20 Sep RIMTA Names Newport Shipyard 2016 Anchor Award Winner
Members of the Rhode Island marine trades packed into the Bohlin Tent during the Newport International Boat Show to celebrate one of the biggest success stories of its statewide industry. During the Saturday morning Industry Partnership Breakfast, RIMTA presented its annual Anchor Award to Newport Shipyard, to recognize the role this company has played in transforming a part of Newport’s waterfront into a world-renowned shipyard and creating a significant impact on the state’s marine trades.
“Charlie Dana and his family had the vision to transform a piece of Newport’s waterfront into a yard that is not only a mecca for competitive sailors and superyachts from around the world, but also a destination for boaters and a magnet for marine-related businesses,” said Wendy Mackie, CEO of RIMTA. “The Shipyard is the very best example of how a small group of individuals built on the history and heritage of boating in our state to become a major economic engine for our region.”
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed presented the Anchor Award to Charlie Dana, managing partner of Newport Shipyard. In accepting the award, Dana was joined by his family and team members from the Shipyard.
Newport Shipyard is known around the world for the caliber of yachts it attracts, its high level of service, and the international sailing events it hosts. In accepting the award, Dana regaled the crowd with stories of the early days, when the Yard was purchased out of bankruptcy by Dana and other investors in the late 1990s, and the path to becoming what the facility is today. Dana credited operating in a state with such a high concentration of marine-trades expertise, and the synergies that it produces, as part of the Shipyard’s success.
“We do not stand alone,” said Dana to the crowd of industry members. “We would not be successful today were it not for all of you.”
Other speakers at the event included Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, RIMTA President Dick Cromwell, RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie and Bristol Marine President Andy Tyska.
RIMTA staff members Jen Huber, director of programs, and Brian Dursi, workforce development coordinator, also gave a presentation on the ways RIMTA can help the industry to connect with skilled employees and secure funding to train its existing workforce.
The most recent class of graduates from the Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program was also recognized at the event. The last three cycles of this workforce training program, coordinated by RIMTA and funded by Real Jobs Rhode Island, have achieved a 96 percent job-placement rate.
The Industry Partnership Breakfast is an annual RIMTA tradition that draws industry peers together on the busiest day of the Newport International Boat Show to celebrate accomplishments and share information on developments in the marine trades.