Member News

Small WV manufacturer lands big-time defense contract with Northrop Grumman

November 9, 2022

Defense and aerospace industry leader Northrop Grumman is creating opportunities for small manufacturers, including veteran-owned and disadvantaged businesses in West Virginia and surrounding areas.

Representatives from Northrop Grumman recently participated in a Small Business Outreach Expo organized by the AIM Higher Consortium, a U.S. Department of Defense-funded initiative to connect manufacturers in the region to the military supply chain.

Tad Robinette, owner of Liberty Hill Company, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business in Huntington, is the first small manufacturer in West Virginia to be awarded a Northrop Grumman contract as a result of the expo. He secured a deal to manufacture weapons system components for Northrop Grumman’s facility at Rocket Center in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

“The Small Business Outreach Expo was pivotal in educating Liberty Hill in the requirements needed to become a supplier,” said Derek Scarbro, deputy director of Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), which is a member of the AIM Higher Consortium. “Following the expo, RCBI worked with Tad to complete new supplier documents quickly and secure the contract.”

Robinette is relatively new to manufacturing. He was introduced to computer-numerical-control (CNC) machining 18 months ago as part of a free RCBI apprenticeship program for military veterans, which he followed up with more advanced machinist training at RCBI. That spurred him to start his own business, which he has scaled by leveraging the shared manufacturing technology available at RCBI. Most impressively, Scarbro said, Liberty Hill quickly established all 110 controls of the NIST 800-171 requirements, a key cyber security compliance measure required by defense contractors.

“Northrop Grumman understands the importance of working with small diverse businesses and continues to grow the defense industrial base and increase the military supply chain right here in the Mountain State,” said Adrienne Royce, a supply chain manager at Northrop Grumman.

Liberty Hill is committed to demonstrating the ability of the emerging company to deliver on its commitment to provide precise, high-quality parts consistently and on time.

“I feel honored that Northrop Grumman took a chance on a small West Virginia company like mine,” Robinette explained. “I realize that I have to prove myself, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.”

RCBI upgrades manufacturing technology in South Charleston, Huntington

November 9, 2022

RCBI is expanding technological and training capabilities with equipment upgrades to its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Huntington and South Charleston.

Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is one of the most popular manufacturing technologies available for leased used at RCBI Huntington. Now clients in a variety of industries, from aerospace to mining, have access to a brand-new Mitsubishi EDM unit that is not only faster and more efficient but has a larger work envelope and more taper capacity to cut at greater angles. EDMs use pulses of electricity to cut and sculpt highly accurate, complex parts from electrically conductive materials such as metal.

The EDM also will be used to train CNC machinists through RCBI’s career skills, fast-track and customized training programs. It replaces an older, slower and less efficient machine. RCBI purchased the Mitsubishi through a partnership with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, part of a U.S. Department of Defense initiative to ensure a strong national defense by guaranteeing a highly skilled manufacturing workforce.

New 3DP Technology
RCBI has been at the forefront of 3D-printing technology for nearly 20 years, offering an array of printers that produce parts in plastics, resins and even metals. RCBI’s Fortus 950mc 3D printer in South Charleston is one of the largest – if not the largest – 3D printers in West Virginia, with a build area of 36”x24”x36”. Technicians just completed a $30,000-plus overhaul and upgrade of the 950, RCBI’s most heavily used commercial-grade printer.

The Fortus 950 is particularly popular with companies in the automotive and energy sectors as a go-to way to produce parts that are high-strength and withstand high temperatures, especially items such as fasteners, jigs, tooling and assembly fixtures. It is capable of printing with a variety of polymers, including super-strong ULTEM. After the upgrade, the machine also will print with Nylon 12 carbon fiber. The material is extremely strong and stiff, making it ideal for producing tools, prototypes and production parts. In some instances, it’s a suitable substitute for metals because of its light weight, rigidity and strength.

“Both the new EDM and the 3D printer upgrade expands our capabilities to better serve industry,” said Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director. “The 950 is a workhorse that often operates night and day to meet the pressing needs of some of West Virginia’s leading manufacturers.

RCBI is committed to remaining at the forefront of technological advances,” Scarbro said. “This ensures that manufacturers in West Virginia and beyond have access to tools and expertise to innovate and grow, and it enables us to develop the highly skilled workforce manufacturers require to compete successfully in a 21st century global economy.

To learn more about the full line of technology available at RCBI, visit or contact Eddie Webb, director of manufacturing services, at or 304.720.7738.

