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GWB to offer $1.4 million in innovative employer/educator partnership grants
>Pre-proposal conference scheduled for December 17

December 14, 2012

The Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) has announced a $1.4 million Request for Proposals to fund workforce partnerships between private employers and educational providers. Innovative Partnership Grants of $100,000 to $250,000 will be awarded to proposals designed to develop career pathways for students, out-of-school youth and unemployed adults.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee explains, "Workforce development is one of the surest ways to grow our economy and promote job creation. This RFP is an example of a wise investment to support partnerships between employers and educational institutions that will foster career pathways for unemployed or underemployed Rhode Islanders."

Potential applicants are strongly encourages to attend a pre-proposal conference on Monday, December 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the RI Department of Labor and Training, 1511 Pontiac Ave., Cranston. Call 401-462-8864 to pre-register.

To view the Request for Proposals, visit www.gwb.ri.gov and click on “FY2013 Innovative Partnerships Grant.” The deadline to submit proposals is January 30, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.

GWB Executive Director Rick Brooks adds, “We are particularly interested in proposals that demonstrate substantial employer involvement in both program design and commitment to success.”  This past year, the Governor’s Workforce Board has increased its efforts to connect private-sector businesses to workforce development policy-making by forming a new employer advisory committee to provide feedback and input to the board. Funding for the innovative partnership comes from the employer-financed Job Development Fund.

The Governor’s Workforce Board is the primary policy-making body on workforce development matters for the State of Rhode Island, and has statutory responsibility and authority to plan, coordinate, fund and evaluate workforce development activities in the state. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $63 million in strategic investments that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities.

 


 

Governor Chafee Releases Biennial Employment & Training Plan
Plan Puts Forth Statewide Priorities for Addressing Skill Gap

November 15, 2012, Released by the Governor's Office

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee joined the Governor’s Workforce Board today for the release of its Biennial Employment & Training Plan for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The plan analyzes the skills of the Rhode Island workforce, the needs of Rhode Island employers, and statewide priorities for addressing skill gaps between workforce supply and demand.

In the introduction to the report, Governor Chafee emphasized the important role workforce development plays in improving the Rhode Island economy, and stated, “Ensuring Rhode Island employers have the trained workers needed to grow our economy, and connecting potential employees with the necessary skills and training to help them get hired, is more important now than it has ever been.”

A sampling of findings from the report include the following:

  • Rhode Island lost eight percent of its jobs since the peak of employment in 2006.
  • There is no shortage of workers to fill positions except at the highest skilled occupational levels.
  • Despite high unemployment rates, employers report a skills mismatch between their business needs and workforce skills.
  • Nearly 40 percent of working-age adults hold only a high school degree or less.
  • In considering the ratio of unemployment claimants to online job postings, the only two occupational groups with more job postings than unemployment claimants are Health Care and Technology.
  • Rhode Island spent more than $54 million in public dollars on workforce programs in FY2012, with 77 percent of the funding from federal sources.

Based upon these findings, the Biennial Plan outlines the following four priorities: (1) strengthening partnerships among employers, government and education; (2) promoting work readiness among adults and youth; (3) building career pathways for upward mobility in Rhode Island’s high-growth industries; and (4) improving coordination among the public workforce system and its stakeholders, particularly economic development.

Among the action steps recommended to “engage employers as full partners” in the public workforce system are: leveraging employer support for more internships, on-the-job training and experiential learning opportunities; improving the analysis of current job vacancies to prioritize training options; and expanding marketing and promoting employer usage of the state’s EmployRI.org online job matching system.

A key work-readiness recommendation is to create a statewide, employer-recognized work-readiness credential to be incorporated into workforce education and training programs. Key career pathways recommendations include expanding the use of Career and Technical school facilities to adults and establishing seamless career pathways from K-16 to employment. Lastly, the public workforce system is urged to leverage data and funding streams for greater collaboration and efficiency.

The Biennial Plan was the product of several months of intensive work by a 35-member advisory group that includes representatives of state and local agencies, private business, higher education, labor and non-profits. Its production is mandated by RI General Law 42-102-9 (h), and is intended to outline goals and objectives for the RI workforce development system.

The Governor’s Workforce Board is the primary policy-making body on workforce development matters for the State of Rhode Island, and has statutory responsibility and authority to plan, coordinate, fund and evaluate workforce development activities in the state.

