In 2016 Aaron helped A consortium of businesses, healthcare and higher education institutions to win a $188,000/ year grant (for up to 5 years with re-authorization) workforce development grant. As part of this process the consortium was approved for the first “non-traditional” apprenticeship programs — one for Biomedical Equipment Technicians and one for Data Scientists — in the State of Rhode Island.
The Real Jobs RI (RJRI) program is designed to:
- address business workforce needs by focusing on industry sector strategies that seek short term solutions to immediate workforce needs and long-term solutions to sustained skills gaps and personnel shortages;
- address the needs of workers by creating formal career paths to good jobs,and sustaining or growing middle class jobs;
- encourage mobility for Rhode Island’s most hard-to-serve jobseekers through targeted job readiness training;and,
- drive coordination between the public and private sectors and the workforce,economic development, and education partners around the
Consortiums can follow a 2-step process to become a RJRI ‘partner.’
1) Submit a planning grant proposal
2) Complete a comprehensive planning process and complete the final application
Planning grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded (based on last year’s results) to 20-30 recipients. The recipient consortiums may then use their planning grant to underwrite the planning process to develop their RJRI partnership and proposal. These funds are primarily intended to be used to cover staff and/ or contractor time to develop/ facilitate the proposal. It is not a requirement to be a recipient of a planning grant to submit a full proposal, though it will drastically increase (or at least be indicative of) the consortium’s chance of success.
Creating a winning RJRI proposal is as much about the process as the final product. Reviewers at the RI Department of Labor and Training want to see evidence of due-diligence in regards to both research/ analysis/ understanding of the problem or challenge to be addressed; as well as a well-articulated, collaborative, rational and likely-to-succeed plan of action. There must be a high level of buy-in from all industry, community-based and educational partners and the consortium partners should all have a strong track-record in their respective disciplines. Further, the plan should be innovative and outline, expected, concrete benefits to both business and job/ career-seekers. From the 2017 RFP: “In the planning phase, every consortium must include at least two employers from the target industry and representatives from two diverse entities must be identified in the Planning Grant Proposal and committed to participating in the planning process. Diverse entities include nonprofits, community-based organizations, two- and/or four- year institutions of higher education,K-12 programs, local workforce boards, industry associations, local governments, local or regional economic development agencies, labor unions,philanthropic organizations,and other training providers and relevant partners.”
Our (Bioscience — Claflin Medical Equipment) planning and final proposals were both funded in full and the site was selected to host Governor Raimondo’s press conference announcing the 2016 winners. If your organization/ consortium has questions about the process and would like assistance crafting a winning proposal for the 2017 RFP (due in March), contact Aaron ASAP.
The following is a list of the 26 Real Jobs Partnerships:
The Education Exchange
- Claflin Medical Equipment
- Rhode Island Builders Association
- The Providence Plan (building futures)
- West Elmwood Housing Development Corp.
- United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, Local 51
- General Dynamics Electric Boat
- Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance
Finance & Insurance
- Independent Insurance Agents of RI
- Rhode Island Bankers Association
- Saint Antoine Residence
- UNAP RIG Education Fund
- Rhode Island College
- Rhode Island Hospitality Association
- Tech Collective
- Toray Plastics (America) Inc.
- Hyman Brickle & Son Inc.
- Polaris MEP (University of Rhode Island Research Foundation)
- Rhode Island Marine Trades Association
- OIC of Rhode Island Inc.
- Man Up Inc.
- Connecting for Children and Families
- Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce