GROW Future Talent

Grow Talent Feature Image

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.


The FY 19 Work Immersion Program has closed. Information about the FY 20 Work Immersion Program will be provided this summer. Please check back for updates.

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.

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:

State Supplier Requirement: In order to receive reimbursement for wages paid through the Work Immersion (WI) program, the State of Rhode Island requires that the employer be registered as a supplier with the State Division of Purchasing. The WI program is unable to issue payments if an employer is not registered.  If you are not yet registered as an approved RI state supplier, please visit the Rhode Island Financial Accounting Network System (RIFANS) website to download and complete the Supplier Packet. This should be your first step prior to applying for the Work Immersion Program.

Click Here for RIFANS Website

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS:  If your organization has participated in the Incumbent Worker Training Grant program, Work Immersion program, Real Jobs RI program, or has otherwise received payment from the State within the last five years, it is likely that your organization is already registered with the Division of Purchasing.

Work Immersion – Program Links

  1. The Work Immersion experience may not begin until the employer receives a signed Award Letter from the Governor’s Workforce Board.
  2. Upon completion of the Work Immersion experience, an employer must submit the following:
    1. Completed Request for Reimbursement form
    2. Backup documentation for wages paid: paystubs; or timecards and processed checks.
  3. A summary of the Work Immersion program changes is available here

NOTE: Employers should be aware of the potential impact of paid work experiences on Unemployment Insurance. For more information, click here.

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: Non-Trade Apprenticeship Development Grants fund the development and expansion of innovative apprenticeship models in occupations outside of the traditional trades. The Governor’s Workforce Board is seeking proposals to develop non-traditional Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs within Rhode Island’s largest and or growing industries. Applications are due May 21, 2018. For more information, review the RFP here.

  • Click here to view FY2017 Awardees
  • Click here to view FY2018 Awardees

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 an initiative to prepare all Rhode Island youth with the skills they need for jobs that pay.

  • For students, PrepareRI aims to close the gap between what students learn in school and what they need for high-demand jobs.
  • For businesses, PrepareRI ensures that employers have the workforce they require to thrive in the economy of tomorrow.

PrepareRI supports pathways for all students through career exploration, career education, college credit, jobs & internships.

The PrepareRI Internship Program places Rhode Island high school juniors in summer internships with the state’s top employers in a range of industries. Summer 2018 was the pilot year for PrepareRI Internships, when 162 students were placed in high-quality internships; the program will double in Summer 2019. The program is funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board, with support from The Partnership RI, and is managed by Skills for Rhode Island’s Future. To learn more about the PrepareRI Internship program, please visit the PrepareRI website.

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