PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Defense Department awarded a $3 million grant to the University of Rhode Island and the University of Connecticut to build on their program to educate and train undergraduate students considering careers in the Navy and undersea engineering.
URI announced the funding this week for the joint Naval Science and Technology coalition.
The program was created in 2017 with a three-year, $1.3 million grant to establish joint programs geared toward those interested in working for the Navy and Navy-related employers. The schools — respectively based in Kingston, Rhode Island, and Storrs, Connecticut — launched a new concentration in naval science and technology.
The new award will be used to enhance education, outreach and career development initiatives, including expanded outreach to K-12 students, developing coursework for college students and bringing in guest speakers.
“This new grant will help us expand our partnerships and collaborations with UConn that we’ve built on the research side and provide us funding for a whole host of education and workforce development activities,” Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi, Navy STEM Coalition director at URI, said in a statement. “We want to help our undergraduate and graduate students know that these career opportunities are there because we need to replace these critical jobs in engineering, manufacturing and technology."
The southern New England region is the primary supplier of submarines for the U.S. Navy and has hundreds of firms that provide parts for the submarine fleet.