Workforce development is a necessity for both employees and businesses. For an individual, it means raising the income for their family. For a business, it means staying competitive. For the government, it grows or enhances economic development. The Economic Progress Institute‘s latest report “Rhode Island’s Workforce Development System for Adults: An Overview,” explains the key players involved in developing policy and allocating resources for the system, which is coordinated by the Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB). The paper also includes an overview of how Rhode Islanders know about and access the opportunities for jobs and skills training. The report was funded by the Pawtucket Credit Union.

“It’s appropriate that we release this report on Labor Day weekend,” said Linda Katz, policy director for the Economic Progress Institute. “The public workforce development system is critical to ensuring that all adults have the basic workforce skills, including literacy and English language proficiency, that employers are looking for. Opportunities for training linked to available and emerging jobs, and for building skills while on the job, serves the needs of both workers and employers.”

Both federal and state laws and resources support the workforce development system with several state agencies charged with providing services for targeted populations. The GWB is responsible for ensuring that state and federal funds are spent strategically to meet worker and employer needs and for measuring outcomes for the multi-million dollar system. Information about how the public can provide input to policy decisions through comments on state and local workforce plans, and attending meetings of the GWB and its committee is included in the report.

The report also describes the various ‘doorways’ into the workforce development system. These include the federally mandated NetWORKri career centers, online information and other sources. It is important to work toward ensuring that regardless of which ‘doorway’ a worker, or business seeking a new employee, uses, there is access to comprehensive information about all opportunities in the public workforce system.

To read the full report visit here.