GROW Future Talent

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GWB knows employers’ workforce needs go beyond immediate-term hiring. To inspire and grow a successful workforce, we need to address the whole talent pipeline. That is why the state is making innovative and in-demand investments in the career-readiness and occupational skills training of in-school and out-of-school youth, as well as other programs to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.


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The Work Immersion program offers up to 50% wage reimbursements to any RI business that provides a temporary paid work experience to Rhode Island college students, Rhode Island Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school students, and unemployed adults.

Whether they are hiring for entry-level workers or for more advanced positions, employers strongly prefer to hire applicants with demonstrated work experience. For recent high school or college graduates, it can be difficult to build such experience from scratch once they enter the job market. While for out-of-work job seekers, lengthy periods of unemployment and gaps in their work history may cause an employer to hesitate in hiring. Work Immersion is designed to boost the employment prospects of new and returning workers while opening hiring channels and reducing hiring risk for employers.

For students, the intent of the Work Immersion program is to gain valuable work experience. For unemployed adults, the intent is to obtain employment. Interested employers should follow these steps to take advantage of the Work Immersion program:

Work Immersion – Program Links

  1. Please review the Program Guidelines FIRST before completing the Application Form
  2. The online Work Immersion Application Form is available here
  3. The Work Immersion experience may not begin until the employer receives a signed Award Letter from the Governor’s Workforce Board.
  4. Upon completion of the Work Immersion experience, an employer must submit the following:
    1. Completed Evaluation Form for students or unemployed adults
    2. Backup documentation for wages paid: timesheet and payroll ledger or paystubs
  5. The Participant Retention Form (if applicable) can be accessed here

Please see FAQs for any questions

Apprenticeship is a tried and true training model that is increasingly being utilized as a structured education and work-skill training opportunity. The ability to ‘learn and earn’ through apprenticeship is mutually beneficial to employer and employee. Employers are able to develop a tiered pay structure that grows as the individual’s value to the company grows. Employees are able to learn on-the-job while supporting themselves/families and developing skills for an in-demand career. The Non-Trade Apprenticeship Expansion program provides development funds to organizations throughout the state to create new and innovative apprenticeship models outside of the traditional trades.

NONTRADE APPRENTICESHIP DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: The Apprenticeship RI program is available to all employers and can help with designing and registering a new Apprenticeship program; maximizing state and federal financial benefits; connecting with other employer and higher education partners; and leveraging national Apprenticeship initiatives. All at no cost!

NONTRADE APPRENTICESHIP DEVELOPMENT GRANTS: This program is not soliciting for new partners at this time. The most recent solicitation closed December 2016. Grant opportunities are typically released in November each year. Check back periodically for more information.

NONTRADE APPRENTICESHIP INCENTIVE: Are you an employer who is hosting a non-trade apprentice? Pursuant to RI General Law 42-102-13, the GWB offers an incentive of $1,000 per non-trade apprentice provided the apprentice is registered with the State Apprenticeship Office and has completed their required probationary period. Employers are eligible for up to $5,000 in monetary incentive within any 12 month period. The application can be viewed here.

PrepareRI is Rhode Island’s three-year action plan to make sure all high school students are career-ready by graduation. The plan aims to:

  • Prepare all students in Rhode Island for future success in college and career
  • Provide Rhode Island employers with the workforce they need to succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s economy

Real Jobs RI LogoLearn more about Real Jobs RI Industry Partners

Real Jobs RI Industry Partners work with the state workforce development system and other entities to meet employers’ present and future talent needs.  To build and nurture the talent pipeline, Real Jobs RI partners work with schools, youth centers, and other youth-focused partners to:

  • Introduce youth to jobs within the industry through career awareness and exploration activities
  • Build youth career expertise through industry-based curriculum and training tied to skills that employers need
  • Give youth valuable work experience through work-based learning opportunities