Future of Nursing WV Action Coalition (FONWV) to hold Grand Opening Ceremony

August 24, 2022

Charleston: The Future of Nursing WV Action Coalition (FONWV) will hold a grand opening ceremony for the Aila Accad Center for Nurse Entrepreneurship on Saturday, September 24 at 12 PM at the Center, located at 110 Association Drive in the Northgate Business Park in Charleston.

Accad, the former Executive Director for the FONWV, envisioned an entrepreneur hub when she and other business owners created a pilot program to teach nurses business skills. The Center is an outgrowth of that very successful program, providing training and support, 1:1 coaching and mentoring, educational resources, and networking. New and experienced entrepreneurs connect and offer advice. The Center is the only business development program in the nation that is entirely focused on supporting the nurse entrepreneur. Nurse-owned business are located across the state, many in rural communities, creating economic impact, jobs, and increasing access to nursing care.

Accad passed away in September 2021 due to ovarian cancer.

“Less than 1 percent of working nurses are business owners, even though nurses are proven problem solvers and have excellent ideas for improving care. This Center will unleash the potential of nurses to be entrepreneurs by giving them the tools, support, and mentors to become successful business owners who are dedicated to improving health” said Laure Marino, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, Project Lead for the Center.

The FONWV Entrepreneur Project was started in 2018 with seed money from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. In its first three years, 50 nurses completed the program, with 40 % opening businesses. Today, the Center for Nurse Entrepreneurship is supported by local and federal partners including The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, The Claude Benedum Foundation, The US Economic Development Administration, The Appalachian Regional Commission, The Small Business Development Center, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP.

Laure Marino


Security America Celebrates 40 Years of Business

June 16, 2022

Charleston, W. Va. — Security America, Inc., the largest security officer company in West Virginia, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. 

Security America celebrated the milestone with employees, clients and vendors at a Founder’s Day Picnic earlier this month at Little Creek Park. 

“Security America is ecstatic to achieve this great milestone and we want to thank our hardworking security officers, staff, clients, board and vendors for the excellent reputation we’ve earned during our 40 years, said Chris Signorelli, CEO and president of Security America.

“We pride ourselves in treating everyone like family.  These values were instilled in the company from our founder and my father, T. William Signorelli.”

Security America is a leading loss-prevention company providing uniformed security officers, security consulting, and investigating services to various industries and businesses in a multi-state area.

The company was founded in Charleston, W.Va. in 1982 by T. William Signorelli, chairman of the board.  Both T. William Signorelli and Chris Signorelli, are Certified Protection Professionals (CPPs).  The company maintains its corporate office in Charleston and has branch offices in Pittsburgh and Columbus.  For more information, visit our website:

Chelsea Shamblin, Security America’s Marketing Coordinator

HQ: Charleston, WV:304-925-4747 Ext. 201, Toll Free: 888-832-6732


May 3, 2022 – Through a new partnership with the Charleston Area Alliance, CRW is teaming up with business leaders from all sectors, including government, tourism, technology, chemicals, banking, law, and education, to form an Air Service Working Group. The working group will come up with a strategic plan and goals to retain and attract additional airline service to CRW through minimum revenue guarantees and incentives.

Airports across the nation compete for air service development, and airlines consider many factors when investing in markets. One of which is business community support. Data collected from the coalition helps send a strong message to airlines that the business community is engaged in air service needs in our region.

West Virginia International Yeager Airport is not just an airport. We are a gateway to business growth, experiences, connections, and the world, which has powered CRW to continue pushing for additional air service.

Aircraft operations far exceed pre-pandemic levels, with a 15% increase in operations. People are starting to feel comfortable traveling again for business and leisure, and CRW wants to capitalize on this.

“We want to preserve and increase our connectivity to thrive. Thriving air travel is vital for the business community, particularly those looking to relocate or expand,” said Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller. “CRW has an annual economic impact of $225 million and supports almost 3.000 jobs. This impact puts us in a position to help lead West Virginia’s economic recovery.”

Being in the Capital city, CRW plays a vital economic role in business. Connectivity for their clients and employees is crucial when companies look to relocate.

“We understand that air travel is vital to our community and the business community. In addition, living near a well-connected airport is important to people,” said President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance, Nicole Christian. “The Alliance is pleased to partner with CRW to help the airports efforts to market the region’s assets and promote future services.”

The air service working group is excited to work together to help the airport’s efforts to market the region’s assets and retain and grow air service.