 


Governor’s Workforce Board Announces $500,000 in Training Grants for Rhode Island Businesses

November 15, 2012 Released by Governor's Office

Providence, RI – The Governor's Workforce Board today announced that $500,000 in matching training "Express Grants" are now available to Rhode Island businesses seeking training for their existing employees. These grants offer up to $5,000 in matching training dollars, and businesses can apply on a rolling basis until such time as the funding pool is exhausted. Grants will be judged and awarded on a monthly basis by a committee of workforce development experts and prior grant recipients. Grant applications are available on the Governor's Workforce Board web site, www.gwb.ri.gov.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee states, "The Governor's Workforce Board launched the new Express Grant format in response to employers' desires for smaller and more frequent grant opportunities throughout the year. In particular, we believe that smaller grants like these can make a positive impact in the small business community in Rhode Island."

According to GWB executive Director Rick Brooks, the board's previous practice was to issue larger incumbent worker training grants only once a year. Brooks adds, "This new format allows us to meet employer training needs as they arise."

As part of its commitment to developing the next generation of workers, the board has also offered employers an incentive to reduce their funding match by half if they provide a school-year internship to a youth referred through the state's YouthWorks411 workforce development system.

Funding for the grants comes from the employer-funded Job Development Fund, and only employers that pay into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund are eligible to apply. Employers currently in receipt of a GWB incumbent worker training grant may not apply for express grants at this time.

The Governor's Workforce Board is the primary workforce development policy-making body for the state of Rhode Island. The 18-member board supports strategies that improve the existing skill base of the Rhode Island workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor's Workforce Board has made more than $63 million in strategic investments that reward collaboration among the state's employment, education and economic development entities.


RIMES to serve as GWB Manufacturing Industry Partnership

October 17, 2012



The Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island has awarded a contract to the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service (RIMES) to serve as its Manufacturing Industry Partnership. Through its $85,000 award, RIMES plans to work with the RI-based Workforce Strategy Center to develop an up-to-date skill gap study, review available training curricula, and assist in building career pathways for targeted manufacturing occupations.

Funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board, Industry Partnerships represent high-growth, high-wage focus areas in Rhode Island, and are tasked with reducing skill gaps between the knowledge-base of the available workforce and the skill sets currently required by private businesses. Other GWB Industry Partnerships represent the areas of Bioscience, Construction, Defense, Health Care, Hospitality, Information Technology and Marine Trades. Many of these partnerships are also actively involved in articulating career pathways that tie upward mobility within an industry to specific skills, training and educational attainment.

“Manufacturers need to take a strategy-oriented approach, such as ‘What kinds of skills do we need to become a world-class manufacturer and expand our markets?’” says RIMES CEO Harsha Prakash. “RIMES, in concert with our strategic partners and through the Governor’s Workforce Board Industry Partners Grant, can connect Rhode Island’s education and training system to the manufacturing industry to build bridges of opportunity for Rhode Island’s workforce.”

In Rhode Island, manufacturing has the fifth largest employment of all industry sectors, comprising more than 40,000 workers and paying more than $2 billion in wages in 2011. However, in 2011, job seekers in the manufacturing sectors also represented the largest percentage of unemployed workers (15.9%) among the state’s 20 different industry sectors.

GWB Executive Director Rick Brooks explains, “We believe strongly that Rhode Island’s manufacturing workforce can be a valuable asset in growing the state’s economic recovery, provided that this workforce is trained to 21st-century best practices in the industry.” Brooks adds that over time, as the manufacturing workforce receives relevant training that can bridge existing skill gaps, not only will existing manufacturing companies benefit, but other companies seeking a skilled workforce may also be interested in relocating to the Ocean State.

This recent Industry Partnership award reinvigorates the board’s efforts to support the manufacturing industry. Previously, the Governor’s Workforce Board had supported an industry partnership with the RI Manufacturing Extension Service and the RI Manufacturing Association from 2006 to 2008.

The Governor's Workforce Board is the primary workforce development policy-making body for the state of Rhode Island. The 17-member board supports strategies that improve the existing skill base of the Rhode Island workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $63 million in strategic investments that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities.


2012 Summer Youth Employment Program

October 17, 2012

In this suffering job market, it is harder than ever for the youth in our communities to find employment. That’s why this year’s collaboration between the Governor's Workforce Board (GWB) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) was critical in maintaining The Summer Youth Employment Program. This initiative, funded through the Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) utilizing Job Development Funds, and implemented through the two local workforce investment boards, Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston (WSPC) and Workforce Partnerships of Greater Rhode Island (WPGRI) has been providing summer work experience and work readiness training to the youth in our communities since 2007.

