State awards $1.5M in training grants, more than double initial amount

Rhode Island is awarding $1.5 million in matching training grants to improve the job skills of 4,775 employees at 68 companies in the state. More

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State awards $1.5M in training grants, more than double initial amount

PBN FILE PHOTO FRANK MULLIN
THE GOVERNOR'S WORKFORCE BOARD announced Thursday it would award $1.5 million to 68 Rhode Island companies for 'incumbant worker training,' to improve the productivity of their workforce. The amount was more than double the $700,000 initially planned for the program.
Posted 3/20/14

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island is awarding $1.5 million in matching training grants to improve the job skills of 4,775 employees at 68 companies in the state.

All Ocean State for-profit or nonprofit businesses that contribute to the Job Development Fund can apply for the competitive Incumbent Worker Training grants, which range in size from $5,000 to $40,000 and which must be matched by the company.

The Governor’s Workforce Board initially announced it would supply $700,000 in grants, but decided to award an additional $800,000 for a total $1.5 million. The first $700,000 will be awarded in April, while the remainder will be provided July 1.

According to Workforce Board Chairwoman Constance A. Howes, 25 of the 68 companies are first-time grant recipients, demonstrating the need for the additional funding.

“The number of first-time grant applicants in this round shows that more employers are learning what the [Governor’s Workforce Board] can do to help build their business,” said Howes in a statement.

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee hailed the “robust response” in requests for matching training dollars as “proof that Rhode Island employers are increasing their investment in training.”

The incumbent worker training program is part of a number of initiatives supported by the employer-supported Job Development Fund, designed to help companies improve the job skills of their employees, and thus their productivity, as well as make the businesses more able to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the marketplace.

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