When it comes to job training and career development, we’ve come a long way—but we’re not done yet. By investing in the GWB’s programs, we’re building the workforce of the future. Our economy has changed, and it’s changed in ways that have created real challenges. This is the next step toward helping every Rhode Islander say, “I got the job!”
— Governor Gina Raimondo
As a local community bank, BankNewport is always looking to give back to our community and state. The GWB internship reimbursement program has afforded us with the opportunity to build out a unique internship program that provides eight students with twelve weeks of on-the-job work experience. Through GWB, we are not only preparing students for their future careers but we are also tapping into the great talent pool Rhode Island has to offer.
— Wendy E. Kagan,
Senior Vice President, Director of Employee and Community Engagement
A great partner! The GWB team is extraordinarily helpful in assisting us in navigating the many grant opportunities available for RI employers. Over the years we have utilized many of the grant funding opportunities and we look forward to continued utilization.
— Rhonda Arsenault,
Sr. Human Resources Manager
Toray Plastics (America), Inc
Integrated across state and federal workforce programs, the GWB’s Strategic Vision provides a unified direction for Rhode Island’s comprehensive workforce development system now and into the future. This vision, as described in the Board’s Biennial Strategic Plan, includes four key strategic priorities: demand-driven investments, career pathways, aligned policy and networked government, and data and performance. These priorities cohesively drive the investments and operations of GWB. They support each other throughout the course of an individual’s or employer’s specific need, and are implemented as cohesive components throughout the state’s workforce system and programs. Download the GWB Strategic Plan here.
GWB’s extensive investments in demand-driven programming reflect the importance that employers play in the broader success of the workforce development system. “Demand-driven” refers to listening to the skill needs and open positions cited by employers; and proactively creating workforce training programs which specifically meet that need. Oftentimes employers and/or industry sector representatives are directly involved in the development, implementation, and measurement of demand-driven programs. The results of these investments not only increase Rhode Island’s competitiveness in a global economy, but open the door to more career opportunities for job seekers, increase the earning potential for existing employees, and help bring employer knowledge and expertise to the table in a way that can inform and improve the workforce system. Learn more about these demand-driven initiatives: Real Jobs RI; Work Immersion; Incumbent Worker Training; Non-Trade Apprenticeships.
As our global economy has evolved, Rhode Island’s job market has experienced a long-term shift toward the middle and high-skilled occupations which support it. Because today’s workplace needs are more defined, individuals seeking gainful employment need a high level of career knowledge, skill training, and, if possible, experience so they can make informed decisions and succeed in an increasingly competitive labor market. Career pathways are the backbone of an agile and skilled workforce, enabling workers to access occupational and workforce information, preparation, and training. GWB investments support career pathways for youth and adults as they progress in their “student” to professional careers. Learn more about these career pathway initiatives: PrepareRI, Real Pathways RI; Adult Education; Youth-Specific Job Seeker Services.
On federal and state levels, including in Rhode Island, a number of significant reforms are taking place to enhance workforce systems and programs. Reforms and innovations required by the federal WIOA act; the continued development of a demand-driven system to engage more employers; and enhanced connections to K-12 and external network partners are among key drivers of workforce system change. Alignment of policies and planning efforts will be a key outcome of these comprehensive reforms in order to better serve all participants. Learn more about aligned policy and networked governance on our Board and Policy page.
Measurable data and performance monitoring guides investments and policy decisions made by GWB. Allocations in GWB staff time and resources enable it to better collect, analyze, and utilize data to improve upon or design new initiatives to meet on-going and future needs. Data also ensures not only returns on taxpayer investments, but real-time value and impact for those that the workforce system serves – individuals, employers, and Rhode Islanders at large. Learn more on our Data and Performance page.