Program is a Win for Workers, Win for Employers and Win for Rhode Island
WARWICK, RI – Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced the 21 recipients of the Real Jobs Rhode Island planning grants available through the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT). Real Jobs Rhode Island 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.
«Our mission is to put people to work and by making our job-training efforts employer-centered, everyone wins,» Raimondo said. «It’s a win for employees who will have a job once their training is complete. It’s a win for employers who will have a pipeline of trained workers. And it’s a win for Rhode Island as we look to attract and grow more companies here.»
Real Jobs Rhode Island is designed to ensure that employers have the talent they need to compete and grow while providing targeted education and skills training for workers.
The 21 Real Jobs Rhode Island planning grants, totaling $479,000, will provide funding to support the creation of Strategic Industry Partnerships. These groups will identify the training, education and human resource solutions needed to address their business needs as well as the action plans to implement these solutions.
«One of the chief concerns of Rhode Island businesses is finding talent to fill their vacancies and fuel their success. That’s why the Governor’s economic growth framework begins with workforce development,» Secretary Pryor said. «The Real Jobs program has invited employers to band together within their sectors in order to inform us of their specific workforce needs and, in so doing, enable us to partner with them effectively. Employers have responded remarkably. These 21 grant recipients represent over 100 employers and business associations. Now these awardees have the opportunity to produce plans that identify their real needs and that position us to craft real solutions together.»
«How can it be that Rhode Island has a stubbornly high unemployment rate, yet there are employers every day saying they have jobs open that they can’t fill?» said DLT Director Scott Jensen. «The problem is that not enough Rhode Islanders have the skills they need to succeed in 21st century jobs. We need to rethink the way we match workers who need jobs, with employers who have open positions but who don’t have applicants with the skills or training to fill them.»
About Real Jobs Rhode Island
Real Jobs RI is a flexible demand driven workforce development program that supports ideas from employers and partners of all sizes to connect people to the job openings of today and in the near future. Planning and implementation grants help employers analyze the workforce demands of industry and cross-industry sectors over a sustained period of time and build partner relationships that will produce a stable pipeline of trained workers to jobs.
The $1.3 million in first-year funds for Real Jobs RI comes from the Governor’s Workforce Board through its administration of the state Job Development Fund (JDF). The JDF is a long-standing state account dedicated to improving the skills and employability of Rhode Island’s workforce. The Real Jobs RI program also has received a $5.2 million federal grant and intends to leverage other federal resources to support this innovative industry-sector based workforce initiative.