The Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Newport, R.I., hopefully leaving thousands of local youth with fresh exposure to the marine industry and ready to take advantage of a new boatbuilding program that launches this summer.
The Summer 2015 Newport Boatbuilding Program will run from July 6 to Aug. 14 (Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Newport Area Career & Technical Center.
The six-week program is coordinated by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association with the Newport Public Schools and the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island.
The program is open to students ages 14-16 who reside in the Rhode Island towns of Newport, Jamestown, Middletown, Portsmouth and Tiverton. Students will gain hands-on experience in boatbuilding while learning more about the local marine industry through tours and visits with leaders in the field.
“The new summer boatbuilding program is the perfect launching pad for a young person from the Newport area who wants to learn more about working around boats,” RIMTA program director Jen Cornwell said in a statement. “If students enjoy what they learn, there is an entire ladder of training programs in Rhode Island they can pursue after this summer.”
Cornwell stresses that boating experience is not a prerequisite. Students only need to have an interest in boats and a desire to work with their hands. The students’ main project will be building a wooden skiff, which they will launch at graduation.
Funding comes from the Workforce Partnership, making the program free. Students will receive a small weekly stipend.