On May 30, Westerly Education Center welcomed its first students at its new quarters at 116 High Street in Westerly due to the growing need for workforce training classrooms. The education center on Friendship Street is booked solid for nearly all of 2023, and this annex space provides the center with an opportunity to tailor additional teaching space specific to nursing.
As has been widely reported, healthcare employers are facing critical nursing staffing shortages. The center’s first CNA training, offered jointly with Community College of RI and local employers of CNAs in 2020, added 13 CNAs to the workforce and helped provide valuable insight on what is needed in order to scale up. The annex has been outfitted with hospital beds, manikins, stethoscopes, and more in the 3,866 sq. ft. facility, which is a short walk from Friendship Street. We have renovated the first floor into three classrooms plus a testing site lab for CNAs.
We are ever grateful to our donors, who support us in our growth, especially Roberts Foundation, and for the CDBG grants through the Town of Westerly and the State of Rhode Island.