Newport, R.I. – On Saturday, May 30, 2015, hundreds of individuals from within the IYRS and Newport, R.I. community gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of some of the most talented craftspeople in Rhode Island at IYRS Launch Day. Governor of Rhode Island, Gina M. Raimondo, was the featured speaker at the event.
For both Newport and the school, Launch Day has become a community celebration, attracting hundreds of supporters, admirers, community leaders and industry partners.
Governor Raimondo, the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and strong supporter of trade education, spoke to both the students and public attending the ceremonies. Governor Raimondo has placed a large focus on the manufacturing industry in Rhode Island, advocating for bringing good-paying, sustainable jobs back to Rhode Island. Prior to being elected, Governor Raimondo served as the General Treasurer of Rhode Island.
“You don’t need a four-year college degree to contribute hugely to this economy and to this state, absolutely not,” said Governor Raimondo. “What you need is what you have, skills; passion; know-how; commitment; and a willingness to try, and to fail, and a courage to be willing to try and to succeed.”
A total of forty Boatbuilding & Restoration students launched eleven boats – most of which are restorations, including a Nat Herreshoff 12 ½ and a Sydney Herreshoff Fisher’s Island 23. A handful of Beetle Cats were also launched. Fifteen Boatbuilding & Restoration students graduated from the two-year program at the 2015 event; in the 2014 – 2015 academic year, IYRS graduated 75 students in its three programs.
The School of Boatbuilding & Restoration has been in operation in Newport, RI for nineteen years and attracts makers, builders and craftspeople from around the world. IYRS also offers 6-month programs in Marine Systems and Composites Technology at a satellite facility in Bristol, R.I.