Four local students are participating in Defense industry internships through The Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance’s Real Jobs RI Partnership grant.  These paid internships for undergraduate and graduate-level students from Rhode Island colleges and universities focus on learning and gaining experience in information technology and cybersecurity, and undersea technology and engineering.

“SENEDIA’s internship program not only prepares Rhode Island’s youth to work in the defense industry, but it ensures that our next generation will be able to lead innovation like never before,” said Molly Magee, Executive Director of SENEDIA.  “Through Real Jobs RI, SENEDIA and its partners have expanded a great program.”

Participants from Newport County are:

-Justin Michael Watkins of Middletown, a student at Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) interning at SEA Corporation;

-Tanner Dawson of Portsmouth, a student at CCRI interning at ATC Tech ;

-Chelsea Hewitt of Portsmouth, a Salve Regina alumna, interning at American Systems, and;

-Andrew Enos of Tiverton, a student at Roger Williams, who interned at McLaughlin Research Corporation.

The students have been placed with SENEDIA member companies, State agencies or other Rhode Island businesses with either IT/cybersecurity or undersea technology/engineering specialties.  SENEDIA, through its Real Jobs RI grant, then provides a $1,500 stipend to the intern.  Companies provide in-kind support to mentor and train the student, along with a $200 contribution to the student’s stipend.

“Through SENEDIA’s Real Jobs RI grant, we are meeting the demand of this industry’s need for skilled and competent employees,” said Magee.

SENEDIA is Southeastern New England’s catalyst for thought leadership and innovation in undersea technology, cybersecurity and defense technologies.  The organization is focused on providing its members and the region with the latest information about opportunities in the defense and homeland security sectors and facilitating the associated workforce development efforts.  SENEDIA has over 90 members from the region.

IT/cybersecurity interns are also eligible to attend a 5-day certification training program to prepare for the advanced certifications that are now required for many cybersecurity positions at no cost to the intern.

The IT/cybersecurity and undersea technology/engineering internships both have five available slots for the spring 2017 semester.  Students must be a 2nd year CCRI student or 4th year/graduate student at a Rhode Island university or college.  Students must also be a U.S. citizen and able to work a minimum of eight hours per week for ten weeks.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until slots are filled.  Students should send their resumes to Townley Knudson at  For more information, visit

“We’ve seen great success from the interns of Newport County and I look forward to seeing what they accomplish throughout their careers,” said Magee.  “These internships are invaluable to any student looking for an exciting career in the Defense industry.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).