Workforce Training Partnerships Look to Fill Open Jobs Now
PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Gina M. Raimondo, along with the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, today announced the recipients of the Real Jobs RI implementation grants available through the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT). Real Jobs RI is a demand-driven initiative that puts employers at the center of the state’s workforce development efforts to train people for jobs that actually exist now.
The implementation grants will provide funding to support the creation 26 Strategic Industry Partnerships. These groups will develop training, education and human resource solutions needed to address their business and talent needs
“This demand-driven program is part of our strategy to reinvigorate the economy to make sure we are training people for jobs that are open now,” Raimondo said. “We are moving decisively to deliver a more skilled workforce to employers and to help workers find well-paying jobs so they can make it in Rhode Island. Moving this program forward so quickly would not have happened without the support of our entire Congressional delegation.”
The partnerships from more than 10 sectors will split about $5 million in federal and state funding to implement detailed job-training plans driven by employers’ specific workforce needs, including jobs that are available now. The partnerships announced today include 186 employers and 108 strategic partners across various sectors including aquaculture, bioscience, design and health care, among others.
Raimondo credited the pivotal role played by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Congressmen Jim Langevin and David N. Cicilline, whose combined efforts secured funding from the US Department of Labor for the Real Jobs partnerships.
“We want current and future employers in Rhode Island to know that we will work with them to ensure that they can find and develop the skilled workers they need to grow and prosper. Governor Raimondo has brought real vision and focus to reimagining workforce development in our state. We are united in this effort at the federal, state and local levels,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. “I was pleased to work with my colleagues in the delegation to secure critical federal funding that will help launch Real Jobs Rhode Island partnerships in key sectors of our economy such as health care, defense, manufacturing, construction and information technology, to name a few.”
“I’ve heard the same thing from businesses all over the state: we’re ready to hire, but we can’t find workers with the right training to do the job. These partnerships tackle that problem head on by preparing our workers for the jobs our employers are looking to fill now. Bridging that skills gap will put Rhode Islanders back to work and help some of our most important industries continue to grow,” said Senator Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
“Although our economy is recovering, I continue to see where the skills gap holds us back. The Real Jobs RI grant program helps build a skilled workforce,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. “The grants awarded will be used in 10 sectors of the Rhode Island economy, helping hundreds of potential workers to learn the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career. From cybersecurity to manufacturing, healthcare to construction, all the major segments of Rhode Island’s economy will benefit from these grants.”
“Rhode Island has been making great progress in getting people back to work and growing our economy. Ensuring that job training is directly connected to the positions available is a key piece of continuing that job growth, and this announcement will boost Rhode Island’s ability to get people back to work,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline. “I applaud the Governor for her relentless focus on getting Rhode Islanders back to work and look forward to continuing to work with her to promote Rhode Island’s economic comeback.”
“It’s critical that we equip our workforce with the skills necessary to meet the needs of Rhode Island businesses,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “The Real Jobs RI initiative builds a workforce training infrastructure from the ground up, reflecting the specific demands of Rhode Island’s key sectors – ranging from industrial design to healthcare, marine trades to information technology. We are changing the way we understand and address workforce training issues in our state, ensuring that we will meet the real needs of our state’s businesses and workers. Today’s announcement is an important milestone in this critical effort.”
“Our mission in the Raimondo Administration is helping Rhode Islanders develop the skills they need to succeed in 21st century jobs,” said DLT Director Scott Jensen. “Real Jobs RI is an innovative, faster and better way to match workers who need jobs with employers who need skilled workers to fill open positions.”