Curtis Tate Published

Marshall To Build Workforce Training Center At ACF Site

A man wearing a suit and tie gestures to a small gathering of people on a warm summer day, surrounded by posters at an old industrial site.
Brandon Dennison, vice president of economic and workforce development at Marshall University, speaks about a new robotics and welding center on the site of the old ACF railcar factory in Huntington.
Curtis Tate / WVPB

State and local officials, as well as representatives from Marshall University, received a federal grant to redevelop an industrial site in Huntington Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program presented a $550,000 check to establish Marshall’s welding and robotics training center near the university’s campus.

The center will be built on the site of ACF Industries, which for decades built railcars and was one of the region’s largest employers.

The rails are still embedded in the concrete at the facility, but instead of building trains, it will now train a new workforce.

Brandon Dennison, Marshall’s vice president of economic and workforce development, said to expect more of these efforts. 

“We’re going to see very real, very tangible investments leading to good paying jobs and building the new Appalachian economy of the future,” he said.

Construction is set to begin early next year, with the center in operation in 2025.