The Stone Soup Leadership Institute's
Sustainable Workforce Development Design-A-Thon
June 21, 2019

Newport is positioned to be a strong force in the Blue Economy... we have all these connections that can really make for a blue economy region. There's work that we need to do in order to make that happen. One of the most important things we need to do is help prepare our students and residents to be ready to take those jobs. We have students that want to go into these fields, that want to go into Blue Economy.

Newport Mayor Jamie Bova

Thanks so much for including me in the recent Blue Economy sustainable workforce event. The Cape Cod Regional STEM Network is actively engaged in building the STEM education pipeline in our community using an ecosystem approach. Many of our programs focus on the Cape & Islands’ Blue Economy. Friday’s Stone Soup event enabled me to meet and share with other stakeholders from across New England and have a frank dialogue about the opportunities and challenges we face. What emerged was an eye-opening and valuable discussion that confirmed for me the importance of engaging stakeholders around the Blue Economy in our communities, the interest and excitement of the next generation for being involved in building a better future, and the promise and potential for innovative solutions and protection of our vital water resources—if we all work together toward our common goal.                        

Bridget Burger
Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

It was enlightening for me to learn how disconnected our student youth in our region are from our local industry and government incentive programs.  We have an absolute great opportunity for Chambers of Commerce, working with local professional associations and organizations (i.e. from Blue Tech) and local government business development agencies, to engage united in an educational career and workforce development outreach program with our High Schools and Higher Ed Institutions. 

 Students have high aspirations, helping them recognize and identify paths knowing what local industry and government incentive programs are can offer them the opportunity to help them develop their dreams and ultimately ignite local communities with much needed solutions to local challenges. Blue Tech represents roughly 75% of the Earth footprint.  Imagine what we can accomplish if we could develop the missing 50% capacity to address our Blue Tech promise and challenges...I look forward to staying engaged and helping this great workforce development initiative.

Anthony Baro, PowerDocks LLC 

I was very excited to participate in Stone Soup’s Design-A-Thon for Blue and Green Economy sustainability. In the areas of Offshore Wind, the employment options are tremendous. A U. S. Department of Energy Analysis of Offshore Wind Farm development and job creation along the Northeast Coastal Corridor projected “In the low scenario, wind energy economic activity will translate to 160,000 baseline full-time equivalent (FTE) job years over the lifetime of the wind farms, with a peak of 8,300 FTE jobs in 2028.  In the high scenario there would be a total of 320,000 baseline FTE job years, with a peak of 16,700 FTE jobs in 2028.”  There is no better way to build a worker talent pipeline for this fast emerging sector than prepare youth through dedicated career pathway education.

Keith W. Stokes
WindWinRI

It was truly a pleasure to meet our next generation of leaders at the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s Sustainable Workforce Development Design-A-Thon.  It was inspiring to see these young people actively engaging in the development of meaningful communication with business leaders. They were not only seeking information for themselves, but also for the youth of today as a whole.  The emerging Blue Economy will have a place for everyone. At Bristol Community College we are engaging students early to help them pursue careers in the STEM fields through our STEM Starter Academy.  We have also become a key player in the future training of employees for the Off Shore Wind market and we have been a major force in the training of drinking water and wastewater professionals for many years.  Bringing together the many players in this Blue Economy is very important so that we can work together, as a team, to bring a bright future to our region and the nation as a whole.     

Robert Rak
Bristol Community College's Blue Center

It is encouraging to see this group of students and stakeholders from across the blue economy corridor (Cape Cod, SouthCoast to Rhode Island) attending the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s Summit,” said Hugh Dunn, Executive Director of the SouthCoast Development Partnership and UMass Dartmouth’s Blue Economy Corridor Initiative. “This Summit was very timely, as it will help prepare our youth to begin pursuing education and career pathways in these blue tech industries, and help these industries accelerate within the region. It is another example of this region leveraging its two greatest assets, its people and its coastline.

Hugh Dunn
SouthCoast Development Partnership

As the Blue Economy develops and grows, a best practices approach through innovation, scientific advances, and global awareness will prove essential.  By supporting and leveraging the ideas and potential of our student populations at a foundational, supportive, and inclusive level, we will be better able to harness the global potential of the ocean.  High School and Higher Education are the cornerstones from which a new economy will prosper, for future generations to come.  It is of paramount importance that we continue to educate and learn from our students in order to achieve sustainable success in this new Blue Economy.                                   

Richard Buck
EOM Offshore LLC

It is very important for Newporters to start a dialogue about new career pathways and specifically those ones that make this city more resilient. This evening with Stone Soup Leadership Institute and leaders of sustainability industries can be a stepping stone for this city.           

Lola Herrera
Newport Advisory Council Representative: Working Cities

We’re fortunate to live in coastal Newport County; the career potential within the Blue Tech economy is both deep and wide. Sure, there will be personally rewarding Blue Tech opportunities for those with traditional four-year and post-graduate degrees, but we see plenty of potential for those earning relevant credentials while in high school and/or community college.  The key to unlocking our regional human potential is to actively surround the students, parents, and teachers at the formative elementary and middle school grades with a basic awareness of the career paths, and by underscoring the imperative for solid, in demand collaborative and integrated STEAM skills.  The goal should be to create hands-on learning environments that push past dull 20th Century school pedagogy and ignite a passion for knowing more!  The Blue Tech future is now. It’s here. Our current generation of students deserve to be given the keys to unlock the abundant advantages sitting on our doorstep. The Blue economy can help Ocean State flourish.