Women wanted for tuition free career training

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

HUNTINGTON — The Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Program is accepting applications for its winter 2019 class. West Virginia Women Work, a nonprofit with over 15 years’ experience placing women in industrial careers, runs the program.

Students in the program pay nothing, but they get three months of hands-on manufacturing training and instruction in manufacturing blueprint reading, shop math, precision measurement, and general career skills.

The class also goes on field trips to local manufacturers, including Vertiv in Ironton, Sogefi in Prichard, and Level 1 Fasteners in Huntington.

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Recent guest speakers to the program include graduates who have gone on to work at Special Metals, Todd Motz of the Insulators Union, and Rachel Houston of the United Way.

Program Coordinator Melinda Perron teaches career soft skills and offers case management to the students. “I’ve watched women in the class go from shy, quiet, and defeated to enthusiastic leaders. We have women of all ages and all backgrounds. As long as someone has reliable transportation, a good work ethic, and physical stamina, they can apply. Graduates can expect to work 40-plus hours per week and will likely need to lift 40 or 50 pounds.”

Perron notes that the winter 2019 class will take place from Jan. 7, 2019 to March 22, 2019 every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. The program runs out of the Robert C. Byrd Institute in Huntington. RCBI also supplies classroom space, instructors, and materials for the program.

The average student is between 25 and 50 years old. Many have children. Some have recently completed their GED while others hold four-year degrees. Anyone interested in applying for the program should call Melinda at 304-528-9991 or go online to wvwomenwork.org/stepupamp.

This program is run by West Virginia Women Work, a 501c3 nonprofit, in partnership with the Robert C. Byrd Institute. Women of color and veterans highly encouraged to apply.