Since its inception in July of 2013, the SAMI program at New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) has seen nearly all of their graduates connect with employers.
The Shipbuilding/Marine and Advanced Manufacturing Institute (SAMI) has two programs, one in welding and the other in machinery. The program began in 2013 through a collaboration between NEIT and employers within the industry to create a pipeline of skilled entry-level, reliable individuals for Rhode Island employers.
Initially, the program partnered with five companies, but since then the program has grown to include 64 employers hiring SAMI students.
Two hundred and seventeen students have graduated with the program and 201 of them were hired upon or just after graduation from the 10-week program.
On Friday, April 1, SAMI had 11 individuals graduate the program, all of which had been hired by various companies with an average starting salary of $15.75. This is one of the largest graduating classes for SAMI’s machinery program, which typically averages around four to five students per session.
Robert Palumbo, SAMI program coordinator, congratulated all the graduates for not only completing the program successfully, but also for securing employment.
Palumbo noted that currently there is a lot of opportunity in the industry because of what he considered the “gray tsunami.” The industry is seeing a generation begin to retire, allowing for new positions to be open at companies across the state that allow for a lot of growth for new hires.
SAMI also provides students with academic credits should they decide to further their education as well.
Todd Sposato, SAMI’s machine training coordinator, said the reason this program is so successful is because of the close partnerships with employers.
“We can change alongside the industry, see what employers are looking for and make sure our students match that,” he said.
Sposato said that it is really rewarding when a student comes into class with a “light in their eyes” announcing they got whatever job they had applied for.
He said, “That never gets old.”
Fred Santaniello, director of workforce training grants and programs, said the SAMI program takes away “all the excuses” by having high expectations of their students.
“We don’t talk about SAMI like a school, but as a job. We expect our students to be workers so we can provide employers with the best final product,” he said.
The 11 students graduating from New England Institute of Technology’s SAMI program on Friday were Joshua Broady from West Warwick, James Casanega-Wert from North Kingstown, Alex Castaldi from Newport, Arthur Flanders from Providence, Doug Graves and Sophrath Ket both from Warwick,
Thomas Lanphear from Westerly, Jonathan Link from Johnston,
Brandon Lizotte from Foster, Adalis Reinosa-Perez from Providence, and Michael Solito from Cranston.