Governor Chafee Announces $1.75M in GWB Innovative Partnership Grants

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that the Governor’s Workforce Board RI (GWB) has awarded $1.75 million in Innovative Partnership grants. The grants bring employers and educational providers together to develop career opportunities for students, out-of-school youth and unemployed or underemployed adults.

Thirteen organizations have earned the grants, ranging in size from $86,000 to $190,000. The 13 awardees, who had to submit detailed proposals to GWB by May 12 specifying how they would use the grant monies, include six community-based organizations, three employers, three GWB industry partners and one educational institution. Five of this year’s grant awardees are new. Eight earned Innovation Partnership grants from GWB for use in Fiscal Year 2014.

Awardees include AccessPoint RI, Connecting for Children and Families, Foster Forward, The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, New England Tech, OpenDoors, UNAP RIH Education Fund-Stepping Up, The Providence Plan/Building Futures, Rhode Island Hospital, RI Manufacturers Association, Saint Antoine Residence and Year Up.

Collectively, the grants will serve more than 460 participants in industries such as construction, healthcare, hospitality, human services, IT and customer service, manufacturing and the marine trades. Funding comes from the Rhode Island employer-financed Job Development Fund. Of the participants, 406 are expected to gain work experience and/or internship opportunities through the training programs. The Governor’s Workforce Board projects that as many as 70 percent of participants-approximately 323 -are expected to find permanent work related to their training.

Although 13 employers/organizations served as lead applicants for awarded partnerships, GWB has about 60 employer partners that provide work-related services through the Innovative Partnership grants. Public-private partnerships are essential to addressing the state’s skills gap, connecting work-ready workers to employers and workers to the skills and training they need to help them get hired.

“A key component of the infrastructure of a sound economy is public-private partnerships,” said Governor Chafee. “These important new and continuing Innovative Partnerships are another sign that our strategic focus on workforce development is paying off. Investing in workforce development is always a smart investment.

“This second round of Innovation Partnership grants continues the Governor’s Workforce Board’s commitment to building lasting partnerships between employers and educational providers to help prepare out-of-work Rhode Islanders for good jobs and careers with Rhode Island businesses,” said GWB Executive Director Rick Brooks. “The diversity of programs by sectors, types of training and populations served shows the breadth of our efforts to address the skills gaps in our workforce.”

Organizations that have received grants will recruit their own program participants. Individuals who are interested in being considered for the programs should contact the organizations directly.

Grant awardees are as follows:

New Grant Recipients:

The community-based organization (CBO) Foster Forward of Foster was awarded $94,192 to provide class-room training, one-on-one coaching and work experience training to 60 youth in sectors such as retail, hospitality, food service and pet care. Employer partners include Ocean State Job Lot, LaSalle Bakery, Econotel, CVS, Golden Crest Nursing Home and The Dog House.

The CBO The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence of Providence was awarded $107,454 to provide workforce readiness and life skills training, on-the-job training, four skill credentials, non-violence training and preparation for long-term employment to 24 unemployed residents with barriers to employment. Employer partners include Aramark, Butler Hospital, Gilbane, Manpower, Lopco Contracting, Office Recycling Solutions and Trinity Brew House.

The Providence Plan/Building Futures, a CBO and GWB industry partner of Providence, was awarded $132,744 to select 20 trainees to participate in a residential construction pre-apprenticeship program. The Providence Plan has partnered with East Coast InteriorsInc.

RI Manufacturers Association, a trade association and a GWB industry partner, was awarded $163,194 to provide training and placement assistance to 32 participants in advanced manufacturing and CNC machining. Employer partners include Workforce Performance Solutions, Ferguson Perforating, Handles Unlimited, Greystone Corp., Groov-Pin, Warwick Screw, microPEP, RI Carbide, Seaside Casuals and Swissline Precision.

The CBO Year Up of Providence was awarded $86,153 to provide job and life skills training to 15 young adults-an earn-while-you-learn structure through paid corporate internships in sales and marketing. Year Up has partnered with Hasbro.


Current Grant Recipients:

The CBO Connecting for Children and Families of Woonsocket was awarded $127,957 to provide experiential culinary arts training and internships at area restaurants to 25 residents. Partners include UNO Chicago Grill, Twin River, Twin Oaks, Saint Antoine Residence, Northern RI Community Service and Head Start.

The New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich was awarded $190,000 to provide 40 unemployed individuals with entry-level occupational skills training within the shipbuilding and machine technology industries. Employer partners include General Dynamics/Electric Boat, Guill Tool and Engineering, SENESCO Marine, Swissline Precision, Rhode Island Carbide, RIMA and RIMTA.

The CBO OpenDoors of Providence was awarded $99,122 to provide a continuum of services and training followed by subsidized employment for 15 ex-offenders. Employer partners include Office Recycling Solutions and Providence Computer Resources. The RI Department of Corrections and Providence Computer Resources serve as education partners.

Rhode Island Hospital of Providence was awarded $157,145 to provide a 16- to 18-week program that includes RI Department of Health-approved CNA training program followed by a Lifespan CNA internship to 60 participants. Additional employer partners include Newport Hospitaland Homefront Health Care.

The RI Marine Trades Association of Bristol-a GWB industry partner-was awarded $100,655 to expand an existing 205-hour pre-apprenticeship training program for 20 unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders. Employer partners include LaserPerformance, Newport Shipyard, Freedom Boat Club, Bristol Marine, IYRS, Kellogg Marine Supply, Gowerie Group and Hunt Yacht. Education partners are New England Institute of Technology, MTTI, Tiverton High School, Chariho Career and Technical Education and Warwick Career and Technical Education.

Saint Antoine Residence of North Smithfield was awarded $173,905 to continue to expand its existing CNA program to homecare CNAs, build a CNA II pathway and expand incumbent support to include financial literacy for 42 Rhode Islanders. Partners include Homefront Health Care, Friendly Home, Overlook Nursing Home, Trinity Health, Friendly Home, Family Resources, Community College of RI and Stepping Up.

Stepping Up of Providence, a CBO and GWB industry partnerwas awarded $173,937 to create RN clinical residency opportunities for 25 unemployed and underemployed participants who are currently accepted into a BSN program. Employer partners include Newport Hospital, KentHospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Bradley Hospital, Butler Hospital, AccessPoint and J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center.

AccessPoint RI of Warwick was awarded $146,566 to provide training, internship and placement to 100 job seekers interested in the Direct Service Provider pre-certification program. Partners include Community College of RI Center for Workforce and Community Education, The Kent Center and The Governor’s Commission on Disabilities.

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