Despite the prominence of the sea in the Ocean State, many residents of Rhode Island are largely disconnected from the vital cultural and economic role that the ocean plays in their lives. This prevents them from taking advantage of ocean-related opportunities, specifically in the maritime, marine trades, and defense industries. Collectively referred to as the “maritime cluster,” these industries are some of the state’s most prominent economic drivers. Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island's Perry Corps program aims to increase ocean literacy and create a more sustainable pipeline for training and awareness of related career opportunities among residents of Rhode Island.

The Perry Corps is a revolutionary workforce development program that pairs early career awareness with skills training and credentialing to support sustainable careers, ocean literacy, and civic engagement while supporting economic growth in Rhode Island. Perry Corps programs are year-round programs targeting high school students, underemployed adults, and veterans, culminating with an intensive month long experience aboard Oliver Hazard Perry. These programs fill the gaps left by other training organizations by serving residents with comprehensive programming designed to both increase ocean literacy and exposure while training for skilled jobs in the maritime cluster.

Participants gain real-world experience in teamwork, communication, and problem solving skills while fulfilling maritime credentialing requirements, including for STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) endorsements. Other certifications, such as OSHA certification and first aid/CPR, may also be offered. Using Oliver Hazard Perry as a training platform both dockside and underway, Perry Corps participants will gain the skills, knowledge, and professional experience necessary for success not only in these specific maritime industries, but also be well prepared for opportunities in STEAM based careers while helping to spread ocean awareness to the broader community.

The highly vetted and credentialed workers who complete the Perry Corps programs are well poised for success in the maritime industry, defense, and marine trades of Rhode Island. Our strong network of partners, the use of credential-based assessments and industry tracking tools, and pipeline development into high-wage industries will have a far reaching and positive impact on both program participants and Rhode Island as a whole.

Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to provide innovative and empowering education-at-sea programs to promote personal and professional growth.