Johnston Sunrise: New program trains Rhode Islanders for EB jobs

Johnston Sunrise: New program trains Rhode Islanders for EB jobs

By Kelcy Dolan

It was after a year and a half of college that 19-year-old Hannah Cook-Dumas realized education was not for her. She decided to pursue an “old dream” of welding.

A graduate of Tiverton High School, Cook-Dumas began welding at the age of 14 in the family garage. Taught by her father, she enjoyed taking on small projects to fix and build things.

Growing up, she had always heard about the need to go to college, but was unsure of how to move forward to progress in the trade. She finally landed an apprenticeship with a retired employee from Electric Boat who encouraged her to apply to the company herself. Lo and behold she got the job, training with New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) and continuing her education with various certifications.

“I am happy to go into work every day. I didn’t think that was a real thing until now,” Cook-Dumas said. “Now I hope to have a long and successful future with Electric Boat, and I hope more people get the same chance I did to move forward with this company.”

General Dynamic Electric Boat hopes to hire thousands of employees just like Cook-Dumas as they expand to fulfill contracts with the U.S. Navy. Currently, Electric Boat employs 3,500 at Quonset Point and is expected to grow to 5,500 by the end of the 2020s. On July 19 Governor Gina Raimondo, the Department of Labor and Training and Electric Boat unveiled a long-term workforce development plan to ensure Rhode Islanders are the ones employed to those new positions at the Quonset Point facility.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Raimondo said. “We have our work cut out for us, but we are up to the challenge.”

Earlier this year Raimondo announced that the state and Electric Boat would be partnering with six career and technical schools throughout the state, including the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, to begin and improve existing programs in welding, ship-fitting, machining and manufacturing pathways. Over the next two years the program is expected to see nearly 200 students enrolled with the capacity to graduate 350 students annually as the program grows.

Electric Boat will provide support career and technical schools instruction as well as provide paid student internships on site.

Similarly, Real Jobs RI, awarded a $369,500 to the “Pipelines to Manufacturing Careers in Shipbuilding,” a “sector partnership” led by Electric Boat.

The strategic plan previewed Tuesday builds off the previous programs by increasing post employment training for maritime trades at New England Tech as well as the Community College of Rhode Island’s new Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center in January 2017. NEIT will also be expanding their Ship Building and Advance Manufacturing Institute (SAMI) from Post Road to the Access Road Campus. CCRI’s Westerly Satellite along with the new skills center will offer maritime sheet metal pipefitting and electrical programs. A post-employment training model will allow new employees to be on the Electric Boat payroll before receiving their training from wither NEIT or CCRI.

“Rhode Island and Electric Boat are on one and the same page,” Scott Jensen, director for the Department of Labor and training said. “This plan exemplifies what can happen when committed partners set their minds to solving big workforce challenges to help people. Completing this task is obviously critical for Rhode Island and our partner and client, EB, but it’s also critical for our client’s client, the United States Navy.”

Both presidents of CCRI and NEIT, Meghan Hughes and Richard Gouse, respectively, expressed their willingness to partner with the state and Electric Boat and their commitment to being a part of Rhode Island’s “economic growth.”

“A year ago I promised our congressional delegation that my administration would move decisively to fulfill Electric Boat’s hiring needs,” Raimondo said. “To compete in the 21st century economy, we need to invest in the skills that businesses need. This plan provides a reliable pipeline of talent to help EB meet its commitments to the U.S. Navy, and it puts thousands of Rhode Islanders to work in well-paying jobs.”

Maura Dunn, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration fro Electric Boat, commended the governor on her “foresight” in bringing together partnerships that will provide citizens with the opportunities to “develop valuable job skills in the advanced manufacturing sector.”

The Congressional Delegation praised Raimondo similarly.

Congressman David Cicilline said that in Washington the delegation fights to bring resources back to the state and it is beneficial to know that in Rhode Island, Raimondo is ensuring an “ecosystem” to translate those resources into jobs. He said that the “innovative” plan would strengthen the state’s relationship with Electric Boat while dually resulting in “well-paying jobs for Rhode Islanders in a growing industry.”

