Governor’s Workforce Board Announces $500,000 in Training Grants for Rhode Island Businesses

Providence, RI – The Governor’s Workforce Board today announced that $500,000 in matching training “Express Grants” are now available to Rhode Island businesses seeking training for their existing employees. These grants offer up to $5,000 in matching training dollars, and businesses can apply on a rolling basis until such time as the funding pool is exhausted. Grants will be judged and awarded on a monthly basis by a committee of workforce development experts and prior grant recipients. Grant applications are available on the Governor’s Workforce Board web site,

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee states, “The Governor’s Workforce Board launched the new Express Grant format in response to employers’ desires for smaller and more frequent grant opportunities throughout the year. In particular, we believe that smaller grants like these can make a positive impact in the small business community in Rhode Island.”

According to GWB executive Director Rick Brooks, the board’s previous practice was to issue larger incumbent worker training grants only once a year. Brooks adds, “This new format allows us to meet employer training needs as they arise.”

As part of its commitment to developing the next generation of workers, the board has also offered employers an incentive to reduce their funding match by half if they provide a school-year internship to a youth referred through the state’s YouthWorks411 workforce development system.

Funding for the grants comes from the employer-funded Job Development Fund, and only employers that pay into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund are eligible to apply. Employers currently in receipt of a GWB incumbent worker training grant may not apply for express grants at this time.

The Governor’s Workforce Board is the primary workforce development policy-making body for the state of Rhode Island. The 18-member board supports strategies that improve the existing skill base of the Rhode Island workforce and anticipate the future needs of growing and emerging businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $63 million in strategic investments that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities.

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