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Raimondo Continues to Highlight Jobs Plan: Making College Accessible, Affordable

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo continued to highlight her Jobs Plan on Wednesday, detailing two proposals in her budget to help high school students prepare and train today for the jobs of tomorrow. The Prepare RI and P-Tech initiatives are designed to allow students to begin pursuing an affordable and accessible path to a college degree or professional certification.

"One way to help students build the skills they need to compete in the 21st-century economy is to make a college degree or a professional certification more affordable and accessible," Governor Raimondo said. "By partnering with our higher education institutions and businesses we can make sure our kids are learning the skills they need to be successful to move our economy forward."

"We need to position our students for success, and these initiatives will give young people the tools they need to compete in today's economy," said Mayor Lombardi. "I look forward to working with Governor Raimondo to implement these proposals in our schools to level the playing field and make opportunities for a good career and a good job more affordable and more attainable."

"Our Ocean State WAVE package begins with the W: workforce development. Growing Rhode Island's economy starts with strengthening our workforce development system, meeting the workforce needs of our employers, and positioning Rhode Islanders for the jobs of today and tomorrow," said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "Through the initiatives announced today, young people will have access to new pathways to college-level training, internships, and careers in Rhode Island."

"Education is key to America's economic growth and competitiveness, and clearly, a high school diploma is no longer enough. High school must be transformed across the United States to provide a clear pathway from school to career," said Maura Banta, IBM Director of Global Citizenship Initiatives in Education. "Governor Raimondo and her team are to be commended for their tireless efforts to bring P-TECH to Rhode Island, a proven model that will equip students with the 21st century skills needed to be successful."

P-Tech P-Tech is a nationally recognized program developed by IBM that enables high school students to earn an associate's degree in competitive fields and puts them on a path towards a job after graduation. This initiative will create partnerships among public high schools, colleges and employers to create opportunity for students and a steady stream of talented, trained workers for businesses. Raimondo's proposed budget includes a request for $900,000 for P-Tech.

Prepare RI Prepare RI will empower students across the state who qualify to participate in dual and concurrent enrollment program, allowing them to take post-secondary courses while they are enrolled in a publicly-funded high schools at no cost to the student. The concurrent enrollment program allows students to take a public university accredited course offered at a public high school, taught by a high school teacher. The dual enrollment program involves students enrolled in a public high school and simultaneously taking courses part-time or full-time as a non-matriculating student at a post-secondary institution. Raimondo's proposed budget includes a request for $1.3 million for Prepare RI.


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