This year’s $2 million dollar investment ($1 million from GWB and $1 million from DHS) was able to put over thirteen hundred youth, between the ages of 14-24, to work; Some learning what it is like to have a job for the first time. Eighteen vendors, from around the state, were selected through an RFP process. These vendors provided work readiness activities as well as assisted the youth in securing a work site for placement in a subsidized employment position with various public, private and non-profit businesses.

The youth held various subsidized employment positions including but not limited to clerks, child care assistants, Youth Health Coaches, background check specialist, manufacturing assistants, kitchen assistants, retail, graphic design, counselors and several positions in our local hospitals. Some employers included Yushin America, Inc., Hire Image, Lifespan, The Brickle Group, Boys and Girls Clubs, Newport Preservation Society, Rhode Island Parent Information Network, the City of Providence and many others.

The number of employers committed to the Summer Youth Employment Program grows each year. Employers take on students with minimum-wage subsidized employment and then hire some for regular employment following the program. This summer, Lifespan took 60 students; hired eight for regular employment in part and full-time positions. The Boys and Girls Clubs, around the state, took on 60 students and hired 10 for regular employment in several locations. Also, Yushin American took two youth placements and was so impressed that they offered one student a job when he turns 18 and the other youth, who has returned to college, has been offered a position upon completion of his Associates Degree program.

Arkaydia Farrow, 18, reads to youngsters at the Boys & Girls Club of Woonsocket. She organizes and manages group activities for children as a member of the club’s teen group in her first paid job, financed by the state’s Summer Youth Employment Program
Arkaydia Farrow, 18, reads to youngsters at the Boys & Girls Club of Woonsocket. She organizes and manages group activities for children as a member of the club’s teen group in her first paid job, financed by the state’s Summer Youth Employment Program
  Rhode Island Parent Information Network’s Youth Health Coach Taneshia Robinson is presenting a session of the Healthy Lifestyles curriculum to participants of a public training.
Rhode Island Parent Information Network’s Youth Health Coach Taneshia Robinson is presenting a session of the Healthy Lifestyles curriculum to participants of a public training. 

 


Governor’s Workforce Board Awards $1.3 Million in Training Grants (originally released by the Office of the Governor)

83 Companies to Train 3,800 Workers;
Matching Grants Represent $2.6 Million Investment in RI Workforce

June 21, 2012

Providence, RI – At the monthly meeting of the Governor’s Workforce Board today, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and GWB Chair Constance A. Howes announced $1.3 million in training grants to 83 RI companies. Collectively the grants, which are geared toward existing employees and not new hires, are anticipated to improve the skills of more than 3,800 workers. Because matching grants require recipients to match or exceed their awards, the total for this public-private investment in the Rhode Island workforce is more than $2.6 million.

Thirty-seven of the businesses awarded grants are manufacturers, representing the largest industry sector among the recipient pool. Governor Chafee said, “This sector’s interest in training shows that the manufacturing industry is still a viable force in the Rhode Island economy. This training will allow our existing manufacturing base to become more competitive in the global marketplace.”

The next largest group of recipients—15 awardees—represented the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector. In the competitive grant awarding process, a proposal received bonus points if it represented one of the following high-growth industry sectors: Information; Finance & Insurance; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Manufacturing; and Health Care & Social Assistance.

In addition to matching funding, a total of $100,000 in bonus funding was made available to companies or organizations that built in youth summer work experiences or youth school-year internships into their proposals. Fourteen of the grant recipients qualified for this bonus funding, which collectively will provide summer work experiences to 15 youth and school-year internships to 7 youth. Chair Constance A. Howes explained, “By incentivizing business to provide work experience to our youth, we are helping to prepare the next generation for careers in Rhode Island’s top industries.”

This year, the Governor’s Workforce Board offered grant awards on a sliding scale, depending on the size of the company. Small businesses of less than 50 employees could apply for up to $10,000 in matching funds, while medium-size businesses of 50-249 employees could apply for up to $25,000 in matching funds, and larger businesses of 250 or more employees could apply for up to $40,000. Thirty-five of the 83 grants awarded fit the small business definition, while 22 were medium-sized and 26 were larger businesses. GWB Executive Director Rick Brooks added, “The board is committed to helping Rhode Island businesses of all sizes, and our members are particularly gratified by the participation of small business in this year’s grant pool.”

