December 20, 2018
WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER AWARDED $750,000 CAPACITY-BUILDING STEM GRANT
Office of Naval Research monies will support workforce education in RI and CT
Westerly Education Center today announces that it is a recipient of a $750,000 Office of Naval Research STEM grant to add capacity and equipment supporting workforce training and education services in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The center, a self-supporting division of the Rhode Island Office of Postsecondary Commissioner, is a major provider of job training for Electric Boat shipyards in North Kingstown, Rhode Island and Groton, Connecticut.
“Westerly Education Center must build capacity to meet the accelerating demand for the skilled workers needed to support industry-level operational endurance and to provide a pipeline of uniformly skilled workers,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “With added capacity, we can improve recruitment of diverse U.S. citizens, seek additional sources of funding for capacity building, and outreach to and enroll direct-to-career high school students and adult students looking to upskill or change their careers. We are thankful to the Office of Naval Research for awarding us this grant, which will allow us to serve more citizens looking for careers in STEM fields, especially veterans and employers supporting the defense industry.”
Grant monies have been earmarked for staff positions as well as equipment purchases in the hands-on teaching labs. The three-year grant was awarded last month.
Propelled by U.S. Navy contracts for Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and Virginia-class attack submarines, Electric Boat has embarked on a hiring spree, triggering an urgent need for workforce training for hundreds of new employees. Electric Boat’s total workforce in Rhode Island and Connecticut is expected to grow to more than 18,000 by 2030.
“In its two-year existence, Westerly Education Center has had a meaningful impact on the provision of high-quality workforce development in the region,” said Brenda Dann-Messier, Ed.D., Rhode Island’s commissioner of higher education. “Electric Boat reports that the 885 students trained at Westerly Education Center in the past two years are consistently performing well on the job and enter the workforce extraordinarily prepared. The ONR grant will make it possible for the center to expand course enrollment with more hands-on capability and increase participation of Westerly PTECH students at Westerly Education Center.”
The center will add to its facility basic precision measurement equipment, appropriate to support the Precision Measurement and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance P-TECH class at Westerly High School as well as more scientific equipment for its new science labs.
The P-TECH pre-engineering and advanced manufacturing students are ideal candidates for Electric Boat submarine-building employment. The center’s new Process Technologists of the Future pathway, which increases the talent pool and qualifications of workforce practitioners, will benefit from diversified outreach and laboratory equipment enhancements.
Grzybowski added, “The ability to build our capacity hinges on our proficiency to identify, recruit, enroll, graduate, and assist with the employment of candidates unaware of our education system serving Electric Boat and other major employers. The ability to connect candidates to services will enable us to meet our performance goals of increasing the number of students who are trained for high-demand, high-wage jobs; eliminating equity gaps; and increasing the number of Rhode Islanders with postsecondary degrees and credentials.
November 16, 2018
WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER CELEBRATES NEW SCIENCE LABS, HONORS DONORS
Chemistry and biology labs broaden course offerings
Today, Westerly Education Center celebrated the addition of two new science labs to its facility. The non-profit workforce training and higher education center recently completed construction of a chemistry lab, which is already in use for a process technology class; and a biology lab, which will host CCRI’s Introduction to Oceanography, Biology in the Modern World, and General Geology classes starting in January as well as for the process technology class.
"The teaching of science is critically important to America’s prosperity and the ability of our businesses to compete globally,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “Providing courses in the sciences elevates the STEM skills of our local workforce, and teaching labs are an absolute necessity for effective instruction. Because of the generosity of many, students at Westerly Education Center have modern, fully equipped chemistry and biology labs to learn and practice and prepare for their careers. We gratefully acknowledge the donors with a commemorative plaque and by celebrating this milestone with the community.”
“These new teaching labs will enhance the learning environment for students working toward new careers in high-demand, high-wage fields as well as improve our ability to offer a wider variety of STEM instruction,” said Brenda Dann-Messier, commissioner of postsecondary education for the state of Rhode Island. “Westerly Education Center has improved the delivery of skills training to Rhode Island’s workforce, based on employer demand. These students are better prepared for the workforce, and this translates to improved job satisfaction for both employees and employers.”
Last month the state’s inaugural class in process technology began their coursework at Westerly Education Center. Process technology is a career shared by many industries in Rhode Island, but few candidates are qualified to fill all the entry-level job openings. Representatives from a dozen businesses organized a workforce training and job placement program, funded primarily through a Real Jobs Rhode Island grant, to create a pipeline of skilled workers to fill the vacant positions. Process chemistry, materials engineering, biomanufacturing, and process control are some of the course’s topics taught in the new labs.
The biology labs feature modern analytical equipment and a separate cell culture space where students can get hands-on experience with processes and techniques that are in demand in the bioscience industry. The labs are also functional for traditional biology exercises as the space can be easily modified with mobile work stations.
In addition to general laboratory supplies, the chemistry lab is tailored for instruction in process technology and food manufacturing. Classroom-sized process control systems enhance the hands-on learning experience and build student understanding beyond textbook modules.
Private donors helped fund the construction of the labs and initial purchase of supplies. Grants were offered by Amgen, Pfizer Foundation, Westerly Lions Club, Ocean Community Chamber Foundation, Royce Family Fund, The Washington Trust Foundation, Dime Bank Foundation, Scient Federal Credit Union, Scient Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation and Rhode Island Foundation.
Westerly Education Center supports employers, educators and industry professionals in the provision of high-quality professional development and employee training. All Rhode Island public higher education institutions (Community College of Rhode Island, University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College) and the R.I. Department of Labor and Training are partners in the effort to provide workforce training and improved regional access to education. The facility features instructional classrooms and lab space for hands-on, industry-ready training programs.
