Senate passes Real Jobs Rhode Island Act sponsored by Senate President Ruggerio


STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed legislation introduced by President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that would make the successful Real Jobs Rhode Island program permanent.

The Real Jobs Rhode Island Act (2022-S 2815) would establish the program in order to create an industry-led system to advance the skills of the state’s workforce, grow the state’s economy and increase sustainable employment for middle class working families.

“Real Jobs Rhode Island has been one of the state’s greatest success stories,” said President Ruggerio, who has championed the program since its inception in 2015. “Since it’s driven by actual industry experience, the program can correlate the needs of employers with the needs of workers and the talent of job trainers. It’s a win-win for everybody involved: Businesses can compete globally, workers can get the training and careers they want, and the state’s economy flourishes.”

The program seeks to coordinate nearly all state and federally funded workforce development programs and align them with the demands of Rhode Island’s largest and/or growing industry sectors as identified by sector and strategic partnerships.

Those partnerships build workforce solutions to address their unique workforce challenges. Solutions can include placing new employees into immediate job openings; upskilling current employees to advance skills and/or remain competitive; helping business owners and entrepreneurs advance their ventures; and creating pipelines of talent for the future.

Currently, there are 34 Real Jobs RI partnerships. By the end of 2021, Real Jobs RI had served 12,827 participants and 1,814 businesses.

“With the pandemic, we need this program to be permanent now more than ever, since many displaced workers need to train for a new career,” said President Ruggerio. “I’m proud to sponsor this bill, which will make the program part of state law, so we will permanently have a program that’s flexible enough to respond to the ever-shifting needs of today’s economy.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.