Who are we?

We are a small team of talented professionals with a long history of working with Rhode Island Manufacturers. Our goal is to match Rhode Island workers with great jobs in local manufacturing. We are passionate about what we do and extremely proud of our success stories.

Barbara Jackson

Executive Director

Barbara has been working in workforce development for over 15 years. Prior to that, she held key management positions in state and municipal governments including the Budget Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She presently serves on the RI Apprentice Council and is an avid sailor.

Email me: barb@wemakeri.com

Gerry Marzilli

VP of Safety

Gerry worked for 28 years as the Safety and Training officer at Toray plastics. He is currently the principal at Safety Coach, LLC. a member of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Partnership of RI and serves as We Make RI’s VP of Safety.

Email me: gerry@wemakeri.com

Michael Araujo

Production Technician Program Coordinator

Michael started his career in the supermarket business before moving into manufacturing. He has previously served on the Pawtucket School Committee and is now serving as a Pawtucket City Councilor At Large. He is also a member of the Pawtucket Lions club. Michael is currently leading our production technician program.

Email me: mike@wemakeri.com

Rachel Menard

Communications Director

Rachel comes to us from Gloria Duchin, Inc., a RI manufacturer of Christmas ornaments, where she managed the website and design. For press inquiries or comments about the website, please contact her below.

Email me: rachel@wemakeri.com

Laureen Grebien

Chief Relationship Developer

Laureen worked at Greggs Restaurants for over 30 years, first in management then in Human Resources. She has a passion for people, and is working with We Make RI to facilitate connections between students and our employer partners. She is also a member of the Lions Club.

Email me: laureen@wemakeri.com

Carolina Briones


Carolina is a native Spanish speaker and has been working as an outreach program coordinator for the Providence Community Library for 20 years, creating educational programs and events, and promoting opportunities within the Latino community. She has a long-standing connection with the Latino community in Rhode Island.

Email me: carolina@wemakeri.com

Barkisu Cole

Industrial Textile Program Coordinator

Barkisu has her masters in Human Development and Family Studies from URI and has worked in the community for advocacy of families and students for over a decade. In 2019 she started her own fashion design company, BCV Design, and at We Make RI, she is sharing her passion for sewing and creation with our manufacturing students.

Email me: barkisu@wemakeri.com

Will Lopera

Partner Branding and Events

Will comes to us with a long history of retail management and event branding. A graduate of Johnson and Wales, he’s spent years mentoring for Shea Fashion, an after-school program, and is now working with We Make RI to develop new partnerships and coordinate events.

Email me: will@wemakeri.com

Want to work with us?

We don’t have any open positions at the moment, but
we’ll post to our job board when we do.