CAPTION: (L to R) Miria Toth, Chelsea Groton Foundation; Samantha Bazydlo, Dime Bank Foundation; Tina Waterman, Scient Foundation; Lisa Konicki, Ocean Community Chamber Foundation; Senator Dennis Algiere, Washington Trust Charitable Foundation; Amy Grzybowski, Westerly Education Center; Al Martone, Westerly Lions Club, Chuck Royce, Royce Family Fund; Brenda Dann-Messier, RI Commissioner of Postsecondary Education; David Purcell, Scient Federal Credit Union; Representative Samuel Azzinaro; Jeff Sorenson and Paul Kuhn, Westerly Lions Club.
October 15, 2018
ENROLLMENT OPENS FOR TRAINING + JOB PROGRAM
Open Houses Start 10/16 at Westerly Education Center
If you would like free skills training to begin a career in sales, customer service, call center services, and/or banking, come to an information session to ask questions and enroll in a course that begins November 13. Info sessions will be held at Westerly Education Center on October 16, 19, 24 and 26 from 10:00 a.m.- noon. No experience is necessary.
NRI Career Academy together with Community College of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies and Rhode Island College offers this program. They work with area employers to secure jobs for class participants who complete the course. The employers include AAA Northeast, Amica, Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Coastway Community Bank, CVS Health, Navigant Credit Union, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, Pawtucket Credit Union and Washington Trust.
Additionally, NRI Career Academy will help students connect with resources needed to overcome employment and training barriers.For more information about this course, contact Cynthia or Felix at 401-258-8086 or email Cynthia at email@example.com. Funding for this free training is provided by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training and the U.S. Department of Labor.
October 11, 2018
RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE HOSTS OPEN HOUSE ON 10/18
Staff to answer questions about ESL, Social Work Course at Westerly Education Center
Rhode Island College will host an Open House at Westerly Education Center on October 18 from 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. for anyone interested in January 2019 offerings: English as a Second Language intensive program and a certificate of undergraduate study in social and human service assistance.
Literacy Volunteers of Washington County (LVWC) and RIC are partnering on the ESL intensive expansion effort, and onsite testing will be offered at the Open House for those interested in ESL Intensive classes. LVWC staff will also be on hand to answer questions.
The social and human assistance certificate program will prepare students for entry-level practice in fields that improve social conditions and individual well-being. Emphasis is placed on preparing practitioners to work with oppressed groups; alleviating injustice, discrimination and poverty; creating social policies and resources that meet basic human needs and enhance the quality of life; creating accessible, responsible, accountable human service programs, and delivering quality services to those in need of assistance and support.
For more information about any RIC courses or the open house, contact Lori Jordan at 401-316-9865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 5, 2018
NORTH STONINGTON EDUCATION FOUNDATION AWARDED GRANT TO WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER
Supports education in maritime trade for high school student
The Westerly Education Center is a recipient of grant from North Stonington Education Foundation to supports the education of town students in maritime sheet metal skills. Because of the grant a Wheeler High School senior joined the first cohort ever of high school students at Westerly Education Center in May.
“We are grateful to North Stonington Education Foundation for their support of student career choices and for providing access to the glide path to skills needed to achieve success,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “Opening the doors to all educational options and building pathways to skills attainment is a philosophy we share with the foundation. Their investment assured that this student earned his high school diploma AND new skills that elevate his employability.”
Said Peter Nero, superintendent of North Stonington Public School District, “The North Stonington Board of Education is grateful to the North Stonington Education Foundation for their generous grant funding, which allowed Caleb Bogue to be our first student to attend and successfully complete the maritime sheet metal program at the Westerly Education Center. The pathways to career opportunities is an important part of the Wheeler High School, a recognized Connecticut School of Distinction graduation requirements. At the same time, we realize the importance of a robust economy and the importance of Electric Boat has been to our community. We look forward to long educational and working relationship with the Westerly Education Center and Electric Boat.”
Westerly Education Center is managing the implementation of a large workforce training program on behalf of Electric Boat. The submarine manufacturer needs thousands of skilled employees to fulfill its contractual obligations to the U.S. Navy. The company also faces near-term retirements of thousands of long-time employees, opening the way for young people to begin careers at Electric Boat. Many opportunities exist for new employees to advance within the maritime trades to supervisory positions and other higher wage choices throughout their careers.
The high school course is the same as the postsecondary one taught at the center but held after school and on weekends, allowing the students to complete their high school diploma while simultaneously learning the new skills. Since opening in 2017, Westerly Education Center has instructed more than 800 persons for Electric Boat in three trades. Community College of Rhode Island designed the curriculum and most of its instructors are former Electric Boat employees.
June 22, 2018
The Westerly Education Center today announces that it is a recipient of a $1,500 grant from Pfizer for the purpose of adding two teaching laboratories and equipping them with proper accessories. A chemistry lab is necessary for the center’s new process technology workforce development course.
Pfizer joins the list of a number of prominent foundations and businesses supporting the build-out of the labs, including The Washington Trust Charitable Foundation, Scient Credit Union Foundation, Scient Federal Credit Union, Lions Club of Westerly and Dime Bank. Primary seed funding was awarded by Real Jobs Rhode Island.
Employers in diverse industries share a need for process technicians, a term for a career in controlling the mixture of ingredients and their resulting output. Few job candidates are qualified for entry level positions in process technology, and local employers struggle to fill vacancies in process technician positions at their pharmaceuticals manufacturing, brewing, medical research, and textile manufacturing companies. The shortage will be exacerbated when a wave of long-term employees soon retire.
