Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, with CCRI and Westerly Education Center, are sponsoring a fun, skill-building, hands-on training this spring for high school freshmen.

All high school freshmen are eligible to enroll in a free wooden boat-building course this spring at Westerly Education Center.

The classes are not only free, but the students who complete the course will be paid a stipend and walk away with new woodworking skills.

The classes begin March 16 and meet Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:45-5:45 p.m. until May 12. During the week of April 19, classes will be added on Mondays and Fridays and will meet that week from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No previous experience is needed, and all equipment will be provided.

The application deadline is March 12, 2021. Questions can be directed to Alyssa Menard at amenard1@ccri.edu or 401-584-0400. The online application form is located at form/jotform.com/210404177779157 or by visiting westerlyeducationcenter.org.

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has offered this program, designed by Community College of Rhode Island, at Westerly Education Center and earned praise from the youth participants. Developed specifically for 14- to 16-year-old high school students in Rhode Island, the course incorporates teamwork, leadership development, basic skills development, career exploration, and job readiness.

RIMTA represents all aspects of recreational boating in Rhode Island through advocacy, education and promotion while positioning the state as a worldwide leader in the marine industry. With support from Real Jobs RI, their youth boat-building program expanded from a pilot to multiple locations throughout the state.

“This is Westerly Education Center’s third RIMTA/CCRI youth workshop for training in boat-building and marine trades skills,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director, Westerly Education Center in a statement. “This industry is critical to the Ocean State, and it’s our hope that programs like this one will ignite passion among youth to learn more and consider careers in the marine trades.”

Founded in 2017, Westerly Education Center is a public-private collaboration designed to bring together higher education, business, industry, and community partners to provide high-quality educational programs to meet projected workforce growth in the region. More information can be found at westerlyedcenter.org.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).