WESTERLY, R.I. (June 6, 2019) – Westerly Education Center hosted a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 5 to celebrate the 26 students who successfully completed courses in maritime pipefitting and maritime sheet metal. The workforce training and higher education center, together with Community College of Rhode Island and Electric Boat, offers the 240-hour (pipefitting) and 200-hour (sheet metal) instruction courses for high school students interested in careers at Electric Boat. Some students will continue on with employment or internships at Electric Boat, and some will study at CCRI in the fall.

Courtland Leaycraft, a pipefitting student, was awarded a $500 scholarship by the Westerly High School Alumni Scholarship Fund to be used for the purchase of tools. John Clemens and Meredith Eckel presented the scholarship on behalf of the fund.

Seventeen of the students live in Stonington, North Stonington and Westerly. All students completed the maritime skills courses while simultaneously enrolled in their high school programs.

Following the success of a small pilot program for high school students last summer, WEC expanded the high school program to students from Westerly, Stonington, North Stonington, Coventry and Exeter-West Greenwich school districts.

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.

CAPTIONS: Meredith Eckel (l) and John Clemens (r) from Westerly High School Alumni Scholarship Fund presented a $500 scholarship to Courtland Leaycraft of Westerly for the purchase of pipefitting tools.

Westerly High School pipefitting students and instructors (Left to right) Instructor Jude Pescatello, Cole Chiaradio, Steven Bucklin, Antonio Laboy, Cody Leaycraft, Jonah Sherman, and Instructor John Koussa. Not pictured: Anthony Durante

Stonington and North Stonington High School pipefitting students and instructors (left to right) Instructor Jude Pescatello, Mike Barney, Justin Reid, Jonathon Chanthamert, Wyatt Werling, Riley Burnside, Ian Cote, Mike Young, Kolin Fritscher, James Tuttle, Jeremy Ritchie and Instructor John Koussa. Not pictured: Malcolm Lewis

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.


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