RI to Receive Nearly $2 Million in Workforce Development & Re-Employment Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today announced that the state will receive two federal grants to better connect job seekers and employers.

The state will receive $1,091,635 through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI). This funding will be used by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) to improve and expand the quality and availability of Rhode Island’s workforce data with linkages to education data. The state will use these databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at pinpointing the effectiveness of employment and training programs.

Rhode Island will also receive $903,568 from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide re-employment and eligibility assessments to beneficiaries of unemployment insurance. The funds will be used to expand the unemployment services currently offered, allowing the state to conduct in-person assessments that will help individuals identify their strengths and opportunities in the workforce, and provide them with referrals for job training and other re-employment services. The personalized reviews also enhance the integrity of unemployment insurance payments, ensuring that only those who are eligible receive assistance.

“We need to keep doing everything we can to help create jobs and get people back to work. These federal funds will help job seekers and improve the state’s databases. It builds on the work begun under funding the state received through the U.S. Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant. Increasing the availability of high-quality data will help inform decisions about our workforce programs and make them more effective in the long-term,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds these initiatives who helped strengthen job training programs through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to ensure comprehensive data is collected, analyzed, and shared by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This federal funding will help the Department improve workforce education and training with an eye toward connecting businesses to the skilled employees they need,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I thank Senator Reed for his work on this issue, and I congratulate the Department of Labor and Training on receiving this award.”

“Workforce development and retraining opportunities are absolutely essential if we want to continue to lower Rhode Island’s unemployment rate and strengthen our economy,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, who co-chairs the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus in Congress. “I have heard from too many companies that they are hiring but cannot find workers with the appropriate skills. This funding will help us to better connect education and training programs to market demands, thereby closing the skills gap and putting hardworking Rhode Islanders back to work.”

“I applaud the Department of Labor for providing nearly $2 million to measure the effectiveness of workforce training and education programs in Rhode Island and help get people back to work,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “These resources will establish better accountability for existing workforce training programs and ensure that we’re doing everything we can to create new jobs here in Rhode Island.”

Over the three year grant period, RIDLT will use the WDQI funding to improve state workforce longitudinal data systems with individual-level information; improve the quality and breadth of workforce data systems; use longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations; analyze the performance of education and training programs and provide user-friendly information to customers to help them select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.

Rhode Island is one of 9 states to receive a share of $10 million in WDQI federal funds this year. The other states include: Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

In 2009, the Rhode Island Department of Education was awarded a $4.67 million Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enable the state to provide accurate, timely, and efficient longitudinal tracking of students through high school and into post-secondary education.

Both grants will help support the emphasis on accountability and transparency, a key feature of the recently enacted WIOA. They will also support the implementation of WIOA by connecting the data infrastructure across programs, enabling states to meet the act’s performance accountability requirements.

The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments program grants were awarded to 47 state workforce agencies nationwide to provide re-employment and eligibility assessments as well as implement the new Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments program. Nationwide, DOL awarded a total of $80 million for the program this year.

Media Contact

Meg Geoghegan
Press Secretary
Tel: 401-732-9400 x218
Email: pressri02 (at) mail.house (dot) gov

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