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About Us

The Westerly Education Center, also known legally as the Rhode Island Higher Education & Industry Center, delivers high-quality education to meet projected workforce growth in the region. Our existence is a tribute to community leaders driving successful public-private partnerships.

All Rhode Island public higher education institutions (CCRI, URI and RIC) and the Department of Labor and Training are partners in the effort to provide needed educational services and workforce training. Center staff work with the higher educational partners and regional businesses and industries to address the educational and training needs of the community as well as for prospective and incumbent workers.

The facility hosts instructional classrooms, computer laboratories and customized space for hands-on, industry-ready training programs.

General Dynamics/Electric Boat and CCRI are the anchor partners. The inaugural program offerings in maritime pipefitting, sheet metal, and electrical work enable General Dynamics/Electric Boat in meeting contracted work on Virginia-class ballistic-missile nuclear submarines. A submarine mock-up is situated in the hands-on section of the facility, which allows trainees to practice their new skills in combination with classroom instruction.

The first offerings by the state’s public institutions of higher education include classes in writing for college; elementary algebra; managerial accounting; fracture mechanics; elementary Spanish; oceanography; Microsoft Excel; Microsoft Word and introduction to computers; Microsoft PowerPoint and presentations; psychology, food managers recertification; composition; college writing; applied technical math; visual arts; biology; introduction to business; management; and geology.

Private businesses and organization are welcomed to rent classrooms for their own trainings or meetings. Agway recently offered a public class on beekeeping, and Ivory Ella trained their employees about sexual harassment policies and laws, and Washington Trust Company is facilitating a staff discussion offsite.

Classrooms and a multipurpose room are available for short-term use at competitive rental rates. Longer term occupancy rates are available.