CCRI, North Kingstown High School partner for early manufacturing career development

A PARTNERSHIP launched this fall between the Community College of Rhode Island and North Kingstown High School allows students to get an early start on careers in manufacturing and design. / COURTESY CCRI

NORTH KINGSTOWN Through a new partnership between the Community College of Rhode Island and North Kingstown High School, 11 high school students are getting an early start on pursuing a career in advanced manufacturing.

The program, launched earlier this fall, allows high school students to complete an 18-credit certificate program in manufacturing and design, alongside general education courses offered under a CCRI pre-associate program.

Participating students complete the program during their junior and senior years of high school, attending courses once a week at CCRI’s Warwick Campus for the duration of a regular school day.

While colleges and universities have long partnered with high schools for early education programs, the partnership stands out for its focus on manufacturing, said Matthew Rieger, chairman of the Department of Physics and Engineering at CCRI and co-developer of the program.

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“This program is a unique opportunity for students to earn a certificate,” Rieger said in a statement, “and the potential to get a head start on earning an associate degree that will provide them the skills to be competitive in the CNC manufacturing labor market in both our state and the surrounding region.”
Sandra Nolan, director of concurrent enrollment, and Barbara Nauman, dean of business, science, technology and mathematics at CCRI, also co-developed the program.
Nolan described the courses, taught by CCRI engineering professor Ray Ankrom, as “very hands-on right away.”
She added, “Students begin learning the basics of machining and as they move further along, they learn more about automated machining, how to draw parts, how to feed the drawing into a machine, and then run the machine. It’s a very detailed and technical process.”

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at

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