Rhode Island high school students between the ages of 14 and 16 are eligible to enroll in a free wooden boatbuilding course this spring designed by the Community College of Rhode Island in conjunction with the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and Westerly Education Center.

Students who complete the course will receive a $500 stipend in addition to learning new woodworking skills. The classes, located in Westerly, are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:45–5:45 pm beginning Tuesday, March 30 through Thursday, June 24, a total of 100 hours. No previous experience is needed, and all equipment will be provided. 

The deadline to apply is Monday, March 29. To register, complete the online form or visit westerlyeducationcenter.org. Email Alyssa Menard at amenard1@ccri.edu or call 401-584-0400 for any additional questions.

The spring youth boatbuilding program is Westerly Education Center’s third boatbuilding and marine trades skills training cohort with RIMTA and CCRI. With support from Real Jobs RI, the program has expanded from a pilot to multiple locations throughout the state. Unlike previous cohorts, students will not build an entire boat in this year’s course and will instead incorporate boat-building techniques in the crafting of a wooden toolbox and boat-shaped shelf while adhering to social-distancing guidelines.

“This industry is critical to the Ocean State, and it’s our hope that programs like this will ignite passion among youth to learn more and consider careers in the marine trades,” said Westerly Education Center Executive Director Amy Grzybowski.

Founded in 1964, RIMTA represents all aspects of the recreational boating industry in Rhode Island through advocacy, education, and promotion while positioning the state as a worldwide leader in the marine industry.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.