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Partnerships will create jobs in Rhode Island

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Employers are busy supporting grant recipients and jobs in Rhode Island at a conference.

US Department of Labor Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric M. Seleznow, RI Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, and DLT Director Scott Jensen also spoke. Panelists included Elisabeth Sachs, executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore; Laura Spada, executive director of the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare; Jessica David, senior vice president of strategy and community investments for the Rhode Island Foundation; and Alex Miller, vice president of strategy for LaunchCode in St. Louis, MO. Byron Auguste, managing director of Washington, DC-based Opportunities@Work, gave the keynote address.

Recently, Raimondo, Pryor, and Jensen announced that 21 sector coalitions had received Real Jobs Rhode Island planning grants, totaling $479,000, to provide funding to support the creation of strategic industry partnerships.

Over the past six weeks, these groups have been identifying the training, education, and human resource solutions needed to address their business needs and developing the action plans to implement their solutions.

These industry partnerships - and additional workforce sector groups interested in pursuing Raimondo’s demand-driven approach to job training - have until October 23rd to apply for Real Jobs Rhode Island implementation grants.

These grants, of up to $150,000, will help the partnerships implement their action plans and begin training people for jobs that actually exist now.

“Real Jobs Rhode Island is moving at the speed of business by putting employers with open jobs at the center of the action,” Governor Raimondo said. “This is a fresh idea that partners with businesses to accomplish our mission of putting people to work in well-paying jobs, while helping people build the skills they need to succeed.”

New program to help jobs in Rhode Island

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

The governor of the state is increasing efforts to protect Rhode Island workers against employers who violate labor laws, including underpaying wages, which will help increase jobs in Rhode Island.

The Governor’s four-point action plan includes:

1. Using existing funding to create a new Workplace Fraud Unit to focus DLT’s efforts on dishonest companies

2. Coordinating state agency efforts and pooling resources to conduct investigations and bring enforcement actions with maximum impact

3. Enforcing worker protection laws to the fullest extent and spotlighting businesses that cheat

4. Fostering compliance with the law through employer outreach and education\

When employers misclassify employees as independent contractors, they harm workers, hurt other companies that play by the rules, and cheat taxpayers. By misclassifying workers, companies:

• Deny employees access to critical benefits such as Unemployment Insurance (UI), workers’ compensation insurance, overtime pay, and family and medical leave;

• Hurt law-abiding employers who play by the rules but are unfairly under-bid for work; and

• Cheat taxpayers by lowering tax revenues and robbing UI and workers’ compensation funds of much-needed dollars.

Collaboration to boost Rhode Island jobs

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

A new collaboration is set to create and bolster Rhode Island jobs.

The state is collaborating with the Brookings Institute to get Rhode Islanders back to work. Brookings, with its strong track record in developing successful economic strategies in Buffalo, New York and Chicago, Illinois, among other places, will work to identify economic development initiatives that can benefit all Rhode Islanders, with a special focus on the state’s advanced industries.

The Brookings team-led by Senior Fellow and Policy Director Mark Muro and Vice President and Co-Director Bruce Katz- will identify Rhode Island’s best growth opportunities, assess the condition of its key economic drivers, highlight barriers that need to be overcome to strengthen these drivers, and propose strategies and action steps to move the state forward in a changing global economy.

The Brookings research team will seek input from a wide array of Rhode Island stakeholders, including large and small Rhode Island businesses, the Executive Office of Commerce, and other government entities, educational and research institutions, philanthropies, and nonprofits. In addition, Brookings will engage experienced research partners and conduct intensive industry analysis, 50-state benchmarking, and extensive strategy research.

“Our mission is to get Rhode Islanders back to work,” Raimondo said. “Every day I am focused on implementing all the best tools to jumpstart our economy and grow jobs. The jobs plan passed in June is a strong start, but we can’t stop there.” Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, who is spearheading the Brookings collaboration for the State, said, “Given the recent passage of our jobs plan, we are looking forward to working with Brookings to determine how best to target our new tools. In addition, we aim to develop a high-impact strategy that builds upon Rhode Island’s strengths and advances our economy.”

Government jobs in Rhode Island climb

Monday, August 24th, 2015

The number of government jobs in Rhode Island went up last month, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs totaled 486,200 in July, reflecting a gain of 3,300 jobs from the revised June estimate of 482,900. July’s employment level marks the highest employment level since March 2008.

During the past three months, Rhode Island has averaged a gain of 1,600 jobs and has added 6,200 jobs over the year. Since the start of the year, jobs are up 6,900.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2015 dropped to 5.8 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the June 2015 rate of 5.9 percent.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and eight-tenths percentage points from the July 2014 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since October 2007.