Amgen, Grey Sail Brewing, Toray, Kenyon Industries, Roger Williams Medical Center, Thielsch Engineering, Eurofins Lancaster Biopharma, Eurofins Spectrum Analytical, Rhodes Pharmaceutical and Tedor Pharma support the job training and have promised to give hiring preference to persons completing the training. Other training partners include: Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Rhode Island Department of Education, Building Futures RI, Williams M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, Westerly High School, CCRI and URI.
June 14, 2018
SCIENT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION & SCIENT CREDIT UNION FOUNDATION AWARD WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER 2 GRANTS
Funds earmarked for new science laboratories
Westerly Education Center today received a $3,500 grant from Scient Federal Credit Union and a $1,500 grant from Scient Credit Union Foundation to support the modification of two classrooms into laboratories. A chemistry lab is necessary for the center’s new process technology workforce development program, and a biology lab is needed for biology courses offered by Community College of Rhode Island.
“We give our heartfelt thanks to Scient Federal Credit Union and Scient Credit Union Foundation for their investment in the mission of Westerly Education Center,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “The science labs are required to ensure that we conduct high-quality and meaningful instruction in a learning environment similar to a real-world workplace. This gift enables the students to have confidence that they will enter the workforce adequately prepared for their new careers.”
“Scient Federal Credit Union is extremely pleased to support such a worthy undertaking by the Westerly Education Center,” said David Purcell, President & CEO of Scient.
Employers in diverse industries share a need for process technicians, a term for a career in controlling the mixture of ingredients and their resulting output. Few job candidates possess the entry-level skills needed for careers in pharmaceuticals manufacturing, medical research, textile manufacturing and brewing, to name a few. Local employers struggle to find individuals qualified to hire for their process technician positions, and they are facing longer term human resources needs by the expected upcoming retirement of aging workers. Westerly Education Center, together with several partners, has created a training program in process technology, which will begin in September.
Private partners pledge to give preferential hiring status to students who complete the training. They include: Amgen, Grey Sail Brewing, Toray, Kenyon Industries, Roger Williams Medical Center, Thielsch Engineering, Eurofins Lancaster Biopharma, Eurofins Spectrum Analytical, Rhodes Pharmaceutical and Tedor Pharma. The curriculum has been created and will be taught by Community College of Rhode Island faculty with the University of Rhode Island serving as evaluator. This grant’s other partners include: Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Rhode Island Department of Education, Building Futures RI, Williams M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, and Westerly High School.
(l to r) Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center; Tina Waterman, President, Scient Credit Union Foundation; David Purcell, CEO/President, Scient Federal Credit Union; and Glenn Wilcox, Chairman, Scient Federal Credit Union
April 23, 2018
WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER AWARDED WASHINGTON TRUST CHARITABLE FOUNDATION GRANT
Gift to be used for addition of science laboratories
The Westerly Education Center today announced that it is a recipient of a $2,000 grant from The Washington Trust Charitable Foundation to support the modification of two classrooms into laboratories. A chemistry lab is necessary for the center’s new process technology workforce development program, and a biology lab is needed for biology courses offered by CCRI.
“We thank The Washington Trust Company for their ongoing support and investment in the mission of Westerly Education Center,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “Constructing and supplying new teaching labs at the center are required to ensure that we deliver high-quality and meaningful instruction. Because of the bank’s steadfast dedication to improved education in the community, our students will learn on modern equipment used in the workplaces where they will begin their careers.”
“We are thrilled to support the Westerly Education Center and its commitment to providing access to quality education,” said Edward O. Handy III, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Trust Company. “Washington Trust is dedicated to the communities that we serve and working towards the common goal of creating a positive future for all.”
Employers in diverse industries share a need for process technicians, a term for a career in controlling the mixture of ingredients and their resulting output. Few job candidates possess the baseline skills necessary for careers in pharmaceuticals manufacturing, brewing, medical research, and textile manufacturing to name a few. Local employers struggle to find qualified individuals to fill open process technician positions, and they face long-term shortages in this career path by retiring Baby Boomers. Westerly Education Center, together with several partners, have created a training program in process technology, which will begin in September.
Partners in the development of training include: Amgen, Grey Sail Brewing, Toray, Kenyon Industries, Roger Williams Medical Center, Thielsch Engineering, Eurofins Lancaster Biopharma, Eurofins Spectrum Analytical, Rhodes Pharmaceutical and Tedor Pharma. The curriculum will be created and taught by Community College of Rhode Island faculty with the University of Rhode Island serving as evaluator. This grant’s other partners include: Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Rhode Island Department of Education, Building Futures RI, Williams M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, and Westerly High School.
R.I. Sen. Dennis L. Algiere (left), Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer, Director of Community Affairs, The Washington Trust Company; Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center; Edward O. “Ned” Handy, III, (right) Chairman and CEO, Washington Trust Bancorp. Inc.
April 13, 2018
WESTERLY LIONS CLUB PRESENTS $10,290 TO WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER
The gift will be used for science laboratories
The Westerly Education Center today announced that it is a recipient of a $10,290 gift from Westerly Lions Club. The club recently hosted a fundraiser at Knickerbocker Music Center and donated all the proceeds to the center.
“On behalf of the students and teachers who will use these labs, I want to thank the Westerly Lions Club for their generosity to the center and all we serve,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “Your gift will help chemistry and biology students discover the wonders of science via tangible, hands-on experiences.”
“The Westerly Lions Club is honored to help further the mission of the Westerly Education Center,” said Jeff Sorensen, the fundraiser committee chairman. “The Education Center is an incredible asset to the greater Westerly community, and this project gave the Lions an opportunity to exhibit our motto, “We Serve!”