“It’s a win for our workforce, for our overall economy, for Quonset Point and for national security,” said Congressman James Langevin. Senator Jack Reed, said, “This work is vitally important to meeting our national security needs and to strengthening our economy. This workforce development model will also serve as a blueprint for how a more demand-driven workforce development system can achieve results for employers and employees.”

Newport Buzz: Governor Raimondo and Electric Boat unveil strategic plan for workforce pipeline at Quonset Point

Newport Buzz: Governor Raimondo and Electric Boat unveil strategic plan for workforce pipeline at Quonset Point

By Christian Winthrop

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Electric Boat (EB) today unveiled a strategic workforce plan aimed at addressing long-term hiring opportunities at Quonset Point. EB’s Rhode Island facility currently employs 3,500 workers, and the company expects to employ more than 5,500 workers by the end of the 2020s.

“A year ago, I promised our Congressional Delegation that my administration would move decisively to fulfill Electric Boat’s hiring needs,” Raimondo said. “To compete in the 21st century economy, we need to invest in the skills that businesses need. This plan provides a reliable pipeline of talent to help EB meet its commitments to the U.S. Navy, and it puts thousands of Rhode Islanders to work in well-paying jobs. We’re grateful for EB’s partnership over the past months in arriving at this moment, and we look forward to delivering for EB in the months and years ahead.”

In May, Raimondo and state education leaders announced a pre-employment partnership through which EB is opening welding, ship-fitting, machining, and manufacturing programs at six sites this fall for a total enrollment over the next two years of about 200 students. Additionally, Raimondo’s central job-training program, Real Jobs RI, awarded a grant of $369,500 to the Pipelines to Manufacturing Careers in Shipbuilding, a sector partnership led by EB.

The workforce plan unveiled today builds on the Real Jobs RI partnership and RIDE’s work developing career and technical training by:

• Adding post-employment training for submarine maritime trades at “finishing schools” such as New England Tech and, starting in January 2017, the new Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center

• Increasing capacity at New England Tech by expanding the Ship Building and Advance Manufacturing Institute (SAMI) from its current Post Road location to its Access Road Campus also in Warwick

• Establishing a partnership between CCRI’s Westerly Satellite Campus and the new skills center to offer training in maritime sheet metal, pipefitting, and electrical programs

Additionally, through a pilot post-employment training model that began in May, candidates who qualify can be placed on EB’s payroll before receiving technical training at New England Tech or CCRI.

“This work is vitally important to meeting our national security needs and to strengthening our economy. This workforce development model will also serve as a blueprint for how a more demand-driven workforce development system can achieve results for employers and employees. This is truly a collaborative effort, and I will continue doing my part to make strategic investments to ensure Rhode Island is a high-tech hub of undersea technologies now and in the foreseeable future,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who helped include $5 billion for the Virginia-class submarine program and $1.5 billion for the Ohio-class submarine replacement program in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“Thanks to great work led by Senator Reed and Congressman Langevin, Electric Boat’s Quonset workforce is growing, and we want Rhode Islanders to be hired,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This workforce development program will give Rhode Islanders the training to be competitive for those good-paying jobs. I commend Governor Raimondo for bringing together the private and public sectors to come up with this smart, demand-driven solution.” “More good-paying jobs are on the horizon at Electric Boat, and we must ensure that we have the appropriate training in place so that Rhode Islanders can seize these competitive opportunities,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I co-chair the Career and Technical Education Caucus and serve as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, so I am excited to see this nexus of workforce development programming and our state’s strong defense industry. It’s a win for our workforce, for our overall economy, for Quonset Point and for national security.”

“Electric Boat is already one of the largest employers in Rhode Island, with 3,500 employees,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “It’s critical that we work together at all levels of government to ensure that job-training and skill development programs are preparing Rhode Islanders for available, good-paying jobs. Governor Raimondo’s plan to ensure 2,000 students graduate with the skills necessary to meet the present and future hiring at Electric Boat will help put Rhode Islanders back to work. This innovative plan strengthens the relationship between Rhode Island and Electric Boat and will result in well-paying jobs for thousands more Rhode Islanders in a growing industry.”

“We applaud the governor and her administration for their foresight in establishing partnerships with businesses like Electric Boat, which will provide Rhode Islanders with the opportunity to develop valuable job skills in the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Maura Dunn, General Dynamics Electric Boat Vice President of Human Resources and Administration.

