Rhode Island entry-level training program graduates second class today

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The 5-1/2-week Rhode Island Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program will see a second class of pre-apprentices matriculate and graduate today with full-time job offers.

Funded by an Innovative Partnership grant awarded by the Governor’s Workforce Board R.I., the program is coordinated by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association with area schools and businesses.

During the program, 12 people studied with instructors at CCRI, Confident Captain, IYRS and the New England Institute of Technology. The students toured businesses, learned from professionals at Hinckley, J. Huber Restorations and Rhode Island Marine, and each student did six days of job shadowing at area companies.

During the first round of the program, which was run last summer, two companies offered job shadowing and all graduates were placed in full-time jobs 30 days after graduation.

This term the marine industry’s interest in this program has risen exponentially, according to RIMTA Workforce Development Coordinator Jen Cornwell.

“This term, eight companies offered job shadowing to our students. The best part is that having a larger group of companies allows us to better match each student’s interests to a company,” Cornwell in a statement. “I expect that our job placement after graduation will go quickly, as job shadowing stints often turn into full-time offers.”

The pre-apprenticeship program is only one element of a larger plan in Rhode Island to cultivate a strong marine trades work force. As boating business rebounds and more skilled labor is needed, the work force is graying and not enough young people are choosing the marine industry as a career path.

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