For this round of grants, the Governor’s Workforce Board received 119 separate proposals. Grants are financed through the employer-supported Job Development Fund. Only businesses that pay into the Job Development Fund are eligible to apply.

The Governor's Workforce Board is the primary workforce development policy-making body for the state of Rhode Island. The 17-member board supports strategies that improve the existing skill base of the Rhode Island workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $57-million worth of strategic investments in Rhode Island that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities.

Ashaway  
IQL Independent Quality Labs, Inc.                                   $10,000.00
Barrington  
Nalari Health, LLC                                                             $10,000.00
Bristol  
Covalence Specialty Adhesives, LLC                                  $10,000.00
Jade Engineered Plastics, Inc.                                             $13,680.00
RI Marine Trades Association                                             $10,000.00
Central Falls  
Dexter Credit Union                                                           $10,000.00
Murdock Webbing Company, Inc.                                      $24,999.00
Stolberger, Inc. dba Wardwell Braiding Company                $10,900.00
Whittet-Higgins Company                                                   $11,640.00
Coventry  
Rhodes Pharmaceuticals LP                                                  $8,296.00
Rhodes Technologies                                                          $25,000.00
Cranston  
Abacus Management Technologies                                       $9,742.50
Automatic Temperature Controls                                          $4,250.00
Bottling Group                                                                    $40,000.00
Electro Standards Laboratories                                           $32,887.00
Fielding Manufacturing                                                        $10,000.00
Mearthane Products Corporation                                        $13,737.92
            Additional funding for youth opportunities          $10,000.00 
Rolling Frito-Lay                                                                $25,000.00
Taco, Inc.                                                                            $40,000.00
Thielsch Engineering, Inc.                                                      $5,239.50
Yushin America, Inc.                                                           $24,967.00
Cumberland  
The Children’s Workshop                                                    $20,387.50
Herrick & White Ltd.                                                          $23,310.00
Pet Food Experts, Inc.                                                           $9,394.00
Swissline Precision Manufacturing, Inc.                                $24,117.00
East Greenwich  
Bridge Technical Solutions                                                  $20,426.25
East Providence  
EBS Econotel Business Systems, Inc.                                  $10,000.00
Interplex Engineered Products                                              $25,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity                $5,000.00
Johnston  
AIPSO                                                                                $28,830.00
Hire Image, LLC                                                                $10,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity               $5,000.00 
Lincoln  
Calise & Sons Bakery, Inc.                                                  $39,975.00
A Child’s University                                                             $19,425.00
Gem Management, Inc.                                                        $10,000.00
RI Rock Gym dba Rock Spot Climbing Gym                         $3,499.00
Middletown  
All About Home Care                                                            $6,687.05
            Additional funding for youth opportunity               $5,000.00 
McLaughlin Research Corporation                                      $18,775.00
SEA CORP                                                                       $40,000.00
Narragansett  
NGC, Inc. dba The Town Dock                                            $9,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity                $5,000.00
North Kingstown  
General Dynamics-Electric Boat Quonset Point Facility                          $40,007.00
H.R.M. dba Safe/Sea                                                           $5,743.00
Home Instead Senior Care                                                    $6,480.00
Toray Plastics, Inc.                                                             $37,165.87
North Providence  
Multi-State Restoration                                                        $14,058.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunities          $10,000.00 
North Smithfield  
National Marker Company (NMC)                                    $25,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunities          $10,000.00 
Pawtucket  
American Partners, Inc.                                                      $10,000.00
Child Care Consultants                                                       $10,185.50
Collette Vacations                                                              $40,000.00
M&G Transportation, Inc.                                                  $10,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity               $5,000.00 
Printmakers, Inc.                                                                  $4,320.00
Portsmouth  
Clearlight Enterprises, Inc.                                                     $3,189.70
The Talaria Company                                                           $9,725.00
Providence  
Amos House                                                                        $2,290.00
Andera, Inc                                                                        $25,000.00
Center for Women & Enterprise                                         $10,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity               $5,000.00 
Dimeo Construction                                                            $23,380.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunities           $10,000.00
Edesia                                                                                  $9,885.00
Grande Masonry LLC                                                          $2,819.16
Jammat Housing and Community Development Corporation $25,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunities           $10,000.00 
Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Company                                          $5,000.00
LDC, Inc.                                                                            $10,000.00
Moran Shipping Agencies,Inc.                                            $10,000.00
Steere Engineering, Inc.                                                        $8,000.00
Stephen Turner Inc.                                                              $9,982.50
Ximedica                                                                             $24,981.00
Smithfield  
Navigant Credit Union                                                        $18,175.00
Precision Turned Components Corp. dba Groov-Pin   $10,000.00
Warren  
American Ecotech                                                                 $9,993.20
Magnetic Seal Corporation dba Magseal                             $25,000.00
Paramount Restaurant Supply Inc.                                     $25,000.00
Warwick  
AMS Imaging, LLC                                                             $10,000.00
ATW Companies, Inc                                                         $25,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity               $5,000.00
DiSanto, Priest & Co.                                                         $25,000.00
Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center                                           $10,053.00
Graphic Solutions for Business, Inc.                                      $7,755.00
Lumetta, Inc.                                                                        $2,175.00
VR Industries                                                                     $10,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunity                $5,000.00
West Kingston  
Modine Manufacturing Company                                          $6,258.50
West Warwick  
Guill Tool & Engineering Company                                     $24,797.00
Mereco Technologies Group, Inc.                                       $10,000.00
Westerly  
Eagle Industries, Inc. dba Eagle Electric                              $10,000.00
            Additional funding for youth opportunities           $10,000.00
Maxson Automatic Machinery Company                             $10,000.00
Woonsocket  
Diversified Global Technologies, LLC                                 $10,000.00
Technic, Inc.                                                                       $19,897.00



