The “Fast Track to CNC Manufacturing” program advanced its latest cohort of machinists-in-training at CCRI. Reporter Mary Serreze of Providence Business First was on-hand for the celebration and filed a news story on the program.
‘Kathie Mahoney, executive director of Polaris MEP, said the program does two things. It helps workers gain good jobs and helps manufacturers assemble a skilled workforce.
“There’s a skills gap in Rhode Island, but there’s also a numbers gap,” said Mahoney. “We bring value to the state with our training programs for both incumbent workers and underserved or unemployed people that are looking to enter a manufacturing career.”
She said the program to date has graduated 175 trainees, around 150 of whom have been placed in jobs. She added that today’s manufacturing jobs are technology-driven, clean and offer solid opportunities for growth. “So if you want to own a car or buy a house, the opportunities are there,” she said.
For those accepted into the “Fast Track to CNC Manufacturing” program at CCRI, the classes are free of charge. The program is funded with public dollars, said Matt Weldon, director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.
“We are investing in jobs that are going to be here 10, 20 years down the road,” Weldon said. “So in this case we worked with PolarisMEP to come up with an innovative way to help people get on track for manufacturing jobs. There was a small investment made by DLT that can mean a huge difference in the lives of people.”‘