Expanded career and technical education programming in Providence schools

Mayor Elorza Announces Expanded Career and Technical Education Programming In Schools

New and Expanded Partnerships Build Opportunities for Providence Public School Students

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza Wednesday joined members of his Career and Technical Education (CTE) Task Force, the Providence Public School Department and School Board, and representatives from Electric Boat and Tech Collective to announce new and expanded partnerships aimed at strengthening CTE programs in the city.

“It is essential to provide our students with the skills and experience they need to get ahead. By targeting education towards industry demands and real job opportunities, we are setting our students up to succeed,” said Mayor Elorza. “I want to thank the Task Force for all of their efforts and expertise in making these recommendations. Together we will strengthen our education system and help to reverse the income inequality and economic disparity that we face in the city.” 

Mayor Elorza formed a CTE Task Force in October 2015 to ensure that students and the broader community are prepared to thrive in an increasingly competitive job market. Experts with diverse backgrounds in workforce development, education, economic development, and local industry served to develop recommendations to strengthen CTE programming in the Providence Public School District. 

The CTE Task Force submitted a series of recommendations which serve as a framework for the Providence Public School Department’s efforts to strengthen CTE programming. Their recommendations highlight the importance of fully engaging industry partners in order to ensure that CTE programs across the district are rigorous, robust, and relevant to the current job market.

Through a Real Jobs Rhode Island grant, the Providence Career and Technical Academy (PCTA) will partner with Electric Boat to help prepare high school students for high-wage jobs in the maritime manufacturing industry.  The program will build a pipeline of students to fill their estimated need for more than 10,000 skilled workers over the next 10 years.

The CTE Task Force also emphasized the opportunity to utilize the state-of-the-art facilities at the PCTA for job training when school is not in session. Mayor Elorza was joined by Nina Pande, Vice President of the Providence School Board and member of the Governor’s Workforce Board, to announce a new pilot program at the PCTA to provide culinary training to out-of-school youth after hours. The program targets students who have been disconnected from the school system or have been chronically under-employed since graduation.

The Mayor was also joined by JoAnn Johnson from Tech Collective to discuss the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) which will begin programming at PCTA beginning in 2016.  P-TECH will give a cohort of students the opportunity to graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree in information technology. 

In partnership with the RI Commerce Corporation, the P-TECH program will allow students to work towards an Associate’s Degree from the Community College of Rhode Island, free-of-charge. Tech Collective will serve as the industry partner to provide students with one-on-one mentoring, workplace visits and skills instruction, paid summer internships, and first consideration for job openings. 

The Career and Technical Education Task Force is comprised of the following stakeholders, education policy leaders and members of community organizations:

Joseph DiPina, Providence Public School Department (Chair) 
Mark Huang, City of Providence (Chair) 
Adrienne Gagnon, DownCity Design 
Alexis Devine, Lifespan 
Alyssa Alvarado, RI Department of Labor and Training 
Andrew Cortes, Building Futures 
Arnell Milhouse, IntraCity Geeks 
Donna Murray, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training 
Doris De Los Santos, Providence Public School Department 
Hillary Salmons, Providence After School Alliance 
Dean Jamie Scurry, Roger Williams University 
Janet Raymond, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
John Bentz, Property Advisory Group 
Kathie Shields, Tech Collective (formerly) 
Kevin Murphy, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center 
Lisa Guillette, Foster Forward 
Dean Lori Ciccomascolo, University of Rhode Island 
Lori McEwen, Providence Public School Department 
Margo Karoff-Hunger, The Steel Yard 
Maribeth Calabro, Providence Teachers Union
Marisa Petreccia, Serve Rhode Island 
Nina Pande, Providence School Board 
Oscar Mejias, Hispanic Technology & Education Programs 
Ramon Torres, Providence Career and Technical Academy 
Randy Martinez, CVS Health 
Robert Delaney, Institute for Labor Studies and Research 
Robert Ricci, Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston (formerly)
Robin Smith, Community College of Rhode Island 
Stephen Osborn, Rhode Island Department of Education 
Vanessa Cooley, Rhode Island Department of Education 
William Bryan, Gilbane Building Company

(release from City of Providence) 

The CW