Employment in the Government sector rose by 1,000, stemming from growth reported in the local government branch. Government employment is up 200 from July 2014. Most of the over-the-month growth in the local government branch was in educational services likely due to many school districts extending the school year to make up for snow days.

Several other industry sectors added jobs from June, including: Retail Trade (+700), Educational Services (+500), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Manufacturing (+300), Financial Activities (+300) and Construction and Wholesale Trade, which added 200 jobs each.
The addition of 700 jobs in the Retail Trade sector propelled its employment level to the highest level since March 2010.

Jobs in Retail Trade are up 100 over the year. Also of note, the Construction sector has added monthly job gains for only the third time this year while being down 1,300 jobs from a year ago.

The Wholesale Trade sector has gone three consecutive months without reporting job losses as jobs are up 400 during this period and also up 200 from July 2014.

State to gain Rhode Island tech jobs from new initiative

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

A new initiative from the White House is creating more Rhode Island tech jobs.

The White House has chosen Rhode Island to be a part of the President’s TechHire initiative, a bold multisector effort to empower Americans with the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy.

TechHire cities and states work with employer partners on new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their skills, create more accelerated tech training opportunities, and invest in innovative placement programs to connect trained workers with entrepreneurial opportunities and well-paying jobs.

“We need to find innovative ways to build an effective pipeline of tech talent here in Rhode Island. That means training workers and connecting them to good-paying jobs in in-demand fields. TechHire is a smart step toward strengthening our technology workforce and growing the state’s economy. It can help remove barriers to training and employment and help more motivated workers learn new technical skills and earn a good paycheck. I applaud the state and its partners for developing local strategies to connect people to jobs and opportunities,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Last year, Reed and members of the Congressional delegation helped secure $7.5 million in federal funding to support local workforce partnerships such as Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston and The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island and help them prepare local workers for high-level jobs in technology-related fields.

“I’m thrilled to see Rhode Island recognized by the White House for our innovative efforts to strengthen workforce development and prepare our workers with the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy and beyond,” said Raimondo. “Thanks to this recognition, we now are able to bring even more employers together to send a clear signal to the rest of the country that Rhode Island is cultivating talented, skilled workers and sparking a comeback.”

Considering education jobs in Rhode Island?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

If you are growing weary of your own career track, there are other industries to consider, including finding education jobs in Rhode Island.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, there are several under the radar industries to consider.


Craft Anything

Artisan cheeses, craft beer, craft Bourbon, etc., are growing in popularity and the number of producers of these goods are expanding rapidly. Approximately 1,250 craft breweries opened between 2009 and 2014, according to one estimate. The number of cheese-making establishments increased by 13 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the Census Bureau. You don’t necessarily need special knowledge about making these products. In addition to the people who create the products, all of these newcomers to the burgeoning “craft” industry need IT people, accountants, marketing and sales professionals, logistics and operations managers, as well as numerous other support workers.
The Internet of Things

There has been talk of internet-connected refrigerators, cars and security systems for many years, but the technology and accessibility appear to hitting critical mass and adoption is beginning to soar even among the least tech-savvy consumers. This is opening up a growing industry of companies developing, marketing and supporting new applications for an expanding universe of internet-connected goods. While tech professionals will be the biggest beneficiaries of this explosion of connectedness, firms will continue to need administrators, marketing professionals, sales representatives, public relations, etc.
Legalization Nation

Four states (Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington) and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Several others have decriminalized it and dozens allow for the medicinal use of the drug. Several states are exploring full legalization. Regardless of where you stand on the policy, the fact is the rapidly changing laws are opening myriad employment opportunities for those wanting to get in on the ground floor of a growth industry. From legal growing operations to retail and every step in between, companies and businesses are looking for manpower. 
Re-educated Education

There will always be a need for qualified and inspiring educators and administrators. However, one need not limit his search to traditional school districts or even charter schools. In every state across the country, it is possible to find examples of individuals and organizations trying to break the mold of an education system that no longer appears to be working to its fullest potential. From pre-school through the highest level of education, there are growing opportunities to teach in new ways. While much of the growth is in online coursework, ranging from the free-to-all-users Kahn Academy to the low-cost-anywhere-anytime model of Udemy, there are also a growing number of face-to-face education opportunities that exist outside of the norm, such as private tutoring providers and home-school environments. Furthermore, education jobs are not by any means limited to teachers. As education becomes more technology-dependent, it opens up opportunities for consultants, software designers, curriculum developers and even game designers.

The Odd-Job Industry

If you need a ride to the airport, you can now use Uber or Lyft. If you need someone to build that new Ikea bed, you can find someone through Amazon’s Handy app. If you need a place to stay for a week in New York, you can use AirBnB to arrange to stay in someone’s home. Over the last five years, there has been steady growth in services designed to connect consumers with independent providers of goods and services, both on a national and local level. While some might make a decent living as a provider of these goods and services, the best opportunities are likely to find in connecting users and providers. These services need people to vet and manage the contractors, develop apps and provide support.

