A Message from President Jay Coogan

Kim Norton-O'Brien

To the IYRS Community,

The tragic and unnecessary death of George Floyd, following so many other unjust killings of African American men and women, has galvanized the world’s attention and created volatile reactions across the U.S. and the globe. This recent killing emphasizes the significant racial injustice that still exists in the U.S. and the long history of perpetuating the inequalities that led to this moment.  

As a school, IYRS believes in flattening inequality by providing education to help people achieve their dreams of attaining rewarding and meaningful careers. Providing an inclusive, respectful learning environment is at the core of our educational values. We believe that increasing the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty will make us stronger and we are always working to do better at recruiting students to help build more diverse marine and modern manufacturing industries.

Justice, fairness, and dignity need to be upheld as basic human rights. The amount of inequality in a country that globally stands for equality is literally breathtaking. It is not surprising that once again it has taken another death and violent destructive protests to wake us up to the pervasiveness of racism and inequality in America. 

If you look at the long arc of the history of America it is shaped by the story of African Americans beginning with slavery in 1619 and its elimination in 1865. Their resilience and resistance have shaped many subsequent moments of increasing equal treatment in America whether on buses, in cafeterias and schools, on baseball fields, in entertainment, and the rights of all to vote. It is black pioneers who stood up to derision, hostility and worse to define their worth as equal to or greater than any white person. We need to honor the people who have shown us that black lives matter by supporting more change.

We all need to stand up against racism and inequality and move forward unified that we will do better as a community, state, and nation. At IYRS we will rededicate our efforts to help people of color learn a trade and the confidence that comes with it.  IYRS is a place where we can make a difference.


Jay Coogan