Westerly Education Center gets state workforce innovation award

Westerly Education Center gets state workforce innovation award


Gov. Gina Raimondo, shown here taking to state Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro in April at the formal grand opening of the Westerly Education Center on Friendship Street, had her plan to offer free tuition to all students in the state whittled down in the final budget approved by legislators Friday morning, June 16, 2017. The final plan provides for free tuition for students completing a two-year associate's degree at the Community College of Rhode Island. Sun file photo

WESTERLY — The Westerly Education Center’s efforts to prepare individuals for employment have been recognized with a Workforce System Innovation Award issued by Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Workforce Board.

“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,” said Amy Grzybowski, the center’s executive director.

The award recognized, in particular, the Royce Family Fund for its financial contribution, leadership and commitment to enhancing the state’s workforce efforts by developing the new training and education center. The fund, established by Charles “Chuck” Royce, contributed $1.8 million to the $5.1 million facility.

Royce has spearheaded many development projects in the town including the revived Ocean House, Weekapaug Inn, and Knickerbocker Cafe.

Electric Boat and Community College of Rhode Island have teamed up at the education center to create a curriculum aimed at preparing potential employees for work in submarine production. University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Rhode Island School of Design also have a presence at the center.

The workforce board is made up of 21 members representing business, labor, education, community, and government who establish workforce development policies and plans and also allocate state Job Development Funds.

— Dale P. Faulkner

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