Local business supporting the fundraising effort with the donation of prizes included: Hilltop Café, Vesta Bakery, Knickerbocker, Savoy Bookstore Café, Savoy Bookstore, Twisted Vine, Brazen Hen, Dunns Corner Market, Pizza Place, Two Little Fish, Cooked Goose, Bogues Alley. Subway, 84 Tavern on Canal, Mario’s Pizza/Midway Pizza, Tapped Apple, Ally Katz, Micelli’s Furniture, Toscano’s Mens Clothing, Westerly Fitness, New England Airlines, Live Proper Chiropractic, Ridda-Bug Pest Control, United Builders Supply, Nigrelli Jewelry, Bella Vita Salon, Travelers Championship, Service Master by Mason, Eric Lutes, Flip Side, Casa Della Luce, Boston Red Sox, Mystic Aquarium, Paw Sox, Twin River Casino and Myrtle Beach golf.
The fundraising sponsors included: SeaSide Pharmacy, The Ocean House, The Royce Family Fund, The Weekapaug Inn, The Sorensen Family, Grey Sail Brewery, EVAS, The Westerly Lions Club, United Builders Supply, Sorensen & McCuin Contracting, Fenner Hill Country Club, Elmridge Country Club, Shennecossett Golf Course, Richmond Country Club, The Misquamicut Club, Shelter Harbor Golf Club, Stonington Country Club, Lake Of Isles Golf Course, Weekapaug Golf Club, and Winnapaug Country Club.
The Westerly Lions Club has been serving the community for over 90 years. The Westerly Lions Club meets monthly at locations around town and is always looking to add members with a heart to help the less fortunate and the community as a whole. Check out their Facebook page to see some of the things they are working on!
(L to R) Westerly Lions Club Secretary Jared Beaulieu; Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center; Westerly Lions Club President Heather Morrone, and Westerly Lions Club Past President Jeff Sorensen.
FEBRUARY 26, 2018
Grant earmarked for science laboratory
The Westerly Education Center today announces that it is a recipient of a $3,000 grant from Dime Bank to support the modification of a classroom into a laboratory and equipping it with proper teaching accessories. The chemistry lab is necessary for the center’s debut of a process technology workforce development program.
“We thank Dime Bank for their support and investment in the Process Technologist of the Future program,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “The construction and outfitting of a new teaching lab at Westerly Education Center is required to deliver high-quality, high-touch training in this developing career pathway.”
“Dime Bank Foundation is excited to help fund this innovative workforce training program. We love the collaboration between the WEC and their eleven business partners, working together to provide workforce development skills and giving priority hiring status to graduates.” said Dee Sullivan, AVP, Executive Administrator & Project Mgr. at Dime Bank.
CAPTION: (l to r) Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center and Dee Sullivan, AVP, Executive Administrator & Project Manager, Dime Bank.
Employers in diverse industries share a need for process technicians, a term for a career in controlling the mixture of ingredients and their resulting output. Few job candidates possess the baseline skills necessary for careers in pharmaceuticals manufacturing, brewing, medical research, and textile manufacturing to name a few. Local employers struggle to find qualified individuals to fill open process technician positions, and they face long-term shortages in this career path by retiring Baby Boomers.
Partners in the development of the boot camp include: Amgen, Pfizer, Grey Sail Brewing, Toray, Kenyon Industries, Roger Williams Medical Center, Thielsch Engineering, Eurofins Lancaster Biopharma, Eurofins Spectrum Analytical, Rhodes Pharmaceutical and Tedor Pharma. The curriculum will be created and taught by Community College of Rhode Island faculty with the University of Rhode Island serving as evaluator. This grant’s other partners include: Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Rhode Island Department of Education, Building Futures RI, Williams M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, and Westerly High School.
JANUARY 17, 2018
The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association presented Westerly Education Center with the Outstanding Plan Implementation Award at its annual awards presentation on January 11. Westerly Education Center was nominated by East Providence Senior Planner Wayne Barnes for the transformation of blighted land into a beneficial community resource.
“We thank the local APA chapter for its recognition that the revitalization of this parcel of land in the north end of Westerly was highly successful to the town and state,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “Westerly Education Center has provided valuable training in meaningful work skills to nearly 500 people in just one year. This project is a perfect case for how downtown parcels can be turned around with proper planning and widespread community support.”
Accompanying Grzybowski at the ceremony was Sergio Cherenzia, president, Cherenzia and Associates, which provided civil and environmental engineering services and served as a trusted advisor to the project team.
Built on a former freight yard next to the Amtrak train station, Westerly Education Center is an important addition in the revitalization of downtown Westerly. Supported by Chuck Royce, the Westerly philanthropist responsible for dozens of rehabilitation and historic preservation projects in Westerly, the center underpins the sizeable public and private investment of downtown Westerly.
The APA RI Awards Program celebrates recent planning success stories and those who make a difference in the planning profession in Rhode Island. The local planning community nominate favorite projects, plans, student projects, and individual leaders, to honor the great work done that year to advance the planning profession.
“Regardless of the award category, APA RI seeks to recognize people and projects that embody innovation, comprehensiveness, collaboration, transferability to other communities, and a commitment to implementation,” said Jeff Davis, president-elect of APA RI.
APA RI is one of 47 chapters and 20 divisions of the American Planning Association. The chapter is a non-profit public interest and research organization dedicated to urban, suburban, regional and rural planning. With over 150 members, APA RI is comprised of planners at all government levels, private consultants, local planning board members, landscape architects, environmental scientists, lawyers, engineers, professors, students and other professionals dedicated to sound planning principles.
Westerly Education Center Executive Director Amy Grzybowski (R) and Cherenzia & Associates President Sergio Cherenzia (L), accept Rhode Island Chapter of American Planning Association’s Outstanding Plan Implementation Award on January 11, 2018.
DECEMBER 13, 2017
The Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies is partnering with the Westerly Education Center to offer courses for the semester that begins Jan. 24.
