PROVIDENCE – The Governor’s Workforce Board has launched the first phase of its new Rhode Island Work Immersion Program, an initiative that aims to provide subsidized work opportunities for Rhode Island college students and unemployed adults.
Proposed by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and approved by the General Assembly, the $500,000 program expects to subsidize more than 250 work placements in fiscal 2014.
The first phase of the Work Immersion Program will support the expansion of paid internships for college students by providing a 50 percent wage subsidy to participating businesses. To be eligible, internships must either provide college credit or receive an endorsement from the intern’s higher education institution. Work opportunitites must pay between $7.75 and $20 per hour, and can range in duration from 45 to 200 hours. Bonus funding will be available to businesses that permanently hire the intern upon completion of the internship.
The second phase of the Work Immersion Program will provide a 50 percent wage subsidy to employers that provide a 200-hour paid “work experience” to unemployed adults. Participants must be referred by either a public- or private-sector program serving unemployed Rhode Islanders. As with college students, employers that permanently hire the unemployed adult will receive bonus funding. •