Local tech college preps for job growth - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Local tech college preps for job growth

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Nicole Gerber

ngebrer@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

WARWICK - Sparks are flying at the New England Institute of Technology.

"We're all learning to weld and use torches and be better prepared for the work environment," said Nick Lepere, a student there.

Students' skills will be put to use over the next 25 years, as a massive expansion at General Dynamics Electric Boat, submarine builders in the Quonset business park, means up to 6,000 new jobs

New England Tech has responded to the need, by creating a new program, specifically designed to get students those new jobs.

"With the establishment of our shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing institute where we'll be preparing welders and machinists for companies like General Dynamics and other marine and manufacturing firms," said Steven Kitchin, Vice President of Corporate Education and Training at New England Tech.

The program has been running for only two months but already some of the students have been guaranteed jobs for when they're done.

"Four of us just went to Electric Boat for an evaluation test, and we all got job offers," said Lepere.

Electric Boat currently employs more than 2500 people at an average wage above $50,000.

"I'm making a career out of this... someday I can have a family. I found something that I love and I found something that I can show not just myself but other people a different job and career," said Lepere.

Currently, new labs are under renovation to expand the program. They are set to be ready to use in the spring.

Of the more than 50,000 unemployed in Rhode Island, only about 100 people have the experience or training necessary for jobs in those trades.

(c) WLNE-TV 2013

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