RWU will offer four courses at the Westerly Education Center, which is managed by the State of Rhode Island’s Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and located 23 Friendship St., Westerly. Those four courses are: Introduction to Computer Software, Introduction to Public Health, Spanish in the Workplace, and Foundations of Education. And beginning Feb. 5, RWU also will offer a cybersecurity career pathway program.
“Westerly Education Center is thrilled Roger Williams University is expanding access of their courses in southwestern Rhode Island,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director of Westerly Education Center. “Providing course options and learning opportunities to adults and high school students alike who are exploring career pathways helps prepare our workforce for jobs in sectors critical to Rhode Island’s future prosperity.”
“The School of Continuing Studies is excited to be partnering with Westerly Education Center,” said Jamie Scurry, dean of the RWU School of Continuing Studies. “The vision set out for the center is aligned to our ethos and goal of removing barriers and obstacles to accessing education programs and opportunities. Meeting students, families and employers where they are is not only critical to this goal, it allows for us to contextualize our programs and curriculum to ensure that each student is exceptionally prepared to achieve their goals and be workforce ready.”
If you are interested, go to the Rhode Island Advanced Coursework Network Registration Portal and enter “Westerly” in the search box.
AUGUST 8, 2017
WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER AWARDED $394,124 REAL JOBS RI GRANT
Will design jobs training program for major employers in RI and CT
The Westerly Education Center today announces that it is a recipient of a $394,124 Real Jobs RI grant to design and implement of jobs training program that will benefit 11 employers including Pfizer, Thielsch Engineering, Amgen, Roger Williams Medical Center, Toray Plastics (America), Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, Grey Sail Brewing, Kenyon Industries, and more.
“We are grateful to Real Jobs RI for this grant, which will boost the employability of many people,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “Westerly Education Center is thrilled to help Rhode Island and Connecticut businesses meet an identified workforce need. Thanks to Pfizer, who approached us about the need for process technicians, we gathered a cohort of employers to collectively submit the proposal to provide a boot-camp style training in the basic skills required for ideal candidates.”
Employers in diverse industries share a need for process technicians, a term for a career in controlling the mixture of ingredients and their resulting output. Few job candidates possess the baseline skills necessary for careers in pharmaceuticals manufacturing, brewing, medical research, and textile manufacturing to name a few. Local employers struggle to find qualified individuals to fill open process technician positions, and they face long-term shortages in this career path by retiring Baby Boomers.
“This boot camp is an innovative higher educational program that will increase high-in-demand graduates prepared for the workforce,” said Brenda Dann-Messier, commissioner of postsecondary education for the state of Rhode Island. “Westerly Education Center is doing really innovative work to develop training that will prepare individuals for a high-wage career pathway.”
In addition to the companies mentioned above, other cohort members include: Eurofins Lancaster Biopharma, Eurofins Spectrum Analytical, and Tedor Pharma. The curriculum will be created and taught by Community College of Rhode Island faculty with the University of Rhode Island serving as evaluator. This grant’s other partners include: Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Rhode Island Department of Education, Building Futures RI, Williams M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, and Westerly High School.
“Offering skills training of the baseline competencies for process technologists is highly desired by several industries, not just by Pfizer,” said Glenn Wilcox, director of CRD API manufacturing at Pfizer, who started his career at the company as a quality control technician after graduating from CCRI’s chemical technology program with an associate’s degree in applied science. “These are great jobs with huge potential for the employees. Many opportunities exist for employees to advance within the process technologist position or to a higher wage position with a company. The boot camp will offer practical training so that individuals with no, or little experience can meet the minimum qualifications to start working as process technologists after completing the course.”
JULY 26, 2017
36 FALL COURSES LINED UP AT WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER
Registration for RIC, CCRI and RISD|CE courses open now
Westerly Education Center today posted 36 new Rhode Island College, Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island School of Design and The Greatly Agency continuing education classes on www.westerlyedcenter.org. If you are interested in learning to speak Spanish, or want to create your own unique bracelet, or develop a writing style appropriate for college, or brush up on your math skills, or want to build an online presence for your small business, you won’t be disappointed by the wide range of offerings. Some courses meet once and others meet weekly until December.
“The public benefits from the increased access to high quality higher education courses,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director of Westerly Education Center. “At the center, we are experiencing a tremendous growth spurt in the number and variety of classes, which proves the need and desire for college-level instruction in the region.”
Fall semester classes at Westerly Education Center
Rhode Island College
Introduction to Writing and Research in Nursing (first course offering in a new Registered-Nurse-to-Bachelor-of-Science-in-Nursing program at Westerly Education Center)
Gender and Society
Crime and Criminal Justice
Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education
Fundamentals of Interior Design
Introduction to Drawing + Painting: Nature
Introduction to Drawing + Painting: Landscapes Using Gouache
Introduction to Marketing: Branding You + Your Career
Search Engine Optimization
Community College of Rhode Island
Introduction to Business
Introduction to Computers
Oral Communication I
Basics of Composition
Critical Reading for College Success
Readings in the Short Story
Survey of Western Civilization II
Fundamentals of Mathematics
Introduction to College Mathematics
Math for Liberal Arts Students
Elementary Spanish I
Introduction to Biology/Orgismal Chemistry
General Geology 1 - Physical Geology
Introduction to Oceanography
The Greatly Agency, a management consulting and coaching agency focused on retail strategy, marketing and eCommerce, is offering a two-hour workshop for small businesses wishing to create a professional looking DIY website.