 

Governor, Mayors Announce Summer Youth Employment Program (originally released by the Office of the Governor)

June 1, 2012

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Mayor Angel Taveras and Mayor Allan Fung joined Director of Human Services Sandra M. Powell and Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty at the State House today to announce $2 million in state and federal funding that will provide summer employment to more than 1,300 Rhode Island youth ages 14-24.

The Governor’s Workforce Board is providing $1 million from the state Job Development Fund, and the RI Department of Human Services is providing an additional $1 million in federal funding from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. While families must meet federal income guidelines to qualify for the 600 TANF-funded youth employment opportunities, no such income limitations are required for the 750 state-funded opportunities.

Governor Chafee stressed the importance of work experience for youth, stating, “This provides not only an economic boost for many of the participants’ families, but it also teaches young people marketable skills that will help them in their future careers. It is particularly gratifying that we are able to make federal and state dollars work together to create employment opportunities for young Rhode Islanders.”

The Governor noted that opportunities for summer and year-round employment for teenagers are particularly hard to find. According to the RI Department of Labor and Training, while the average annual unemployment rate for the entire Rhode Island workforce in 2011 was 11.3 percent, the average for Rhode Island youth ages 16-19 was 29.0 percent.

“Any time we are able to stand together and offer the youth of this city and state a chance at summer employment, it is a great day,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “We are pleased to be partners in both the Governor’s Workforce Board initiative and the RI Department of Human Services’ TANF summer jobs program. These young people will learn the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and in life.”

Beginning in July, community-based organizations throughout the state will offer a combination of work experience and work readiness training in areas as diverse as green construction, hospitality and aquaculture. All participants will also be required to complete a workplace certification such as occupational safety or customer service training; certifications vary from program to program. Most programs are slated to run for 20 hours each week for six weeks, during which time youth will earn minimum wage ($7.40/hour). The programs are overseen by the two local workforce investment boards: the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island and Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston.

Director of Human Services Sandra M. Powell also affirmed the value of partnering with the Governor’s Workforce Board and the Department of Labor and Training, adding, “This opportunity extends the core mission of TANF, which is to support families in improving their lives by establishing themselves in the workforce. The young people who participate in the program will benefit not only this summer but for many years to come.”

Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty explained that the department’s YouthWORKS411 system—a network of 15 career exploration and work readiness centers around the state—will play a key role in recruitment and placement for the summer employment program. He advised youth interested in the summer employment program to contact either their local YouthWORKS411 center or participating community-based organizations. He cautioned that many of the available employment opportunities are expected to be filled by existing clientele of the youth centers and community-based organizations. For information and directions to local youth centers, visit the Department of Labor and Training web site at www.dlt.ri.gov/youthworks411. Below is a listing of summer youth employment programs funded through this combined initiative.

