Governor outlines second-term goals to expand Promise scholarship to URI,RIC and adults at CCRI; expand Real Jobs RI training programs

LINCOLN, RI –* Governor Raimondo today announced her *Universal Education and Job Training *plan: A second term goal to ensure that every hardworking Rhode Islander can get the college education or job training they need to move forward in a good career.

Under her *Universal Education and Job Training *plan, Raimondo will expand the successful Rhode Island Promise scholarship to make the second two years at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College tuition-free, as well as making the Promise scholarship available to adults at the Community College of Rhode Island for both full-time and part-time students.

At the same time, to assist mid-career workers and people not seeking a college degree, Raimondo will remove the limits on job training to give every Rhode Island worker who wants additional training a spot in a Real Jobs RI training partnership. This goal will be met by doubling the number of Real Jobs RI partnerships with employers, rapidly expanding trade and non-trade apprenticeships, and training thousands of workers at the recently announced Northern Rhode Island Higher Education Center.

“Four years ago, we shook up the old way of doing things to finally bring the change that Rhode Islanders need and deserve. Today, thousands of Rhode Islanders are getting the training and education they need to get the good jobs we are creating,” Raimondo said. “But there’s more work to do, and too much at stake in this election. If we don’t continue to expand our successful Promise scholarship and Real Jobs RI partnerships, thousands of Rhode Islanders will never get the job training and education they need to keep up and get ahead.”

The Governor continued: “Whether you’re 18 and just starting out, 35 and stuck in a job without a future, or 50 and need to start over, there will be an opportunity for you to get the training and education you need to keep up and get ahead in Rhode Island in the years to come.”

Since Governor Raimondo’s first day in office, increasing access to workforce development and higher education has been at the heart of Rhode Island’s economic development strategy. She created the Real Jobs RI program in 2015 – for the first time, bringing together businesses, workers, higher education institutions, and community organizations in innovative, employer-led training partnerships designed to prepare workers for the jobs that employers need filled today. In her second term, Governor Raimondo will double the number of sector partnerships and the number of employers served, to at least 60 partnerships serving nearly 1,000 businesses. The Governor also plans to train 2,000 new apprentices by 2022 by putting 1,000 Rhode Islanders through building trades apprenticeships and another 1,000 Rhode Islanders through non-trade apprenticeships for six different occupations, from community health workers to advanced manufacturing. At the same time, another 1,000 Rhode Islanders in the northern part of the state are expected to be served by the Northern Rhode Island Higher Education Center by 2022.

A college degree remains the surest ticket to the middle class, and the No. 1 reason cited for not going to college is the cost. Recent graduates of Rhode Island colleges who have borrowed money to pay for school leave with an average student loan debt of $35,169 — the second highest of any state.

Governor Raimondo has led the way in increasing college access and affordability. She created Rhode Island Promise, which provides two free years of tuition at CCRI for every Rhode Island high school graduate. The program has increased enrollment and the number of students on track to graduate in its first year. In her second term, Raimondo will expand Rhode Island Promise by making it available to Rhode Islanders enrolled at our state’s four-year college and university. Any recent Rhode Island high school graduate that qualifies for in-state tuition and enrolls full-time at RIC or URI and maintains good academic standing will be eligible for the scholarship in their last two years of college.

At the same time, any Rhode Island adult will be able to attend CCRI for free. Adults with no college experience as well as adults who already have some college credit would be eligible for the Promise scholarship, whether they attend full or part-time.