STATE HOUSE – Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence) is inviting the public
to a community meeting tomorrow about jobs and internship opportunities for Rhode
Island youth. The event is sponsored by Senator Pichardo and Connecting Futures.
The event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Knight
Memorial Library at 275 Elmwood Ave. in Providence.
Special guests at the meeting include Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner and
Department of Labor and Training Director Scott R. Jensen, along with business
leaders such as Delia Rodriguez, development director of AS220, Rosie Fernandez and
Amy Horan of Cox Communications, Oscar Mejia, co-founder of HITEP, Alberto Jimenez,
founder and president of Latino Business Expo, Kevin Cooper of Leadership RI and
Carrie Feliz, director of community health for Lifespan.
Parents and teens are encouraged to come and learn the details of what must be done
to work together for greater opportunities in 2016.
«These community meetings are a great opportunity for young Rhode Islanders and
their parents to learn what they need to – the how, what and why – when seeking out
job and internship opportunities,» said Senator Pichardo. «I encourage anyone who’s
interested to attend.»
According to the U.S. Census American Communities Survey data, there are about 1,200
youth 18 to 24 years of age in the neighborhoods of Elmwood and West End who have
not completed their high school education, representing 28 percent of all youth in
this age bracket. This is almost double the percentage for the state as a whole.
Two out of three of these young people are male.
Poverty in Elmwood and West End neighborhoods afflicts 30.6 percent of the
population, with children under 18 experiencing a poverty rate of 40.2 percent,
accounting for about 4,000 children. Unemployment among youth 16 to 24 years of age
in Elmwood and West End neighborhoods is very high: 37 percent for males and 23
percent for females. In terms of the education levels of the population 25 years
and older, more than one third (36.6 percent) have less than a high school
education, compared to 14.4 percent for the state, and only 15.4 percent have a
bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 31.4 percent for the state.
Serve Rhode Island seeks to collaborate with community members, nonprofit agencies
and government offices to expand internship and work experience opportunities for
all teenagers in Providence’s south-side neighborhoods.
For more information, call Serve Rhode Island at (401) 331-2298.