Rhode Island transportation jobs added

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Rhode Island transportation jobs, among other types of jobs, were added in May, according to a recent employment press release.

The RI Department of Labor and Training said that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2015 dropped to 5.9 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the April 2015 rate of 6.1 percent. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down two percentage points from the May 2014 rate.

This is the lowest unemployment rate since November 2007.

 Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 484,700 in May, reflecting a gain of 3,400 jobs from the revised April estimate of 481,300. Three consecutive months of job gains have provided an additional 6,300 jobs to the local economy. Nearly three-quarters of the 39,800 jobs lost during the state’s recession have been recovered as total employment is now down 11,000 from the peak level established in December 2006.

Employment in the Accommodation & Food Services sector continues to grow as 1,300 workers were added to the May payroll. In all, this industry sector has grown by 2,200 since the start of the year. Mild temperatures in May and a spectator crowd in Newport exceeding expectations for a world sailing race were contributing factors to the robust gain.

Jobs in Professional & Business Services rose by 1,000, marking two consecutive months of job gains totaling 2,400 jobs and establishing a record high employment level for this sector.

Preliminary data in May reports indicates that the Financial Activities sector added 500 jobs since April, the largest over-the-month gain since July 2000 (+500).

In addition, the Other Services (+400), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Manufacturing (+300), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200), Wholesale Trade (+200) and Construction (+100) sectors all reported over-the-month job growth.

A total of four industry sectors reported employment declines in May, led by the Government sector which fell by 300 jobs, followed by a loss of 200 jobs in each of the Health Care & Social Assistance, Educational Services and Retail Trade sectors.

Employment in Information and Mining & Logging remain unchanged.

Rhode Island healthcare jobs added

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The number of Rhode Island healthcare jobs may have increased, according to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment rose by 223,000 in June, compared with an average monthly gain of 250,000 over the prior 12 months.

In June, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.

Health care added 40,000 jobs in June. Job gains were distributed among the three component industries–ambulatory care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000).

Employment in health care had grown by an average of 34,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

In June, employment in financial activities increased by 20,000, with most of the increase in insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+7,000).

Commercial banking employment declined by 6,000. Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.

Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs in June. Employment in truck transportation continued to trend up over the month (+7,000) and has increased by 19,000 over the past 3 months.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in June (+30,000) and has increased by 355,000 over the year. Employment in mining continued to trend down in June (-4,000).

Since a recent high in December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 71,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, and government, showed little or no change over the month.

Funds go to help those get Rhode Island jobs

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Funding has been awarded to states help the unemployed get Rhode Island jobs, among other states.

Yhe U.S. Department of Labor awarded $80 million to workforce agencies — in 44 states and in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia — to provide re-employment and eligibility assessments.

The grants will fund services such as in-person assessments at American Job Centers. These assessments of eligible claimants include the following:

  • Development of an individual re-employment plan
  • Access to labor market information specific to the individual’s location, job skills and employment prospects
  • A complete review of the claimant’s eligibility for UI benefits
  • Referrals to re-employment services or training at American Job Center

For the first time these grants will be available to fund reemployment services for these beneficiaries. States will be transitioning to a new, targeted population during 2015 and will begin serving claimants who are identified as most likely to exhaust their UI benefits and claimants receiving Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members.

“Unemployment disrupts the lives of individuals and families and hurts our nation’s economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants will help the newly unemployed reduce the time between jobs and strengthen the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance program by preventing improper payments. By doing so, we can ensure unemployment benefits remain available for those who truly need them.”

Do workers with Rhode Island jobs know what to do in case of an emergency?

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Workers with Rhode Island jobs, among other locations, may need some serious education when it comes to emergencies, according to a new survey from Careerbuilder.

According to the survey, while the vast majority of workers (94 percent) feel their office is a secure place to work, nearly a quarter of workers (23 percent) say they would not know what to do to protect themselves if there was an emergency in their office that posed a physical threat.

When asked about their feelings of security in regards to specific forms of threat, three in ten employees (30 percent) do not feel their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person, and the same percentage (30 percent) feel their workplace is not well-protected from a digital hacking threat.

Most workers (85 percent) feel their workplace is well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, and 83 percent feel their workplace is well-protected from weather-related threats.

One in five workers (21 percent) report their company does not have an emergency plan in place in case of fire, flood or other disaster, and 1 in 4 (26 percent) say the same of extremely severe weather. Even more workers (40 percent) don’t believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from another person or a technology security breach.

“Ensuring a safe and secure work environment should be of the utmost importance in any workplace,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “Keeping employees protected means not only putting measures in place to keep them safe, but making sure employees are aware of the policies and procedures they can protect themselves, too.”