ABC6: Interfaith gathering at Muslim center draws more than a hundred

ABC6: Interfaith gathering at Muslim center draws more than a hundred

By Bianca Buono

 

Less than 48 hours after a Muslim community center in Kingston was vandalized, the South County community came together in a show of solidarity against violence of all kinds.

Late Thursday, the center’s windows were shattered and the words “Muhammad Prophet of Butchers” were painted in red on the front of the building. It happened just moments after the terror attack in Nice.

“We time and time again are victimized as a result of other people’s actions who are acting in the name of Islam but not doing anything that stands for the religion of Islam,” said Wendy Manchester Ibrahim of the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement.

Now, the graffiti is gone and the windows are covered. People of all faiths and backgrounds sat together Saturday afternoon to show support with the Muslim community.

“Your presence here tells me I should not be afraid,” said Nasser Zawia of the center.

At the interfaith gathering, there was a diverse group of speakers.

“When this happens to any one of our houses of worship, it happens to all of us,” said Reverend Don Anderson of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.

“In our community we have felt the slings and arrows of hatred,” said Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman of Temple Beth El.

“We know who will ultimately prevail and it is not hatred and it is not evil. It is people like us coming together,” said URI President David Dooley.

The message at the gathering was one of positivity.

“Something beautiful has come out of something ugly. And people have come together. That room was full with people of different cultures, faiths, backgrounds, orientations,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.

South Kingstown police are still investigating the incident. So far no arrests have been made.

FedScoop: House bills seek to strengthen US-Israel cybersecurity partnership

FedScoop: House bills seek to strengthen US-Israel cybersecurity partnership

By Chris Bing

Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, introduced two bills Thursday to strengthen joint cybersecurity research and development efforts between the U.S. and Israel.

“The United States and Israel are the two top exporters of cybersecurity technologies,” said Langevin in a statement. “Our bills will leverage the reservoirs of expertise in both nations to advance the frontiers of cyber science.”

The bills seek to formalize a grant-funding program for early-stage cyber innovation and to expand an ongoing R&D program jointly conducted by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and Israeli Ministry of Public Security.

“Our recent discussions with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu confirmed just how important it is that we unite forces to formulate ongoing, effective strategies to best address the rapidly evolving cyber threats faced by both of our nations. After all, cybersecurity is national security,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.

Introduction of the bills comes two months after a Congressional delegation traveled to Israel to meet with government officials regarding joint cybersecurity operations.

Langevin’s proposed R&D grant program — under the bill titled the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2016 — would rely on a peer-reviewed application process “tailored to [the] research requirements” of the Secretary of Homeland Security and reviewed by two U.S.-Israeli scientific organizations: the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, or BSF, and Binational Industrial Research and Development foundation, or BIRD.

The BSF describes its mission as “supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes” while BIRD is more of a “matchmaking service” between Israeli and American companies that are conducting research and developing technology products.

A spokesperson for Langevin told FedScoop the funding provided by the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act would only “be available for projects that are joint with an Israeli and an American partner.” Decisions on what constitutes such a partnership will be made by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

“Grants will be available [to applicants] across the spectrum, from academics conducting basic research in collaboration, to mature companies bringing homeland security relevant products to market. This could certainly include startups,” the spokesperson said.

The Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, for which Ratcliffe is sponsor, aims to add money to a standing research program between DHS and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security. Notably, the program’s expansion will now enable it to tackle cybersecurity.

In January, Israeli government officials announced the country controlled roughly 20 percent of international market share in cybersecurity products, second only to the United States.

Providence Journal: Dream shattered, he persevered, found another

By Mark Patinkin
Journal Columnist
Jim was one of those kids who always knew what he wanted to be — first a policeman and eventually an FBI agent.

He grew up middle class in Warwick with a dad who ran a hardware store and a mom who was a career counselor.

Jim was so sure he wanted to be a cop he began interning for the Warwick police at age 12. He was still doing it four years later the summer of his 16th year, clerking, answering phones and running errands. He was the kind of earnest cadet who ironed his uniform himself before each shift.