June 12, 2017
WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER AND FOUNDERS EARN TWO AWARDS
Chuck Royce and Royce Family Funds share honors for smart growth and workforce development
(L to R) ; Scott Wolfe, Executive Director, GrowSmartRI; Daniel King, Royce Family Fund; Brenda Dann-Messier, Acting Commissioner, Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner; Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center; Timothy Regan, P.E., Client Manager, AMEC Foster Wheeler, formerly of Cherenzia & Associates; and Gail McCann, Esq. Chairwoman, GrowSmartRI
The Westerly Education Center opened for business in January and by early June, it’s already collected two awards. Grow Smart RI and the Governors Workforce Board honored Westerly Education Center for transforming blighted land into a beneficial community resource and for enhancing the state’s workforce development efforts.
“We’re delighted to accept the awards on behalf of all of our partners who strived to revitalize a valuable parcel in the north end of Westerly and created a hub for training residents in meaningful work skills,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director. “We are encouraged by the reception of our efforts and will continue to devote our energies toward strengthening employment opportunities through education and job skills development.”
The R.I. Governor's Workforce Board presented the Workforce System Innovation Award to Westerly Education Center and recognized, in particular, the Royce Family Fund for their financial contribution, leadership and commitment to enhancing the state's workforce efforts by developing the new training and education center in Westerly.
Grow Smart RI presented its 2017 Smart Growth Award to Westerly Education Center for strengthening the state through innovative revitalization and preservation initiatives and partnerships. They praised the center’s environmental remediation of the 2.5-acre abandoned railyard into "a vibrant downtown hub for job training." More than 250 business, civic, and community stakeholders attended the award ceremony at the Stadium Theater Performing Arts Center in Woonsocket.
Founded in 2017, the 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.
APRIL 28, 2017
WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER DEDICATES NEW VENTURE BOOSTING WORKFORCE TRAINING
WESTERLY, R.I. (April 28, 2017) – Governor Gina Raimondo today praised private businesses, state agencies, donors and the General Assembly for their contributions that led to the creation of the new Westerly Education Center before snipping the giant ribbon signaling the opening of the doors for business.
Joining the governor at the ribbon were: Philanthropist Charles M. Royce; R.I. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello; R.I. Senator Dennis Algiere; R.I. Representative Samuel Azzinaro; R.I. Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy; General Treasurer Seth Magaziner; Barbara Cottam, chairwoman, R.I. Board of Education; R.I. Acting Commissioner of Postsecondary Education Brenda Dann-Messier, Amy Grzybowski, executive director, Westerly Education Center of the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner; Community College of R.I. President Meghan Hughes; Rhode Island College President Frank Sánchez; Sean Davies, vice president of operations, Electric Boat-Quonset Point; and Neil Steinberg, president, Rhode Island Foundation.
"I believe we have a collective responsibility to make sure that Rhode Islanders are getting the good jobs that our businesses are creating,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “The only way that's going to happen is if we make sure that people have the training and education that businesses require. I talk to business owners every day, and they tell me the hardest part of growing is finding the educated workers for the jobs they need to fill. The Westerly Education Center is an important step toward filling that need, connecting hard-working Rhode Islanders with the skills they need to get good-paying jobs. Congratulations to everyone involved in making today a reality."
“I commend the Royce family and everyone who helped make this project a reality. This center will help train highly-skilled employees who can fill good-paying jobs right here in Rhode Island, starting with helping Electric Boat meet the workforce demands they need to build the next generation of submarines,” said Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has led efforts to secure federal funding for the Virginia-class submarine program, including advance procurement for two ships planned in 2017.
“This venture opens up new pathways for our students and citizens to reach their career goals and is a model for successful public-private partnerships throughout the region,” said Dann-Messier. “We are all grateful to Chuck Royce for his vision and his ability to engage the full support of state and municipal leaders, private enterprise, and philanthropic organizations.”
The Westerly Education Center on Friendship Street delivers high-quality educational classes to meet projected workforce growth in the region. All Rhode Island public higher education institutions (CCRI, URI and RIC) and the Department of Labor and Training are partners in the effort to provide workforce training and improved regional access to curricula offerings. The facility features instructional classrooms and lab space for hands-on, industry-ready training programs, with General Dynamics/Electric Boat and CCRI as the anchor partners. The inaugural program offerings in maritime pipefitting, sheet metal, and electrical work enable General Dynamics/Electric Boat to meet obligations for contracted work with Rhode Island and Connecticut employees.
The center is available for businesses that wish to rent it for their own training sessions, and they may opt to engage with the higher education institutions to develop a customized course. Last month, Agway hosted a course in beekeeping and Ella Ivory held a sexual harassment session for its employees.
Environmental remediation of the 2.5-acre abandoned railyard bolstered the appeal of the center among Westerly officials. The proposed use of the property was an objective and action item within the town’s comprehensive plan.
Chuck Royce was the largest private donor of the Westerly Education Center. He is a well-known investor and community benefactor of Westerly properties such as Ocean House, the Weekapaug Inn, Savoy Bookstore, Knickerbocker Café, Ocean Community Skating Rink, Weekapaug Innlet, and the Avondale Farm Preserve.
APRIL 5, 2017
UPDATE (April 23, 2017): MS Office classes slated to begin on April 26 and 27 have been rescheduled.
RIC’s Professional Studies and Continuing Education to Offer Microsoft Office 2016 Classes at the Westerly Education Center
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island College is partnering with the Westerly Education Center to offer workforce training courses in Westerly. RIC’s first offering is scheduled to start on April 26, 2017.
The Microsoft Office 2016 courses are designed to provide workplace computer skills and proficiencies to enable participants to analyze, design, and develop solutions for office business processes and problems using Microsoft Office 2016. Introductory courses include Word 2016, Excel 2016, and PowerPoint 2016. To register, click here.
Qualified state employees may be eligible for state incentive credit through the R.I. Office of Training and Development.
