In the Community

Washington Trust Charitable Foundation Awards Westerly Education Center with Grant for Addition of Science Laboratories

May 08, 2018

May 8, 2018

Westerly, Rhode Island – The Washington Trust Charitable Foundation recently provided the Westerly Education Center with a $2,000 grant to support the modification of two of its classrooms into laboratories. A chemistry lab is necessary for the Center’s new process technology workforce development program, and a biology lab is needed for biology courses offered by the Community College of Rhode Island.

“We thank The Washington Trust Company for their ongoing support and investment in the mission of Westerly Education Center,” said Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center. “Constructing and supplying new teaching labs at the center is required to ensure that we deliver high-quality and meaningful instruction. Because of the Bank’s steadfast dedication to improved education in the community, our students will learn on modern equipment used in the workplaces where they will begin their careers.”

“We are thrilled to support the Westerly Education Center and its commitment to providing access to quality education,” said Edward O. Handy III, Chairman and CEO, Washington Trust. “Washington Trust is dedicated to the communities that we serve and working towards the common goal of creating a positive future for all.”

Employers in diverse industries share a need for process technicians, a term for a career in controlling the mixture of ingredients and their resulting output. Few job candidates possess the baseline skills necessary for careers in pharmaceuticals manufacturing, brewing, medical research, and textile manufacturing to name a few. Local employers struggle to find qualified individuals to fill open process technician positions, and they face long-term shortages in this career path by retiring Baby Boomers. Westerly Education Center, together with several partners, has created a training program in process technology, which will begin in September.

Partners in the development of training include: Amgen, Grey Sail Brewing, Toray, Kenyon Industries, Roger Williams Medical Center, Thielsch Engineering, Eurofins Lancaster Biopharma, Eurofins Spectrum Analytical, Rhodes Pharmaceutical and Tedor Pharma. The curriculum will be created and taught by Community College of Rhode Island faculty with the University of Rhode Island serving as evaluator. This grant’s other partners include: Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Rhode Island Department of Education, Building Futures RI, Williams M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School, and Westerly High School.

Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the oldest community bank in the nation and one of the Northeast’s premier financial services companies. Washington Trust offers a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, mortgage banking, personal banking and wealth management and trust services through its offices located in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Washington Trust Company is a subsidiary of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc., (NASDAQ: WASH). Additional information on Washington Trust and its subsidiaries can be found at

Founded in 2017, the Westerly Education Center is a public-private collaboration that unites higher education, business, industry, and community partners to provide high-quality educational programs to meet projected workforce growth in the region. More information can be found at

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