A BITE OF THE ACTION
Local business leaders promote workforce training at Davies
More than one hundred business leaders from around the state and 90 students from William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School gathered Wednesday morning to laud the companies who have given Davies students workplace learning experiences.
“It is my vision for Rhode Island that it’s a place of opportunity with nobody left behind, and isn’t that what Davies is all about?” Governor Gina Raimondo said at the school’s annual Partners in Education Breakfast.
She had just come from the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association annual meeting at Twin River Casino, where people kept telling her she has to do more to find skilled labor.
“The states that invest in CTE are the states that will be successful,” Raimondo said of career and technical
education, “because every business I talk to wants to hire students like you.”
She praised the collaboration that goes into workforce training, saying that the breakfast was a celebration of partnership.
Both Nicole Mattiello and James Crowley were named partners of the year. Mattiello employs several students at Pranzi Catering, and Crowley supports the school through the industrial supply company W.W. Grainger.
He has allowed Davies to receive $45,000 in product and grant money, which enabled the painting of the shop floor and necessary tools for new students entering the machine technology program.
Robert Halkyard, the first chair of the board of trustees, was given a special recognition award. Halkyard donated $25,000 for the school’s first blended learning math classroom.
“Davies is proven. It’s a proven model,” said Carolyn Kyle, chair of the board of trustees for Davies. “It’s solutions-based education and technical-based education.”
The programs offered at Davies include building and construction, automotive careers, biomanufacturing technology, cosmetology and barbering, electrical, graphics and interactive media, and health careers.
The culinary students served French toast, scrambled eggs, sausages and home fries to guests at the breakfast.
Partners recognized included Johnson & Wales University, A Maureen McCarthy Salon, CVS Health, Greystone, Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Legal Sea Foods, Hasbro, North Smithfield Auto Body, Raytheon, University of Rhode Island and Woonsocket Auto Salvage.
Throughout this past school year, these businesses and many others provided cooperative work experience for 93 Davies seniors.
“The kids go out into the world of work, and they come back with some really great experiences,” said Catherine Rickert, school-to-career coordinator at Davies.
Davies is a participant in Raimondo’s newly launched Governor’s Workforce Board RI Work Immersion Program, which offers placement opportunities for 15 students.
“I love coming here because it gives me really great hope for our future,” Raimondo said. “You are turning out incredible graduates who are ready for the workforce.”