DLT, CWE extend program for entrepreneurial unemployed
THE CENTER FOR Women & Enterprise will continue offering the Self-Employment Assistance Rhode Island program in partnership with the R.I. Department of Labor and Training to help eligible unemployed Rhode Islanders with an entrepreneurial spirit start businesses of their own.
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Labor and Training will continue offering a program in collaboration with the Center for Women & Enterprise to help unemployed Rhode Islanders start their own businesses.
First launched last year, the Self-Employment Assistance Rhode Island program was initially funded under a grant of nearly $160,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The DLT will use about $100,000 from its fiscal year 2015 budget to extend the program for a second year, said DLT Director Charles J. Fogarty at a Thursday ceremony recognizing this year’s participants.
So far, the program administered through a partnership between the DLT and the Center for Women & Enterprise has graduated 110 participants, 25 of whom have gone on to start new businesses.
“Successful companies and organizations adjust to business cycles and are constantly positioning themselves for their next opportunities,” Fogarty said in a statement. “Successful workers do the same thing. DLT is innovating to respond as quickly as we can to the needs of the workforce. The SEARI program has shown us that for the right cohort of [unemployment insurance] claimants, entrepreneurship training can be an important alternative to traditional re-employment training and services.”
To be considered for the program, an unemployed worker must have at least 13 weeks of his or her unemployment insurance claim year remaining and must be able to start the program no later than the eighth week of his or her claim. Program participants attend three weeks of classroom training through the Center for Women & Enterprise, craft a business plan, and spend six weeks getting feedback and mentoring from Rhode Island business experts.
Due to the entrepreneurial program’s intensive nature, students are not required to conduct a job search while they are participating.