Members of the working group include:

Michael J Basile, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC
Tim Brady, Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Fonda Elliot, Commercial Holdings
Georgette George, Monarch/Ridgeline Properties
Steven Hedrick, MATRIC Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center
Shannon Huber, Dow, Inc.
Mike McCown, Industrial Bolting Technologies, Inc.
Chris Morris, Citynet
Marcus Phillips, Kureha PGA, LLC
Jack Rossi, Summit Community Bank
Jeff Sandene, Charleston Area Medical Center
Lance Wheeler, Kanawha County Commission
Aaron Sporck, Huntington National Bank
Moore Capito, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir, P.C.
Matt Sutton, City of Charleston
Nicole Christian, Charleston Area Alliance
Nick Keller, West Virginia International Yeager Airport
Dominique Ranieri, West Virginia International Yeager Airport
Charles Dusic, West Virginia Regional Technology Park Corp.
Ellen Cappellanti, Jackson Kelly, PLLC

RCBI workshops to focus on lean practices, leadership skills

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) is partnering with the Lean Enterprise Institute to offer two workshops to help manufacturers implement a lean process for product development and execute a focused strategy for accomplishing company objectives.
Designing the Future Remotely: A Lean Product Development Immersive Learning Experience. This live online event will run 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. May 9-13.
Participants will learn to focus and work as a team to gain a deep understanding of what customers want, then develop efficient and effective processes to consistently create and deliver exceptional products and services. Some effective tools that often are used to undertake this approach include initial concept papers as well as charts and graphs in a war room or “big room” setting, which is the meaning of the often-used Japanese term “obeya.”
“This workshop is ideal for individuals involved in all phases of product development, continuous improvement as well as managers and other company leaders,” said Erica Cheetham, RCBI director of Quality Services.
Apply for this free workshop at
Aligning and Executing on Your Company Objectives: The Hoshin Kanri Method. This in-person workshop will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day June 8-9 at RCBI Huntington.
Participants will learn to engage all levels of an organization in developing and deploying an effective approach for achieving annual objectives while tracking progress using the Hoshin Kanri strategy. Through immersive simulations of situations likely to be encountered in the business world, they will debate, reach consensus, then make decisions that align with an overall mission.
“This course is an excellent opportunity for company executives and managers to develop and hone their leadership skills, particularly for business leaders who experienced or still face disruptions to operations, such as continuing impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic or downturns in industries such as mining,” Cheetham said.
Apply for this free workshop at
Seating for both workshops is limited. Preference will be given to West Virginia manufacturers. The workshops are presented by RCBI’s EDA University Center. For more information, contact Cheetham at or 304.781.1687.

West Virginia Inventors Society to launch April 21

Inventors from across the Mountain State will gather this spring in South Charleston for an inaugural meeting of the minds.
March 23, 2022

The West Virginia Inventors Society (WVIS) will launch April 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park. The brainchild of businessmen and entrepreneurs Linwood Hamilton and Brian Joseph, WVIS will provide a forum for inventors at all stages of the development process to network, evaluate each other’s ideas, connect to entrepreneurial resources and potentially secure investors.

“Not only do we want to invite seasoned inventors to participate, but anyone who has an idea for an invention that they’d like to vet,” Hamilton explained. “We also welcome service providers, intellectual property experts, community lenders, angel investors and others who can help move ideas from concept to commercialization.”

The event will be hosted by the Tech Park, the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University and West Virginia Executive magazine.

“We at RCBI are excited to be involved in the creation of the West Virginia Inventors Society,” said Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director. “Our clients, many of whom are inventors and entrepreneurs, frequently mention the need for such a group, one in which like-minded individuals can interact, brainstorm and share best practices. This is another important way for us to support product development and innovation in West Virginia.”

To attend the free WVIS kickoff, please register at For more information, contact Scarbro at 304-781-1684.

MATRIC to Establish First and Only National Center of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Process Design

Onshoring this capability will enable faster pharma response times, fewer supply chain disruptions

March 2, 2022

The Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC®) today announced it will establish the Center of Excellence (CoE) for process design, defining a new standardized process development framework to streamline chemical manufacturing processes from laboratory bench through to commercial production.  The initial projects will develop continuous processes for critical materials for the pharmaceutical industry currently substantially produced overseas. These new capabilities will be established as a result of the Department of Commerce’s recent Rapid Assistance (for) Coronavirus Economic Response (RACER) grant to the RAPID Manufacturing Institute, of which MATRIC is a sub-awardee.

MATRIC—applying its unique infrastructure and subject matter expertise—will lead the specialty chemical manufacturing industry with this Center of Excellence focused on accelerated process design through modular processing. Onshoring the capability to move critical pharmaceutical material manufacturing processes from concept to commercial products will enable faster response times and fewer supply chain disruptions for the Nation.

