WOOD RIVER JCT. — The Chariho Tech marine technology program has received a $100,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation to purchase computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines and other equipment.
“With these machines, which are used extensively in today's marine industry, students will gain a strong foundation in advanced technology principles,” Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci said. “As a result, they will be more prepared than ever to enter this industry, which is so important to the economy of our region and state.”
Marine technology instructor Jacob Guilbert said the new equipment would take the Chariho program to a higher level.
"Receiving this grant is a very exciting thing to happen for the marine technology program and the students,” he said. “As the methods and technologies for manufacturing goods have evolved globally into an environment of computer-controlled machines, the boat-building industry has kept up with the pace.
“With the aid of the Champlin Foundation grant, we will be bringing a computer numerically controlled (CNC) router into the shop. This will allow the students to receive hands-on experience and training in computer 3D modeling and machining which they can then use in class to build wooden or composite boats and components,” Guilbert said. “Once the students graduate from the program they will have the skills to provide them with a strong advantage when entering a work force or post-secondary school that utilizes CNC technology."
Chariho Tech Director Gerald Auth said the CNC router would be comparable to what is currently used in the boat-building industry.
“Receiving this grant provides a great opportunity for our students,” Auth said. “One of the goals of each program is to put the students in front of the equipment that is used in industry. With these funds, and the equipment we are able to purchase, we can do just that. Our students in the marine technology program will now be prepared to enter the workforce with the proper training and experience necessary to gain employment after high school.
“This is exciting for our students and for Mr. Guilbert. He worked very hard to secure this grant and he should be extremely proud of the result and the award for the school.”
Ricci said providing students access to this kind of equipment also furthers the mission of technical education centers.
“The regional career and technical centers of our state have an obligation to respond quickly and proactively to the needs of the workforce,” Ricci said. “With this new opportunity, our students will be more prepared than ever to participate in high-growth, high-wage fields right here in Rhode Island.”