PROVIDENCE – Thirteen students have completed the Community College of Rhode Island’s inaugural Youth Summer Boatbuilding class.
In cooperation with Westerly Education Center and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, a graduation ceremony was held at Ninigret Park in Charlestown last month, according to a CCRI news release.
The program was a collaboration of the college and the trades association, modeled after a RIMTA-designed workforce-training initiative from 2015. The five-week program is designed to introduce 14- to 16-year-olds to the boating industry with career exploration, skills development and job-readiness services, according to CCRI.
“Students in this program learn a number of important trades, from reading blueprints to using tools safely and properly, and … graduate with a new set of hands-on skills as they prepare to continue or begin their high school education,” said CCRI Vice President of Workforce Partnership Julian L. Alssid.
The trades association works to collaborate with educators and cultivate a skilled workforce. With support from Real Jobs Rhode Island, the program has expanded to include workshops in Bristol, Newport and North Providence.
Founded in 2017, the public-private Westerly Education Center is designed to provide educational programs that meet the needs of projected workforce growth.
“It’s our hope that programs [such as] this one will ignite passion among [youths] to learn more and consider careers in the marine trades,” said Westerly Education Center Executive Director Amy Grzybowski. “This industry is critical to the Ocean State.”
Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.
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