On this particular Friday, he did the same, heading to the station locker room and suiting up.

Two officers were nearby looking at a new .45-caliber semiautomatic. One officer ejected the clip and handed the gun to the other, who didn’t realize a bullet was still in the chamber. He aimed what he thought was an empty gun at a locker and pulled the trigger.

The bullet ricocheted, piercing Jim’s neck and severing his spinal cord.

The officers kept Jim breathing until a rescue arrived a minute later from the fire station across the street. By then, Jim was unconscious and his blue cadet uniform stained red as he lay on the white tile floor.

They took Jim to the Kent Country Hospital ER. Days later, by the time they eased the sedation, he was in the spinal cord unit of the University Hospital in Boston, his head pulled taut by weights drilled into his skull beneath his blond hair.

The doctors chose not to tell Jim of the severity of his injury at first. But after two weeks, Jim was able to speak, and began to ask, so they were honest. Not long after, his mother June came into his room.

“Ma,” said Jim, “they’re telling me I won’t have use of my hands or legs.”

All she could say was, “I know, Jim.” She gave his hand a squeeze and realized he was unable to squeeze back.

Jim was a sophomore at Bishop Hendricken when the accident happened. The administrators told his parents he could — and should — repeat the grade next year. But Jim’s mom and dad worried that falling behind would be one more loss for him, so they said they’d get tutors.

The administrators said it wasn’t a good idea. But the parents wouldn’t yield — Jim would finish his sophomore year. It was their way of teaching their son his paralysis did not have to limit him.

Back home, in his motorized wheelchair, Jim learned to type by wedging a pencil between his fingers and hitting the keys that way. But it was arduous so he would sometimes ask his mother to type his school papers.

She would tell him she was sorry, but with three other kids, including a baby, and dinner to cook, she didn’t have time.

“Why won’t you help me, Mom?” he’d say.

“I’m sorry, Jim.”

Then she would go into a room where Jim couldn’t see her crying, her heart broken, but she knew it was the only way to teach him perseverance.

Jim had to let go of his dream of becoming a police officer but he resolved to find a way to be a public servant.

At age 24, he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives. At age 30, he became Secretary of State.

And last week, 36 years after his accident, at age 52, with eight terms as the only quadriplegic U.S. congressman in history, Jim Langevin announced he would run again in hopes of continuing his journey of perseverance.

Providence Journal: Rep. Langevin announces reelection bid

By Paul Edward Parker
Journal Staff Writer

 

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin declared his candidacy for reelection to Congress Tuesday morning, handing in papers at the secretary of state’s elections office.

“I love Rhode Island, and I feel passionate about public service,” Langevin said while chatting with reporters as his paperwork was processed. “There’s a lot of frustrations that go along with the job, certainly in this environment where it’s been so partisan. But I’m proud of the bipartisan record I have demonstrated.”

Langevin said the issues he will campaign on are familiar to those who have followed his career: career and technical education, cybersecurity and national security, especially the construction of Virginia-class submarines, which are built in Quonset Point and in Groton, Connecticut, by General Dynamics Electric Boat. “These are the things that I continue to focus on,” he said, adding that he also hopes to gain ground on campaign-finance reform and gun safety.

Langevin said he anticipated debates as part of the race. “I always make a point to debate my opponents,” he said. “I’ve always made a practice of making myself accessible to discuss the issues.”

The secretary of state’s office said that at least two opponents have begun the process of getting on the ballot: Democrat Steven Archer and independent Salvatore G. Caiozzo. Also, Republican Rhue Reis said on June 9 that he would challenge Langevin.

Langevin was elected to Congress in 2000, when Rep. Robert Weygand ran for the U.S. Senate. Langevin previously was a state representative and secretary of state. He represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, which generally covers the state west of Narragansett Bay, except for parts of Providence and several communities in or near the Blackstone Valley.

Not long after Langevin declared his candidacy Tuesday morning, the Coventry Democratic Town Committee announced that it had endorsed Langevin at its meeting Monday night.

Several weeks ago, the state Democratic Party endorsed Langevin at its state convention.

“I haven’t lost my passion for public service,” Langevin told reporters Tuesday. “I got into this years ago … to give back and show my appreciation for the people of Rhode Island.”