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Governor's Workforce Board Announces Short-term Training and Hiring Incentives for Unemployed Rhode Islanders

Cranston, RI - The Governor's Workforce Board announced today that it plans to fund more than $200,000 in short-term training and hiring incentives for unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders this spring and summer. The four pilot programs include:

1. An electronic health records training pre-employment program with hiring incentives for Rhode Island employers.

2. A hospitality training program with hiring incentives.

3. Subsidized fellowships for graduating college seniors to work in the information technology (IT) field.

4. Post-employment IT and bioscience training for previously unemployed Rhode Islanders.

In total, the four pilot programs hope to serve 50 to 60 Rhode Island job seekers.

RI Governor Lincoln D. Chafee stated, "The Governor's Workforce Board understands that in this economy, its top priorities are helping business find skilled workers and helping business grow new job opportunities. By combining pre-employment training with either hiring incentives or post-employment training subsidies, each of the pilot programs will help newly skilled job seekers find employment in the Rhode Island workforce."

Governor's Workforce Board Chair Constance Howes explains that the four programs focus on entry-level positions and are designed to build upon the board's existing relationship with industry partnerships in high-growth industries. "Our industry partnerships work directly with businesses to identify both skill gaps and the training necessary to bridge those skill gaps," Howes says. "The latest pilots take this process one step further, by incentivizing the hiring of workers trained in key skill sets."

The electronic health records program will be administered by Stepping Up, one member of the GWB Health Care industry partnership consortium. The hospitality training program will be administered by the GWB industry partnership, the RI Hospitality Education Foundation, while the IT and bioscience programs will be administered by another GWB industry partnership, the Tech-Collective. In the future, the Governor's Workforce Board will review the outcomes of each of the four pilots to determine if any or all will be renewed or expanded upon in the next fiscal year.

The pilot programs will be paid for by the Job Development Fund, which supports business growth and job creation in Rhode Island and is financed by a percentage of employer payments to the Employment Security Trust Fund.

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