J A N U A R Y--2 0 2 1
RCBI expands Medical Manufacturing Initiative
---RCBI has focused its efforts in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and mobilized a new Medical Manufacturing Initiative that will improve and enhance medical supply chains for West Virginia. 
---“The Covid-19 Pandemic exposed weaknesses in the national medical supply system,” said Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert. “I thank Governor Justice for directing CARES Act funding to make this new initiative a reality. The Governor’s leadership and vision will help facilitate the production of medical supplies in West Virginia now and far into the future.”
---New medical manufacturing equipment, capable of intricate precision and just-in-time production, is being deployed at RCBI’s Charleston and Huntington Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers.
Through the Medical Manufacturing Initiative, RCBI
will continue to work with the state’s medical schools, health care facilities, the West Virginia National Guard, health care entrepreneurs and private industry to solve manufacturing challenges during this unprecedented time while expanding the state’s medical manufacturing capabilities.
Aviation maintenance program lands $975,000 EDA award
---A $975,000 award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced this month is the latest major grant to support development of the region’s new Aviation Technology & Maintenance Program, a joint venture of Marshall University, Mountwest Community & Technical College and RCBI.
---The EDA award provides funding for tools and specialized teaching equipment needed to meet FAA certification requirements. These include piston and jet engine test beds, aircraft system and avionics trainers as well as required equipment for courses in structural sheet metal and composite materials.
---The program, to be located at Huntington Tri-State
Airport, will offer the first joint associate degree in West Virginia. In addition to FAA airframe and powerplant certifications, students enrolled in the 18-month training will earn associate of applied science degrees from Marshall and Mountwest.
RCBI joins with Mountwest
to create one-stop training hub
---Tri-State businesses and organizations will gain expanded access to affordable customized training and professional development services close to home through a new partnership between the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University and Mountwest Community & Technical College.
---Expert instructors from RCBI and Mountwest will deliver training in such areas as business, education, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, transportation and other sectors through the one-stop initiative. RCBI’s team of outreach specialists will engage directly with businesses and organizations across the region to assess their training needs and connect them to the resources needed to help boost employee performance, improve efficiency, save time and money, and achieve certifications needed to grow
their businesses and pursue new contracting opportunities.
---“Our program is unique in that it establishes a centralized hub to coordinate training to all departments of an organization, from the business office to the machine shop floor,” said Carol Howerton, RCBI senior strategic advisor for workforce development.
S U C C E S S--S T O R Y
RCBI helps Weyerhaeuser
meet workforce challenges
---A major West Virginia manufacturer found a solution to its workforce needs through a national apprenticeship initiative at RCBI.
---Weyerhaeuser, a leading U.S. manufacturer of wood products, launched an apprenticeship program for industrial maintenance mechanics at its Sutton facility through RCBI’s Apprenticeship Works program. 
---Prior to starting the apprenticeship program, Weyerhaeuser struggled to find people to fill
maintenance positions, which are critical to the operation, said Brandy Rollyson, human resources manager.
---“We tried to find innovative ways to train from within,” she said. “We developed a small in-house program, but it wasn’t meeting the mark. Then we were lucky enough to work with RCBI and develop the apprenticeship program with six of our employees.”
Entrepreneurs, don't miss this chance to Meet the Investors
---As part of National Entrepreneurship Week, RCBI is joining with the Appalachian Investors Alliance (AIA) to present “Meet the Investors,” a free webinar Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. to help entrepreneurs and small business owners better understand how to attract investment in their ideas or businesses.
---Representatives from AIA will explain where to find potential investors and offer advice on how to develop a bulletproof plan that attracts the attention of investors. They also will share information about what investors want from you and what control they have over your idea and the direction of your business. Finally, they will explain why investors are not out to steal your idea and ways you can protect
yourself from intellectual property theft. Participants also will get the chance to ask questions.
---Register for the interactive webinar at www.rcbi.org/go/investors.
---For more information, contact Tyler Brandstetter, RCBI director of entrepreneur services at brandstetter@rcbi.org or 304.781.1681.
Ag students must submit
innovation videos by Feb. 15
---Students in grades seven through 12 are eligible to compete for cash prizes including a $500 grand prize through the fourth-annual Student Ag Innovation Challenge. RCBI and a statewide group of partners conduct the Challenge to encourage problem-solving and innovation among West Virginia students interested in agriculture.
--The competition emphasizes solving an agriculture issue in one of six focus areas: agribusiness systems; animal systems; environmental and natural resources management; food products and processing systems; plant systems; and power, structural and technical systems.
---Students must submit videos explaining their
---innovations by Feb. 15. Winners will be announced February 24 during a live virtual event.
---For details and registration, click here.
SBIR/STTR Bootcamp highlights
research funding opportunities
---Do you have an innovative, significant technology with commercial potential? Are you interested in applying for an SBIR or STTR research grant offered through 11 federal agencies?
---Join a free online bootcamp Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. to learn more about the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which are sources of non-dilutive, early-stage funding for small businesses and researchers.
---The webinar will cover:
  • What is involved in developing a concept
  • How to identify the right funding opportunities
  • Tips for preparing an SBIR-STTR grant
  • What it takes to be competitive and savvy in developing an application
  • How to navigate the registration process
---To register, click here.
---The event is hosted by TechConnectWV in partnership with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.
---Contact TechConnectWV's Anne Barth at anne@techconnectwv.org for more information.
I M P O R T A N T---D A T E S
Feb. 2: Everything You Need to Know on Applying for a PPP Loan. Virtual seminar sponsored by the W.Va. District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Noon-1 p.m. More information
Feb. 2: Get the 411 on PPP Loan Forgiveness. Virtual seminar sponsored by the W.Va. District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 2-3 p.m. More information
Feb. 4: SBIR/STTR Boot Camp sponsored by TechConnectWV & the WV Small Business Development Center. Online, 3 p.m. More information
Feb. 9: Get the 411 on PPP Loan Forgiveness. Virtual seminar sponsored by the W.Va. District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 2-3 p.m. More information
Feb. 15: Deadline for entries, WV Student Ag Innovation Challenge. More information
Feb. 16: Meet the Investors webinar sponsored by RCBI and Appalachian Investors Alliance. 2 p.m. More information
Feb. 16: The Ins and Outs of Financing Your Small Business. Virtual webinar sponsored by the W.Va. Women's Business Center. Noon-1 p.m. More information
Feb. 16-17: W.Va. Legislative Conference (virtual), sponsored by the W.Va. Economic Development Council, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day. More information
Feb. 24: Ag Innovation Showcase. Live virtual event sponsored by RCBI, Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College, West Virginia Department of Agriculture & West Virginia Department of Education.
10-11:45 a.m. More information
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