Manufacturers affected by COVID-19 invited to participate in talent exchange

PROVIDENCE – A pilot program has been set up for manufacturing companies impacted by the coronavirus, sponsored by Polaris MEP, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

“The manufacturing employers are in a unique position: some are laying off, but others are hiring because they supply critical products into this new world landscape,” said Christian Cowan, Polaris MEP center director, in a statement. “We have a concept of connecting these two scenarios, so it’s easy for a manufacturing company to find someone accustomed to work on a manufacturing floor.”

The service, found here, is for manufacturing employers only – not employees.

Employers who are hiring can search for workers with certain manufacturing skills. Meanwhile, workplaces forced to displace employees can use the service to help those employees be considered for other positions via Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, a public-private partnership providing job-matching services.

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Polaris can also help employers in the manufacturing sector set up remote processes to carry out hiring and onboarding and still abide by social distancing requirements. The organization can be reached at

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.