AS220 Youth
Service area: Providence and Cranston
Age eligibility: 14-21
Work experience in arts-related disciplines such as graphic design, community murals and video game design

Blackstone Valley Community Action Program
Service area: Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln and Pawtucket
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work experience at the McColl Field

YMCA Boys and Girls Clubs consortium, led by the Boys and Girls Club of Newport
Service area: Cumberland/Lincoln, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, Warwick and Woonsocket
Age eligibility: 14-24
Employment as camp counselors or in the hospitality and health care industries

Comprehensive Community Action
Service area: Cranston
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work experience through the public school system, the City of Cranston and private employers

East Bay Community Action Program
Service area: Newport County and East Bay
Age eligibility: 14-19
Employment in such EBCAP programs as senior services and Head Start; also employment through other area organizations

Family Resource Community Action Program
Service area: Woonsocket
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work experience in health care, manufacturing, bioscience, communications, entrepreneurship and agriculture

Living History
Service area: Providence and Cranston
Age eligibility: 14-18
Work experience in historic interpretation of the Civil War reenactments, set at Roger Williams Park

Metropolitan Regional Career & Technical School
Service area: All Rhode Island, with focus on Providence, Cranston, Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenwich areas
Age eligibility: 14-21 Work experience in construction and green industries, computer, hospitality, engineering and manufacturing

New England Laborers’/Cranston Public School Construction Career Academy
Service area: Providence and Cranston
Age eligibility: 14-19
Work experience in health care, construction and hospitality and tourism

Rhode Island Hospital
Service area: Providence and Cranston
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work assignments at RI Hospital, Miriam Hospital and Lifespan Corporate Services

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association in conjunction with Save the Bay and International Yacht Restoration School
Service area: Bristol, Newport and West Warwick areas
Age eligibility: 16-24
Work experience in ocean sustainability and boat building

Rhode Island Parent Information Network and the RI Department of Health/Office of Special Needs
Service area: Providence and Cranston
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work experience and education as youth health coaches

SER Jobs for Progress
Service area: Pawtucket and Central Falls
Age eligibility: 14-15
Internships at local businesses

Seven Hills Rhode Island (formerly Homestead Group)
Service area: Greater Rhode Island
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work experience and vocation exploration for youth with diagnosed disabilities

Tri-Town Community Action Agency
Service area: North Providence and South County
Age eligibility: 14-19
Employment through local businesses

Tri-Town Community Action Agency
Service area: Providence
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work readiness and work experience program for Ocean Tides School clientele currently in foster care system

Woodlawn Community Development
Service area: Pawtucket
Age eligibility: 14-24
Work experience in aqua-ponic food production, community gardening and landscaping


 

Welcome Back Center at Dorcas Place Wins GWB Innovation Award

May 22, 2012

Welcome Back Center Innovation Award

Pictured (L-R): Welcome Back Center success story Dahiana Rodriguez; Governor’s Workforce Board Chair Constance A. Howes, JD, FACHE; Welcome Back Center Director Manuela Raposo; and Dorcas Place President and CEO Carol Holmquist

At its annual meeting on May 17, the Governor’s Workforce Board presented the Welcome Back Center at Dorcas Place with its 2012 Innovative Award not only for its ability to address a labor market shortage in health care professionals, but also for its ability to leverage the board’s initial investment through community investment.

The Welcome Back Center helps internationally trained professionals in the health care field—the number one industry sector in Rhode Island—overcome barriers to higher level employment. These barriers may include such issues as English as a Second Language, licensure and test-taking requirements, and unfamiliarity with the U.S. health care system.

Over the past three years, the center has enrolled 268 health care professionals, including 40 physicians, 42 nurses, 21 dentist and 24 psychologists. Through robust fundraising efforts, the center has been able to nearly double the Governor’s Workforce Board’s initial investment of $300,000.

The Governor’s Workforce Board is the primary policy-making body for workforce development in the State of Rhode Island. For more information, visit www.dlt.ri.gov.

 


May 14, 2012

Check out Executive Director Rick Brook's interview on WPRI/Fox News:
http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/providence/governors-workforce-board-aims-to-keep-jobs-in-ri-rick-brooks-interview

 

Governor’s Workforce Board seeks Industry Partnership in Manufacturing

May 2, 2012

The Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island is seeking to add Manufacturing to its list of actively funded Industry Partnerships, which includes such growth industries as Bioscience, Construction, Defense, Health Care, Hospitality, Information Technology and Marine Trades.

