U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., officially announced Monday that $500,000 in federal funding was secured for the International Yacht Restoration School's new composites program.
"The boating industry employs thousands of Rhode Islanders and we have an opportunity to help businesses grow and create more jobs right here in the state," Reed said. "This federal funding will help train more marine workers and give them hands-on experience, not just in building boats, but in working with new, green technology. Investing in this program will help us build a more competitive workforce and fuel future economic growth."
The IYRS Composites Technology Program is targeted to meet the needs of the marine industry, but graduates will have a choice of career paths since the high strength-to-weight ratio of composite materials pioneered by boatbuilders is now in demand by many industries.
The IYRS program is a nine-month, full-time course that will give students a foundation in composites processes, techniques, and technology ranging from general composites that employ glass fiber and polyester resin to advanced composites that employ high-strength/high-modulus fibers and advanced resin systems.
"Our marine trade partners and the state's economic development folks look to IYRS and its highly regarded programming as a source for well trained, passionate craftspeople," said IYRS president Terry Nathan. "These people are essential to meet the skilled labor demand for the emerging opportunities in advanced composites - both in the marine trades and other industries where these materials are being employed."