December 4, 2022
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Marshall University Program Trains Former Convicts for a Career in Manufacturing

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Manufaturing training

RecoveryWorksWV, a program at the Robert C. Byrd Institute at West Virginia’s Marshall University, is offering manufacturing training to formerly incarcerated citizens. The course, available to men and women aged 18 and older in West Virginia, southeastern Ohio, and eastern Kentucky, specifically targets individuals affected by the opioid epidemic. 

In addition to entry-level machinist training and on-the-job experience at local facilities, the 15-week course also features instruction on job interview preparation, resume writing, money management, and peer counseling support for substance abuse. Mike Friel, the RCBI’s director of communications, said the program attempts to connect students to “earn and learn” apprenticeships. RecoveryWorksWV provides an $8 per hour stipend for shop time. 

“We want participants to be successful,” Friel said. Friel added that the program works to remove the stigma that prevents manufacturers from hiring citizens with criminal backgrounds. 

RCBI partnered with Marshall’s Creating Opportunities for Recovery Employment to help recruit participants. Prospective members can find an application and program information at rcbi.org. Class orientation is scheduled for June 10 and 11, 2023. RecoveryWorksWV also worked with Manpower and Catholic Charities West Virginia and received support from the Texas-based Bernard & Audre Rapoport Foundation. 

Image Credit: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock.com

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