Over the last two years, the Herreshoff boat shop program has undergone incredible growth. Students from Mount Hope High School's PASS Program in Bristol, students from area East Bay high schools, as well as students from as far away as Woonsocket High School, have participated in a variety of programs both in and out of school. 

Most notably, the group of students from Mount Hope High School are participating in a year-long program, involving work in the boat shop five days a week for the entire school year. All students in boat shop programs are learning the skills necessary to give them a head start in the marine trades industry, along with important life skills that will serve them well no matter what career path they chose. 

David Mcgrant, wrote: "On Tuesday March 5th, students of The Harbour Youth Center, of Community Care Alliance in Woonsocket were selected to have a visit from the Governor Gina Raimondo’s cabinet in honor of the Governor’s proclamation of STEAM Month. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s Director Scott Jensen came to the Herreshoff Marine Museum, in Bristol where the course is held, to learn about our very own Youth in a Boat Building Program. This is the second year the boat program has run thanks to exceptional leadership and a strong partnership with Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and Herreshoff Marine Museum, through the REAL JOBS RI Grant.

Students from the Youth Center who were selected to participate in this program are not only gaining meaningful skills related to carpentry, math, science, and boat manufacturing, but also are earning a wage and even school credit! During Director Jensen’s visit, he got a chance to engage with our youth as they explained their process of building the boat from scratch, with only hand tools. Our youth were able to highlight the skills they are learning, and how they hope to translate them to employable skills once they enter the workforce. They expressed that they are thankful for the opportunity to travel out of Woonsocket to Bristol, in order to explore Rhode Island’s many opportunities for growth within STEAM, Marine Trades, and Manufacturing.

After a visit filled with laughter and learning, we here at The Harbour Youth Center are thankful for Director Jensen’s visit, and our highlight in Governor Raimondo’s STEAM Month. We know first-hand that when our youth are supported by important leaders in our states and cities, that they then thrive as positive forces within our communities. Thank you for your continued support, All Aboard and Anchors Aweigh! 

Thank you to RIMTA (Rhode Island Marine Trades Association) and RealJobsRI for making such programs possible! For more information, please contact Kirk Cusic at k.cusic@herreshoff.org or 401-396-5834.