Updated May 22 at 5:40pm

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workforce development

Since Jan., Workforce Board awards $65K ‘express grants’

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PROVIDENCE – The Governor’s Workforce Board has since January awarded approximately $65,000 in “express grants” to 15 Rhode Island companies to improve worker skills, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Thursday.

“The Governor’s Workforce Board express grants can help Rhode Island businesses invest in the training they need to become more productive and competitive,” Chafee said in a statement.

The express grants, a new program for 2013, offer businesses up to $5,000 in matching training funds. Companies can reduce their match contribution by up to $2,500 by offering an approved school-year internship program. Five of the 15 companies to so far receive grants will provide internships referred through the state’s YouthWorks411 workforce development system.

“The Governor’s Workforce Board is committed to helping the next generation gain work experience and work readiness skills. Offering incentives for businesses to provide internships is one way we hope to foster these types of opportunities,” Rick Brooks, workforce board executive director, said in a statement.

Express grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. They are evaluated by a committee of workforce development experts and prior grant recipients.

Top grant recipients, awarded $5,000 in matching funds, included Central Tools in Cranston, to train four employees in lean manufacturing methodology; Care Resource in East Providence to train 10 home healthcare nurses on catheter insertion procedures; W.R. Cobb Co. in East Providence to train six employees ISO environmental management standards; Trico Specialty Films in North Kingstown to train nine workers in extrusion procedures and other training related to the manufacturing process; Envision Technology Advisors in Pawtucket, to train five workers in switch operation technology; South County Artificial Limb and Brace in South Kingstown, to train four workers in electronic record keeping; Something Fishy, in Warwick, to train 14 workers in team building and customer service; and CVS in Woonsocket, to provide 15 workers with project management training.

Something Fishy, South County Artificial Limb and Brace, Netsense in Cranston; Bel Air Fishing Supply in North Kingstown, and Ahlers Designs in Pawtucket all had their matching contributions reduce by offering internships.

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