Up to $100,000 in funding is available for an organization or consortium to serve as a workforce intermediary with the RI manufacturing community. That intermediary will help match the skills sets most desired by RI businesses with training opportunities for RI job seekers, in order to improve the sector’s overall competitiveness.  A formal request for proposals was made public this week at http://www.gwb.ri.gov/RFPs.htm. Proposal deadline has been extended until 4:00 pm on June 22, 2012.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee states, "It is our hope that investing in the manufacturing workforce will build the skills, credentials and earning power of its members. This coordinated effort toward education and training will also benefit the sector as a whole, by building greater awareness of best practices and new technologies among all Rhode Island manufacturers, large and small."

In Rhode Island, manufacturing has the fifth largest employment of all industry sectors, comprising more than 40,000 workers and paying more than $2 billion in wages in 2011. According to Labor Market Information, more than one quarter of the manufacturing workforce is age 55 or older. Governor’s Workforce Board Executive Director Rick Brooks explains, “The impending retirement of these employees may offer new opportunities for the next generation of manufacturing workers, provided that their skill sets are well-matched to the needs of 21st-century manufacturing operations.” 

This effort reinvigorates the board’s efforts to support the manufacturing industry. Previously, the Governor’s Workforce Board had supported an industry partnership with the RI Manufacturing Extension Service and the RI Manufacturing Association from 2006 to 2008. 



More than $1 Million in Training Grants Available to RI Businesses

March 27, 2012

The Governor's Workforce Board of Rhode Island announced today that up to $1.2 million in matching grants is available to eligible businesses for incumbent worker training. Grants are judged on their ability to increase worker productivity, to improve operational efficiencies and/or to encourage workplace innovation, talent development and promotion opportunities.

Maximum awards vary depending on the size of the company. Small businesses of less than 50 employees may apply for up to $10,000 in matching funds, while medium-size businesses of 50-249 employees may apply for up to $25,000 in matching funds, and larger businesses of 250 or more employees may apply for up to $40,000.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee states, “We must continue to work to connect members of our workforce with relevant training opportunities. Grants such as these are a great way to help Rhode Island businesses invest in their own employees while strengthening our state's workforce.”

In addition to matching funding, up to $10,000 in bonus funding is available to companies or organizations that provide a summer work experience or school-year internships to youth who have been referred by the Department of Labor and Training's YouthWORKS411 centers.

Executive Director Rick Brooks adds, "The Governor's Workforce Board believes that customized employee training can help make RI companies more competitive and successful. Funding of incumbent worker training grants is one way our board can support local businesses."

Grants are made possible by the RI Job Development Fund. Only businesses that pay into the Job Development Fund are eligible to apply. Copies of the Request for Proposals may be downloaded at www.gwb.ri.gov. Proposals are due not later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 27.

Those interested in applying for an incumbent worker training grant are strongly urged to attend a pre-proposal conference at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, April 6 in Room 4080 of the Community College of Rhode Island Knight Campus, 400 East Ave., Warwick. To register, please call 462-8864.

The Governor's Workforce Board is the primary workforce development policy-making body for the state of Rhode Island. Led by Chair Constance A. Howes, the 17-member board supports strategies that improve the existing skill base of the Rhode Island workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $56-million worth of strategic investments in Rhode Island that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities.

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Governor’s Workforce Board announces short-term training and hiring incentives for unemployed Rhode Islanders

February 16, 2012

Cranston The Governor’s Workforce Board announced today that it plans to fund more than $200,000 in short-term training and hiring incentives for unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders this spring and summer. The four pilot programs include:
1.  An electronic health records training pre-employment program with hiring incentives for Rhode Island employers.
2.  A hospitality training program with hiring incentives.
3.  Subsidized fellowships for graduating college seniors to work in the information technology (IT) field.
4.  Post-employment IT and bioscience training for previously unemployed Rhode Islanders.
In total, the four pilot programs hope to serve 50 to 60 Rhode Island job seekers.
RI Governor Lincoln D. Chafee stated, “The Governor’s Workforce Board understands that in this economy, its top priorities are helping business find skilled workers and helping business grow new job opportunities. By combining pre-employment training with either hiring incentives or post-employment training subsidies, each of the pilot programs will help newly skilled job seekers find employment in the Rhode Island workforce.”

Short-Term Training and Hiring Incentives

Governor’s Workforce Board Chair Constance Howes explains that the four programs focus on entry-level positions and are designed to build upon the board’s existing relationship with industry partnerships in high-growth industries. “Our industry partnerships work directly with businesses to identify both skill gaps and the training necessary to bridge those skill gaps,” Howes says. “The latest pilots take this process one step further, by incentivizing the hiring of workers trained in key skill sets.”

