The Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) deeply appreciates the vote of support for job training expressed in the PBN’s editorial entitled “Broad job training efforts a good sign” (4/15/13). The editorial specifically commends the GWB for two grants recently awarded to Amos House in Providence and Connecting Children and Families in Woonsocket to partner with employers in the food-service industry to train 120 homeless, unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders. These awards were two of 10 Innovative Partnership grants – totaling nearly $2 million – that were announced in March by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee to support innovative business-education partnerships that will prepare unemployed Rhode Islanders with the skills that businesses need to fill current and future vacancies in high-growth occupations and industries.
In total, the 10 projects include more than 50 businesses and 10 education partners, and will prepare more than 500 individuals for jobs in health care, hospitality, marine trades, manufacturing, information technology and human services.
The PBN editorial noted that “it would be better if the state awards came with an incentive to improve job placement.” In fact, the awards do come with just such an incentive. Businesses that hire unemployed graduates of Innovative Partnership programs will be eligible to receive a hiring incentive of up to $3,600 per employee in matching funds from the GWB. A total of $350,000 has been allocated by the GWB for this purpose.
Businesses that are interested in upgrading the skills of their current workforce are also eligible for training grants. More information is available at www.gwb.ri.gov.