“Today, the U.S. doesn’t have the manufacturing capability to produce some key raw materials and intermediates at scale to support our pharmaceutical industry and needs,” said MATRIC Chairman & CEO Steven B. Hedrick. “The COVID pandemic and the current global supply chain issues have taught us the importance of supply chain stability and security, and this starts with critical raw materials produced domestically, distributed with purpose, and efficiently accessed.”

“At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we struggled to get our families and front-line healthcare workers access to necessary PPE, disinfectants and other critical equipment. I applaud MATRIC for making this exciting investment and establishing the Center for Excellence right here in West Virginia. Their broad-based chemical technology expertise will also help improve domestic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing, at a time when onshoring our pharmaceutical supply chain is critical,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). “West Virginia’s strategic location and MATRIC’s unique skillset will play a critical role in ensuring healthcare professionals across the country can quickly and efficiently get the equipment they need to safely do their jobs.”


MATRIC is a sub-awardee of the RACER grant from the Department of Commerce to the RAPID® Manufacturing Institute (RAPID). MATRIC will collaborate with RAPID, the project leader, and with partners at Teich Process Development and Procegence.

“Through its partnership with RAPID, Teich and Procegence, MATRIC’s Center of Excellence avails our economy with choices. Choices like this afford the opportunity to source from Americans for Americans, or to selectively buy from overseas, at their discretion,” said RAPID Executive Director & Chief Technology Officer Ignasi Palou-Rivera. “Just on the horizon, the most important raw materials and intermediates for pharma will again be made available inside the United States and not be locked down by a relatively inelastic supply chain originating in nations with substantial government control.”


MATRIC is headquartered in South Charleston, W.Va., at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park (WVRTP), a location with a rich history in innovation and technical expertise. Establishing MATRIC’s CoE at WVRTP will build a new manufacturing capability and capacity in the Appalachia region which, in turn, creates jobs that are not significantly different than historic, nationally important roles in mining and steel.

“We are pleased for MATRIC, RAPID and their partners to onshore this much needed capability. Employing Americans to develop processes to help other Americans, while decreasing the energy intensity that is required in batch processing, is something we are excited to lead,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said. “Retraining and upskilling workers to operate modular specialty chemical plants takes some time, but it builds on the existing operator and technician programs that are available locally.”

RACER grants are awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce to high-impact projects designed to fund awards for research, development, and testbeds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.


MATRIC is the strategic innovation partner of choice that provides uncommon expertise and infrastructure to solve the most challenging science and technology problems. Focusing on the areas of chemical, energy and environmental technologies, technical engineering and advanced software technologies, MATRIC delivers innovation from concept to commercialization. We utilize our experienced and renowned staff, unique laboratory and pilot plant facilities, and flexible intellectual property models to create value for customers and investors around the world. We are an energized and expanding company that works from facilities in South Charleston and Morgantown, W.Va.

About RAPID® Manufacturing Institute:

RAPID serves as a nexus between process innovation, economic development, and job creation. The technology development and educational programming we sponsor will increase energy and operational efficiencies, enhance productivity, and improve sustainability, making U.S. manufacturing in the chemical process industries (CPI) more competitive in the global market and developing the next generation workforce for these industries.

Media Contact:
Katie Regan
(304) 720.8612 x9850

West Virginia International Yeager Airport Unveils New Branding

February 23, 2022

On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) unveiled its new brand, showcasing our story of transformation while maintaining our roots through our new tagline, “It starts at home.”

In developing the new logo, CRW wanted to balance our history with our vision for aviation in West Virginia. Our new logo acknowledges the Airport’s physical location and our state’s nickname, The Mountain State, as portrayed with imagery in the logo.

While the logo has changed, CRW’s mission to become the state’s most important economic engine has not; that is represented by the curved line touching the mountain and arching into the sky to define a flight path as we make advances in aviation and education.

Even as our name has changed over the years from Kanawha Airport to Yeager Airport to West Virginia International Yeager Airport, CRW, our airport code, will always remain the same. Every detail of who we are is represented, down to the detail of the font used for CRW, visually communicating our forward momentum.

“Our new brand is indicative of the vision we have for CRW’s future as it encompasses our continued commitment to West Virginia,” Airport Director & CEO Nick Keller. “As we accelerate the forward momentum, we realized our brand needed to evolve and match the responsibility we have to become the largest economic engine in the state.”

When designing this logo, CRW contracted with the Vela Agency, knowing they would take on the big challenge with creativity and a thorough understanding of who we are.

Customers will see a completely redesigned look beginning with CRW’s website and social media platforms.

Contact: Rachel Urbanski, Public Affairs Specialist (304) 344-8033