The electronic health records program will be administered by Stepping Up, one member of the GWB Health Care industry partnership consortium. The hospitality training program will be administered by the GWB industry partnership, the RI Hospitality Education Foundation, while the IT and bioscience programs will be administered by another GWB industry partnership, the Tech-Collective. In the future, the Governor’s Workforce Board will review the outcomes of each of the four pilots to determine if any or all will be renewed or expanded upon in the next fiscal year.

The pilot programs will be paid for by the Job Development Fund, which supports business growth and job creation in Rhode Island and is financed by a percentage of employer payments to the Employment Security Trust Fund.



GWB to launch $200,000 in pilot programs that encourage training and hiring of unemployed Rhode Islanders


February 16, 2012

This spring and summer, the Governor’s Workforce Board will fund four separate pilot programs for Rhode Island job seekers that combine pre-employment training with either hiring incentives or post-employment training subsidies. The programs seek to connect underemployed and unemployed job seekers with entry-level jobs in several high-growth industry sectors, including health care, hospitality, information technology (IT) and bioscience. Administering the pilot programs will be member organizations of several existing GWB industry partnerships—Stepping Up, the RI Hospitality Education Foundation, and the Tech Collective. The four programs are expected to serve 50 to 60 job seekers at a cost of approximately $200,000. Financing for the programs comes from the employer-supported Rhode Island Job Development Fund. These programs include:

Electronic Health Records Pre-Employment Training

  • Number served: 8-10 unemployed Rhode Islanders
  • GWB Industry Partnership: Stepping Up
  • Collaborating organizations: Providence Community Health Centers; District 1199, SEIU
  • Cost: $55,000

Stepping Up will recruit unemployed Rhode Islanders for Electronic Health Records training in partnership with Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC) and District 1199, SEIU. This pre-employment training program will include 80 hours of work readiness, computer and office skills training, and a 200-hour unpaid internship. Participants may still collect unemployment insurance while participating in the program. As a hiring incentive, GWB will reimburse up to 50 percent of salaries for first eight weeks of employment. 

Hospitality Job Placement

  • Number served: 15 unemployed Rhode Islanders
  • GWB Industry Partnership: RI Hospitality Education Foundation
  • Collaborating organizations: RI Department of Education/Office of Adult Education, Dorcas Place
  • Cost: $53,000

Among the adult education initiatives GWB helps fund through the RI Department of Education is the Skills, Tasks and Results Training (START) program, created by the American Hotel & Lodging and currently overseen by the RI Hospitality Education Foundation. The curriculum includes 180 hours of classroom instruction and 90 hours of internship in order to train job seekers for careers in the lodging industry. As an incentive for businesses to hire graduates of the START program, the GWB will reimburse up to 50 percent of salaries for the first 12 weeks of employment.

Fellowships for Recent College Graduates in Information Technology and Bioscience

  • Number served: 20 graduating college seniors from Rhode Island colleges and universities; preference given to RI residents
  • GWB Industry Partnership: Tech Collective
  • Cost: $64,000

Tech Collective will recruit up to 20 graduating college seniors from programs at public and private colleges and universities for eight-week fellowships at local IT and bioscience companies. The fellowships will pay a $500 stipend each week, $400 to be financed by GWB and $100 to be financed by the private employer. The short-term goal is to provide work experience for area college graduates; the long-term goal is to keep area college graduates employed full-time in Rhode Island.

Post-Employment Training for IT and Bioscience Job Placements

  • Number served: 10-15 job seekers
  • GWB Industry Partnership: Tech Collective
  • Cost: $30,000

IT and Bioscience employers who hire unemployed or underemployed Rhode Island job seekers may have post-employment training subsidized by the GWB. Training needs and providers will be determined by the employer. The post-employment training offered through this program differs from on-the-job training incentives because this post-employment training typically occurs in a classroom or laboratory and not in the workplace. The average cost of training is estimated to be $2,500 per person, and may not exceed $4,000 per person. 

The Governor's Workforce Board is the primary workforce development policy-making body for the state of Rhode Island. Led by Chair Constance A. Howes, the 17-member board supports strategies that improve the existing skill base of the Rhode Island workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $56-million worth of strategic investments in Rhode Island that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities.


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