Each course includes 24 training hours, and the fee is $350 per course. Joyce Perry, owner of Tailor-Made Training and an adjunct instructor at RIC, will be the instructor. A second cycle of Microsoft Office 2016 courses will be offered in fall 2017. Additional workforce and professional training courses will be developed and offered in Westerly based on community and industry needs.
Joyce Perry, MBA is a RIC PSCE trainer and adjunct instructor in the RIC Department of Accounting and Computer Information Services. Joyce’s main passion is teaching, and she is currently an adjunct instructor at both the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and RIC. She has an MBA from Johnson & Wales University, a BS from Bryant University, an AS from CCRI, and she is a graduate of Katharine Gibbs School and holds a Katharine Gibbs Certificate in Secretarial Studies. Joyce was formerly a lead instructor and internship coordinator in the Katharine Gibbs office administration program, faculty at the Salter School in Fall River, and a buyer at General Dynamics. Joyce is also the founder and operator of Tailor-Made Training, a unique company with five trainers that provides one-on-one computer training for clients of all ages and skill levels. Training is available in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, and QuickBooks. Tailor-Made Training also offers a certificate program in Professional Administrative Assistant.
MARCH 15, 2017
RISD Continuing Education Enters Westerly Market With 3 Evening Courses
Digital Photography, Painting with Acrylics and Foundations of Drawing begin April 25
WESTERLY, R.I. – Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education (RISD|CE) will offer three courses this spring at the Westerly Education Center. The newly opened Westerly Education Center on Friendship Street is a public/private entity of the state and higher education institutions and serves as a satellite campus for RISD|CE.
“We want to stretch the reach of our Continuing Education courses, and Westerly is an ideal locale for people in southern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut to work with RISD|CE’s renowned faculty in a range of visual arts and design disciplines,” said Sarah Caggiano, executive director of RISD|CE.
“We’re thrilled to host RISD|CE in Westerly as we know that there is a vibrant artistic community who will welcome their presence,” said Amy Grzybowski, executive director of the Westerly Education Center. “These first three courses are a perfect introduction for those wishing to experience personal enrichment and engage in creativity, explore a new artistic medium and refine their skills.”
The three evening courses meet April 25 through May 30, and enrollment is open now. They are: Essentials of Digital Photography, Foundations of Drawing, and Introduction to Painting with Acrylics. To register for these courses, visit cereg.risd.edu and enter the keyword "Westerly" in the keyword field of the top navigation.
Introduction to Painting with Acrylics
Painting can be the ultimate escape: both relaxing and intuitive, a timeless form of self-expression. Have you always wanted to learn how to paint? In this course, you'll explore the entire process from start to finish, using the classic medium of acrylic paints, popular among the great masters as well as today's contemporary artists. You'll also arm yourself with the mental and physical toolset to bring your observations and perspectives to life. Using a hands-on approach, you'll learn the fundamentals of compositional structure, color theory, figure-ground relationships, two-point linear perspective, spatial concepts, and critical thinking associated with the language of color, composition, and value of the subject. Classes will work inside and outside of the studio and be inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Watch Hill. The instructor will provide subject matter to focus on, but students are encouraged to seek their own focus and passions to paint, utilizing this course as a launch pad to a lifelong practice of painting.
Essentials of Digital Photography
If you're a photographer eager to understand the basics of digital workflow while sharpening your compositional eye, then this introductory course is the ideal opportunity. You'll begin with the rudiments of camera operation and handling to increase your confidence as you complete weekly assignments that build upon one another. These pictures are reviewed during class time in a focused critique led by your instructor, with participation by classmates. Throughout the course, the history of the art form is presented to give students a context for their re-engagement with digital photography.
Foundations of Drawing
In this course, students get a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of freehand drawing; representation of objects and natural forms; problems of analysis, response, perception and composition; and technical standards. This course is designed as the key building block for establishing a working knowledge of spatial organization and visual problem solving. All aspects of the course will be supported by dynamic classroom lectures, drawing demonstrations and visual aids. Throughout the term, there will be in-class critiques and designated homework assignments, as well as some in-class exercises. Students will draw using various artistic media.
Founded in 2017, the 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.
One of the oldest colleges of its kind in the US, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) stands out as a leader in art and design education. Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education (RISD|CE) educates students of all ages in art and design with high quality, accessible programs. The division serves more than 4,000 individual students per year in its non-credit courses, six-week Pre-College Program for high school artists and designers, and Summer Programs for college credit. RISD|CE also offers non-credit certificate programs for adults and teens. For more information about RISD Continuing Education, visit http://ce.risd.edu
NOVEMBER 18, 2016
Westerly, RI– The Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner today released a statement and updated timeline regarding the construction of the Westerly Education Center facility at 23 Friendship Street.
“We have met a very aggressive construction timeline,” said Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director of the Westerly Education Center. “There will be a lot of activity in the building to kick off the new year. Along with the Electric Boat trade curriculum, leadership training, and evening classes through CCRI, we anticipate that the Center will be hosting other courses and programs from CCRI, URI, RIC, private institutions and other industry partners.”
“We are pleased there has been such strong interest from local and regional entities in bringing great new educational opportunities to the Westerly area,” added Grzybowski. “ As we move closer to final completion we look forward to announcing dates for public open houses.”
“We are proud to take part in this innovative project, which represents the active roles Rhode Island, local school systems and industry are taking to build the educated work force required to compete and succeed in the 21st century,” said Sean Davies, Vice President of Quonset Point Operations for General Dynamics Electric Boat. “We applaud the contributions of everyone involved in establishing this partnership.”
Davies added: “This program will provide General Dynamics Electric Boat with the educated and motivated employees we will require to meet the demands of increased submarine production. They’ll have the skills and tools they’ll need to perform effectively at their jobs, as well as the means to take on future professional opportunities.”
