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Grants boost Rhode Island jobs

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

A round of grants is helping boost Rhode Island jobs.

There are new recipients of the Real Jobs RI implementation grants available through the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT). Real Jobs RI is a demand-driven initiative that puts employers at the center of the state’s workforce development efforts to train people for jobs that actually exist now.

The implementation grants will provide funding to support the creation 26 Strategic Industry Partnerships. These groups will develop training, education and human resource solutions needed to address their business and talent needs.

The partnerships from more than 10 sectors will split about $5 million in federal and state funding to implement detailed job-training plans driven by employers’ specific workforce needs, including jobs that are available now. The partnerships announced today include 186 employers and 108 strategic partners across various sectors including aquaculture, bioscience, design and health care, among others.

“We want current and future employers in Rhode Island to know that we will work with them to ensure that they can find and develop the skilled workers they need to grow and prosper. Governor Raimondo has brought real vision and focus to reimagining workforce development in our state. We are united in this effort at the federal, state and local levels,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. “I was pleased to work with my colleagues in the delegation to secure critical federal funding that will help launch Real Jobs Rhode Island partnerships in key sectors of our economy such as health care, defense, manufacturing, construction and information technology, to name a few.”

“I’ve heard the same thing from businesses all over the state: we’re ready to hire, but we can’t find workers with the right training to do the job. These partnerships tackle that problem head on by preparing our workers for the jobs our employers are looking to fill now. Bridging that skills gap will put Rhode Islanders back to work and help some of our most important industries continue to grow,” said Senator Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

“Rhode Island has been making great progress in getting people back to work and growing our economy. Ensuring that job training is directly connected to the positions available is a key piece of continuing that job growth, and this announcement will boost Rhode Island’s ability to get people back to work,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline. “I applaud the Governor for her relentless focus on getting Rhode Islanders back to work and look forward to continuing to work with her to promote Rhode Island’s economic comeback.”


Retail jobs in Rhode Island climb

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Most likely due to seasonal hiring, retail jobs in Rhode Island have grown, according to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2015, job growth has averaged 198,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 260,000 in 2014. In September, job gains occurred in health care and information, while employment in mining continued to decline.

Health care added 34,000 jobs in September, in line with the average increase of 38,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. Hospitals accounted for 16,000 of the jobs gained in September, and employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+13,000).

Employment in information increased by 12,000 in September and has increased by 44,000 over the year.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in September (+31,000). Job growth has averaged 45,000 per month thus far in 2015, compared with an average monthly gain of 59,000 in 2014. In September, job gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+7,000) and in legal services (+5,000).

Retail trade employment trended up in September (+24,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+27,000). In September, employment rose in general merchandise stores (+10,000) and automobile dealers (+5,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places continued on an upward trend in September (+21,000). Over the year, this industry has added 349,000 jobs.

Employment in mining continued to decline in September (-10,000), with losses concentrated in support activities for mining (-7,000). Mining employment has declined by 102,000 since reaching a peak in December 2014.

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

Rhode Island warehouse jobs added

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

UPS is hiring big for the holidays, and most likely that includes Rhode Island warehouse jobs.

UPS said it expects to hire between 90,000 and 95,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated increase in package volume that will begin in November and continue through January 2016.

The full- and part-time seasonal positions – primarily package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers – have long been an entry point for permanent employment at UPS. Many senior UPS executives, including CEO David Abney and three other members of the company’s Management Committee, started their UPS careers as part-time employees.

Permanent UPS jobs – including part-time jobs — come with excellent pay and benefits, including healthcare and retirement benefits. At most UPS locations, part-time employees in college are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in tuition assistance through the company’s Earn and Learn program.

“It was a way to pay my way through college,” said Abney, who started loading trucks at night in March, 1974 while studying business. “At the time, I had no idea then that I’d be leading the company someday, but I could tell UPS was a place where a solid work ethic was appreciated and there were great opportunities for advancement.”

“We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary holiday season jobs,” said Myron Gray, President, U.S. Operations. “We have needs for various positions on all shifts at UPS locations throughout the United States.”

Team to develop campaign for Rhode Island jobs

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

A team is getting together to develop a solid campaign for Rhode Island jobs.

The state has announced a three-firm marketing team to design and execute a top-notch statewide tourism and business attraction campaign. Engaging this team will build on efforts ongoing across state government to revitalize the state’s economy and put Rhode Islanders back to work.

“We were thrilled by the number of strong responses we received from local, regional, and international firms,” said Commerce Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Darin Early. “We saw time and time again in applicants’ research how little people and businesses outside our borders know about Rhode Island’s world-class tourist assets and high quality of life. This team offers us the opportunity to change that.”

“This announcement is the beginning of a cohesive, collective, and strategic effort to share with the world all of the wonderful reasons to visit Rhode Island. I look forward to working with the new team and with my tourism colleagues throughout Rhode Island to promote the many charms of our home state,” said Martha Sheridan, President and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We’re focused every day on putting people back to work,” Raimondo said. “Marketing Rhode Island effectively will attract both businesses and tourists — both are important parts of growing our economy and creating more jobs.” “We’re pleased to introduce this dynamic and experienced team today,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “Havas and Milton Glaser have the creative and media firepower to build a compelling brand and propel it to the forefront of Americans’ consciousness, while the talented professionals at Epic Decade will help produce a campaign that is authentically Rhode Island. This is the team Rhode Island needs to compete effectively for tourists and businesses.”

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.