Rhode Island’s Flagship Gets Back to Work, Getting Rhode Islanders Back to Work

NEWPORT, R.I. (February 4, 2021) – A tumultuous year ended on a high note for Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) thanks to an innovative workforce development partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI).

Headquartered in Newport, R.I., OHPRI operates Rhode Island’s flagship, the Sailing School Vessel (SSV) Oliver Hazard Perry. The not-for-profit organization recently partnered with CCRI in the launch of a 20-day training program designed to increase ocean literacy and help students find career opportunities – both afloat and ashore – in the maritime industry, marine trades and marine manufacturing.

John Flis (Middletown, R.I.) lays out a measurement as he builds a machinist’s clamp during OHPRI’s recent workforce development program conducted in partnership with CCRI. (Photo courtesy of OHPRI)
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Funded through a “Back to Work RI” grant, the unique course provided hands-on training in vessel operations, marine systems, basic electrical, diesel/gasoline engines, plumbing, hydraulics, carpentry, and rigging. In addition, participants received STCW Basic Training at the United States Maritime Resource Center in Middletown and completed the OSHA 10 Maritime course. STCW is an international entry-level maritime certification required by vessel operators.

The month-long workforce development program provided those who were economically impacted by the pandemic an opportunity to learn about and train for careers of which they may otherwise have not been aware, or prepared to enter. 

“We are thrilled to be providing such a meaningful contribution to our community,” said OHPRI CEO Captain Jonathan Kabak. “Using the State’s Flagship to make an impact as part of Rhode Island’s response to the COVID-19 reinforces our relevance at a time when we are all reevaluating what we deem critical and valuable resources.”

Images from OHPRI’s recent work development program conducted in partnership with CCRI. 
(Photo courtesy of OHPRI)
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“CCRI is a proven leader in collaborating with industry partners to design and build compelling workforce training programs that ready individuals for careers in growth industries here in Rhode Island,” said Tekla Moquin, Executive Director for CCRI’s Workforce Partnerships. “Rhode Island is steeped in a strong maritime history, and this program provides a path to a fulfilling career in the state’s growing maritime industry.”

CCRI and OHPRI are looking to place program graduates over the coming weeks. A second cohort is scheduled to begin on February 22nd. To learn more about the program, or to enroll in the next cohort starting in February, contact Mason Folcarelli via email at mcfolcarelli@ccri.edu, or Cody Fino at cjfino@ccri.edu. For additional information about the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry and OHPRI programs visit www.ohpri.org or email info@ohpri.org.