Governor’s Workforce Board Approves Real Skills for Youth Grants

CRANSTON, R.I. -The Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) today announced $2.6 million in grants to support the Real Skills for Youth program. In 2019-20, the Real Skills for Youth grants will support 16 strategic partnerships between industry and education to develop and implement year-round career readiness programming for youth, including paid summer work-based learning experiences.

The partnerships will serve more than 2,800 youth with a variety of programming, including career exploration, building essential skills, and work-based learning. More than 1,100 of those youth will engage in paid experiences in Summer 2019. With other youth investments in Real Jobs RI, Real Pathways RI, and the PrepareRI Internship Program, more than 500 additional youth will participate in paid work-based learning in Summer 2019.

“This $2.6 million is a direct investment in the future of Rhode Island’s workforce,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “With 16 new strategic partnerships, the Governor’s Workforce Board will expand their reach and diversify their programming. Having access to career exploration and work-based learning is critical, and I’m excited that more than 2,000 Rhode Island youth will now have the opportunity to kickstart their careers.”

Real Skills for Youth is centered around the goal of preparing youth for success in college and career through meaningful career exposure and exploration of potential career paths and their on-ramps, skill-building with an emphasis on essential and professional skills, and supported work-based learning experiences that allow participants to apply learning in a real-world setting.

“The GWB recognizes that effective workforce development must include youth-focused career education opportunities, and with these grants, we are prioritizing both quality of programming and equity of access,” said Mike Grey, Chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Board. “Through Real Skills for Youth, thousands of Rhode Island students will have the opportunity to gain essential, hands-on, work-based learning experiences that will prepare them for a successful future.”

Real Skills for Youth, a state-funded program, is part of Rhode Island’s larger effort – PrepareRI – a 3-year action plan supported by a $2 million New Skills for Youth grant from JP Morgan Chase, to ensure all Rhode Island students are college and career ready. PrepareRI aims to close the gap between what students learn in school and what they need for high-demand jobs and to ensure that historically underserved student populations have expanded access to quality career preparation opportunities in priority sector industries – through scaling out activities such as career exploration and work-based learning opportunities. In 2018-19 to date, the Governor’s Workforce Board has served over 2,600 youth through the Real Jobs, Real Pathways, Real Skills for Youth, and PrepareRI Internship programs.

The Real Skills for Youth partnership lead applicants are:

• AS220
• Blackstone Valley Community Action Program
• Center for Dynamic Learning
• City of Providence, Office of Economic Opportunity
• Comprehensive Community Action Program
• Connecting for Children and Families
• DownCity Design
• East Bay Community Action Program
• Inspiring Minds
• Nowell Leadership Academy
• RI Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School
• Skills for Rhode Island’s Future
• Southside Community Land Trust
• Tri-County Community Action Agency
• Young Voices
• YouthBuild Preparatory Academy


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