PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today spoke about the importance of creating a new economy in Rhode Island filled with high-skill, high-wage jobs near the future site of the Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center. She was joined by Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere, Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro, CCRI President Dr. Meghan Hughes, Cabinet Directors, and members of the Westerly community.
"Our priority must be expanding opportunities for Rhode Islanders to build the skills they need to get good-paying jobs," Raimondo said. "CCRI working with community leaders, state agencies, and companies like Electric Boat is exactly what we need to jumpstart our economy. I am grateful to the Westerly community for coming together to provide this resource."
The center was created through a partnership that includes CCRI and local business leaders. This 17-classroom facility will accommodate up to 1,000 students a year. The center will be dedicated to enrolling and training high-skill, high-wage workers in maritime pipefitting, maritime sheet metal, and carpentry. Electric Boat is working closely with CCRI to develop the curriculum. The project received a brownfields grant of $712,000 from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and a ceremonial check presentation took place at the event.
"I am pleased to see that the years of work that have gone into this are coming to fruition," Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere said. "One of our top priorities in this state has been to find a way for people to learn the skills they need to find jobs in specialized industries. This new campus and program will give high school students who are not interested in a four-year college education an avenue to become trained in high-skill, high-paying jobs at companies like Electric Boat. The community is fortunate to have Charles Royce as a major contributor to this project."
"This a great day for Westerly and for our state's future," Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro said. "This center will help prepare our residents for good-paying jobs at companies like Electric Boat, while also bringing a strong sense of vibrancy to our downtown revitalization efforts. We need to celebrate this innovative public-private partnership, and I am proud to have played a role by bringing the need for such a facility to the attention of a wonderful philanthropist like Charles Royce."
"The 17-classroom capacity, in addition to the Job Skills Center, are designed to accommodate the traditional programs of CCRI at this satellite location," philanthropist Charles Royce said. "Community colleges are the backbone of American higher education. Placing this facility so that it overlooks and enhances the ongoing downtown Westerly revitalization efforts is critical."
"Electric Boat is proud to play a part in this innovative effort to shape Rhode Island's future manufacturing workforce," Electric Boat Vice President of Human Resources and Administration Maura Dunn said. "In a very real way, this program enables Electric Boat to invest in the future talent of the company, while significantly enhancing the career potential of its participants and contributing to the economic growth of Rhode Island."