilled operators of industrial robots will set themselves apart in the work force,” Weber said. “RCBI is pleased to establish this partnership with FANUC Robotics as part of our continuing effort to deliver high quality, high technology, industry-recognized certification programs to more West Virginians.”
For more information on the robotics program or other training opportunities available at RCBI call 800.469.RCBI (7224).
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