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10/27/2015 Representative Sherry Roberts pleased to announce the development of a jobs guarantee program between Electric Boat and Coventry High School’s Regional Career and Technical Center
Coventry School Superintendent thanks Rep. Roberts for convening stakeholders to create an exciting opportunity for students: ‘Thank you to Rep. Roberts for initiating the connection and conversation to begin this exciting opportunity for our students!’_ Supt. Convery

STATE HOUSE – “It is extremely gratifying to know that my efforts to improve future employment opportunities for our students have been successfully arranged between Electric Boat and Coventry High School’s Regional Career and Technical Center. High quality, good paying jobs will be waiting for our students who complete the Center’s new program,” said District 29’s (Coventry, West Greenwich) Representative Sherry Roberts.

Representative Roberts explains, “We have been hearing over and over again about students’ skill gaps that prevent them from gaining employment in various industries upon graduation from high school. I heard the same message again when I attended a meeting conducted by Electric Boat a number of months ago. They lamented about the shortage of skilled applicants and expressed concern with the difficulty they faced with filling hundreds of job openings coming available over the next few years.”

“I wanted to do whatever I could for our Coventry and West Greenwich high school students so that they might be among future applicants who have the skill-sets required by employers,” said Representative Roberts.

“So, I initially made contact with former Superintendent Michael Almeida to arrange a meeting with officials from the School Department and Electric Boat.”

“I suggested that a partnership be developed between Electric Boat and Coventry High School’s Regional Career and Technical Center. Given the timeline of anticipated need for Electric Boat to fill its job openings and the cohort of high school students coming up the ranks, I thought that there may be a perfect match to prepare students with the skill-sets that they were looking for, provide internships and graduate ‘ready-to-work’ students who may help fill those hundreds of job opportunities that Electric Boat anticipates providing over the next few years.”

Coventry Superintendent Mike Convery thanked Representative Roberts, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rep. Sherry Roberts for her efforts to initiate an educational connection between Coventry Public Schools and Electric Boat.”

Representative Roberts added, “The Governor’s Prepare RI Program was tapped to turn my idea into reality for students in Coventry, West Greenwich and all students eligible to attend Coventry’s Regional Career and Technical Center.”

Superintendent Convery explained, “After the initial conversations, Coventry applied for a Prepare RI Grant and received $198,000.00 to implement a welding/manufacturing SAMI program beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.”

The Superintendent continued, “Coventry will also apply to the RI Department of Education to seek program approval for this pathway. Once approved, other school districts will have the opportunity to send students to the program at Coventry High School.”

The program will begin with 9th and 10th grade students. Mentors and guest speakers from Electric Boat will be invited to address the students. 10th grade students will have a virtual reality welding experience. This will allow a ‘hands-on’ experience without a physical welding environment. During year two, 11th graders will participate in coursework at New England Tech. In the third year of the project, 12th grade students will have an alternating schedule, spending one day at Coventry High School and one day in an internship program at Electric Boat.

Representative Roberts and Superintendent Convery are thrilled to note that students, who complete the program successfully, will be guaranteed a position at Electric Boat.

In closing, Representative Roberts acknowledged the “great work of the Career and Technical Center’s Director, Lori Ferguson for developing the proposal to Prepare RI that funded this terrific employer-school partnership.”

For more information, contact:
Lisa Blais, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2259