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Governor's Workforce Board to Invest in Two Apprenticeships Programs

Governor's Workforce Board to Invest in Two Apprenticeships Programs

Funds from General Revenue to Support the Initiatives

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that the Governor's Workforce Board has voted to invest up to $150,000 toward the development of two new non-traditional apprenticeships—one for Computer Numerically Controlled Machinists and another for Cost-Estimators and Construction Managers. Funding for this initiative comes from Article 15 of the FY 2014 budget, and represents the first time in recent memory that General Revenue has been used to fund workforce development efforts.

"The development of these apprenticeships will allow Rhode Island to expand its options for workforce training and create new opportunities for upward mobility in the manufacturing and construction sectors," said Governor Chafee said. "I am proud to have worked with the General Assembly in order to fund this new venture."

The curricula for both apprenticeships are expected to be completed in late spring and submitted for approval to the Department of Labor and Training. Apprenticeships could be operational as soon as next summer and fall.

Proposed in response to industry demand, the CNC Machinist apprenticeship is a collaborative effort with R.I. Manufacturing Extension Services, the R.I. Marine Trades Association and the Community College of Rhode Island. Rhode Island manufacturers Groov-Pin, Guill Tool & Engineering, New England Boatworks, Nordson EFD, Swissline Precision Manufacturing, Tiffany & Company and Yushin America all provided letters of support for this proposal.

Also proposed in response to industry need, the Cost-Estimators and Construction Managers apprenticeship will be developed by the Building Futures/Providence Plan in collaboration with the Gilbane Building Company. While traditional apprenticeships have focused on the construction industry, they typically have addressed trade-related training and rarely have addressed management-level needs.

The proposals were chosen through a Request for Proposals targeting existing GWB Industry Partnerships. Industry Partnerships serve as liaisons between the public and private sector in Rhode Island's high-growth industries and are instrumental in the current efforts to create career pathways for the Rhode Island workforce.

The Governor's Workforce Board is the primary policy-making board for Rhode Island workforce development. Since its inception in 2005, the board has invested more than $70 million in initiatives that improve the existing skill base of the workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses.

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