Polaris MEP, Chicago nonprofit open manufacturing job training center

ADONIS SUMMERVILLE, a Jane Addams Resource Corporation instructor, talks about his manufacturing career path at the opening of JARC's new Rhode Island workforce training center in Providence. / COURTESY CHRIS RAIA

PROVIDENCE Advanced manufacturing training sessions, job placement assistance, English language classes and financial coaching are a few resources now available to residents free of charge at a new workforce training center launched by Polaris MEP in partnership with a Chicago nonprofit.

The Jane Addams Resource Corporation and Polaris MEP, joined by city and state officials and manufacturing leaders, held a grand opening for the new JARC Rhode Island center on Friday morning at 50 Sims Ave.

JARC, which describes its mission as creating “pathways out of poverty,” was founded in 1985 and already has centers operating in Chicago and Baltimore. The nonprofit provides workforce development resources such as free skills training and other educational support services intended to help under-resourced Rhode Islanders compete for high-paying jobs.

The new center “will prepare the folks they serve for great jobs in our manufacturing sector and put them on a pathway to the middle class,” said Matt Weldon, R.I. Department of Labor and Training. “This is exactly what is needed to open doors for so many that have historically been on the outside looking in.”

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The Providence location is JARC’s third center, with centers already operating in Chicago and Baltimore. The organization, founded in 1985, draws its funding from government agencies, private foundations and corporations.

Funding for the Providence center comes from a mix of grants and charitable donations by Real Jobs Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Foundation, the Papitto Opportunity Connection, the Autodesk Foundation, LISC-Rhode Island, the R.I. Department of Human Services, Providence-Cranston Workforce Solutions, General Dynamics Electric Boat, the Haas Foundation, the Emma Harris Foundation and Mahr Inc.

R.I. Secretary of Commerce Elizabeth Tanner called the center’s opening “a significant milestone that is mutually beneficial for employers looking to grow in our state’s critical manufacturing sector, and for Rhode Islanders seeking opportunities to develop the skills they need to jumpstart their own careers.”

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

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