AUGUST 1, 2016
Grzybowski Named Executive Director of Westerly Higher Education and Industry Center
Warwick, RI—The Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (RIOPC) announced today that Amy Grzybowski has been named Executive Director of the Westerly Higher Education and Industry Center. Ms. Grzybowski is currently the Director of Development Services and Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Westerly, having previously served as interim Town Manager.
“We are pleased to welcome Amy to our team. Her knowledge of Westerly, her leadership and economic development experience make her an ideal candidate to lead this venture,” said Dr. Jim Purcell, Rhode Island Commissioner of Postsecondary Education.
Since 2012, Ms. Grzybowski has led building, planning, zoning and economic development efforts for the Town of Westerly, including securing and managing over $13 million in grant funding and overseeing the town’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy. As Town Manager, she was responsible for over 160 employees, an $84 million budget, and all operations for the town. In previous roles, Grzybowski has overseen emergency management and recovery plans for both public and private entities, including the Maguire Group, Inc. and the RI Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA). She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Administration of Justice from Salve Regina University, and she has taught courses on homeland security and emergency management for the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and Salve Regina University.
“I am honored to serve as the first Executive Director of the Westerly Higher Education and Industry Center. This facility brings tremendous opportunity for workforce development, job training, economic development, and public-private partnerships,” said Grzybowski, “and I am excited to be part of it.”
FEBRUARY 4, 2016
Rep. Azzinaro highlights CCRI Westerly Jobs Skills Training Center project
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) was joined by Governor Gina Raimondo, Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, North Kingstown), CCRI President Dr. Meghan Hughes, philanthropist Charles Royce, representatives from Electric Boat, and Westerly Superintendent Roy Seitsinger, Jr. at the Westerly train station on Feb. 4 to announce plans for a new CCRI Jobs Skills Training Center in downtown Westerly adjacent to the train station. The purpose of the facility is to train students and prepare them for high paying jobs with companies like Electric Boat.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community and I am proud to have helped secure funding for this exciting project. It is going to bring new life to our downtown, while also serving as a training center for Westerly residents to learn new skills for good paying jobs,” said Representative Azzinaro. “I’d like to thank Speaker Mattiello, who made a commitment of state support; Governor Raimondo; Senate Minority Leader Algiere; the civic-minded folks at Electric Boat and the Westerly School Department. This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished for the community through productive and innovative public-private partnerships,” added Representative Azzinaro.
In 2014, Representative Azzinaro was speaking with Charles Royce and thanked him for his efforts to revitalize downtown Westerly. Royce commented that a CCRI presence was necessary for the revitalization and he pledged financial support. Representative Azzinaro then mobilized House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and then CCRI President Ray DePasquale to meet with Charles Royce.
Collectively, they identified the need for a traditional community college program with specialized job training, focusing on a large regional employer as an anchor tenant. Representative Azzinaro then recruited Electric Boat to establish a campus located between its Groton and Quonset Point facilities.
Permits for the project have been obtained and construction will commence soon on the site near the Westerly train station. The campus will consist of a job skills training center and 18 academic classrooms. The center will be dedicated to enrolling and training high-skill, high-wage workers in electrical, maritime pipefitting, maritime sheet metal, and carpentry. Electric Boat is working closely with CCRI to develop the curriculum.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
FEBRUARY 4, 2016
Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center Moving Forward with CCRI
Governor Gina M. Raimondo today spoke about the importance of creating a new economy in Rhode Island filled with high-skill, high-wage jobs near the future site of the Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center. She was joined by Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere, Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro, CCRI President Dr. Meghan Hughes, Cabinet Directors, and members of the Westerly community.
"Our priority must be expanding opportunities for Rhode Islanders to build the skills they need to get good-paying jobs," Raimondo said. "CCRI working with community leaders, state agencies, and companies like Electric Boat is exactly what we need to jumpstart our economy. I am grateful to the Westerly community for coming together to provide this resource."
The center was created through a partnership that includes CCRI and local business leaders. This 17-classroom facility will accommodate up to 1,000 students a year. The center will be dedicated to enrolling and training high-skill, high-wage workers in maritime pipefitting, maritime sheet metal, and carpentry. Electric Boat is working closely with CCRI to develop the curriculum. The project received a brownfields grant of $712,000 from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and a ceremonial check presentation took place at the event.
"I am pleased to see that the years of work that have gone into this are coming to fruition," Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere said. "One of our top priorities in this state has been to find a way for people to learn the skills they need to find jobs in specialized industries. This new campus and program will give high school students who are not interested in a four-year college education an avenue to become trained in high-skill, high-paying jobs at companies like Electric Boat. The community is fortunate to have Charles Royce as a major contributor to this project."
"This a great day for Westerly and for our state's future," Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro said. "This center will help prepare our residents for good-paying jobs at companies like Electric Boat, while also bringing a strong sense of vibrancy to our downtown revitalization efforts. We need to celebrate this innovative public-private partnership, and I am proud to have played a role by bringing the need for such a facility to the attention of a wonderful philanthropist like Charles Royce."
"The 17-classroom capacity, in addition to the Job Skills Center, are designed to accommodate the traditional programs of CCRI at this satellite location," philanthropist Charles Royce said. "Community colleges are the backbone of American higher education. Placing this facility so that it overlooks and enhances the ongoing downtown Westerly revitalization efforts is critical."
"Electric Boat is proud to play a part in this innovative effort to shape Rhode Island's future manufacturing workforce," Electric Boat Vice President of Human Resources and Administration Maura Dunn said. "In a very real way, this program enables Electric Boat to invest in the future talent of the company, while significantly enhancing the career potential of its participants and contributing to the economic growth of Rhode Island."
For more information contact:
Governor's Communications Office