WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER DEDICATES NEW VENTURE BOOSTING WORKFORCE TRAINING

General Dynamics/Electric Boat, URI, CCRI, RISD and RIC all holding classes
at center

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;
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. (Photo ID: LtoR — Deborah Royce, wife
of philanthropist Chuck Royce; Governor of the Day Mianna Gonsalves;
Governor Gina Raimondo; Sen. Dennis Algiere; Rep.  Samuel Azzinaro; General
Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, RI
Foundation President Neil Steinberg, and CCRI President Meghan Hughes)

«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.

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.