Real Jobs Rhode Island: a detailed analysis for Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training

SSIREP fellows Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, Skye Leedahl, and Aaron Ley, and students Bridget Hall, Kristin Sodhi, and Marissa DeOliveira conducted an analysis of The Real Jobs Rhode Island program for the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

Summary & Report | Case Studies

Summary & Report

State-sponsored, sector-based workforce strategies are a promising model for economic development. Rhode Island is one of many states to embrace an industry-led, sector-based strategy as a model for workforce and economic development. Rhode Island’s decision to invest in sector strategy reflects its recognition that innovative and sustainable workforce development and employment training approaches are required to ensure that Rhode Island businesses and workers can compete in the technological, global age and that the state can deliver the talent needed to retain employers, attract new businesses, and foster business growth. Beginning in 2015, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) piloted its first round of grants for sector-based workforce development partnerships. In July 2015, the DLT issued the first round of 21 RJRI planning grants. Following the planning phase, 26 grantees received funds to implement sector workforce development programs in 2016. Funds for the initiative came from several federal and state funding sources, causing the agency to innovate by creating a braiding funding structure and introduce new data collection and reporting techniques so that each partnership could receive funds from a variety of sources based on the purpose of their programming and the individual participants in training programs. As a result of their efforts, the program brought industry, community based organizations, and educational institutions together in partnerships to work in innovative ways. The goals of the program were to place new employees into immediate job openings; up-skill current employees to advance skills and/or remain competitive; and create pipelines of talent for the future. SSIREP fellows Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, Skye Leedahl, and Aaron Ley, with students Bridget Hall, Kristen Sodhi, and Marissa DeOliveira were asked by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training to produce this report in April 2018.

Full Report
Executive Summary
Institutional History
Main Evaluation


Case Studies

26 case studies were performed throughout the RJRI research. The guided interview questions for these case studies are included below.

Guided Interview Questions for Case Studies

IG-1 RJRI Cybersecurity Partnership
IG-2 Biomedical Equipment and Data Scientist Apprenticeship Program
IG-3 Residential Construction Partnership
IG-4 RI Urban Apprenticeship Program
IG-5 Rhode Island Manufacturing Growth Collaborative
IG-6 Marine Trades and Composites Partnership
IG-7 Leadership Development Partnership of Rhode Island
IG-8 Healthy Jobs RI Partnership
IG-9 Man Up 2 Careers Partnership
IG-10 Pipeline to Manufacturing Careers in Ship Building Partnership
IG-11 Healthcare Training Collaborative
IG-12 Medtech Innovation Engine
IG-13 The Rhode Island Food Management Training Partnership
IG-14 Insurance Innovation Partnership
IG-15 Rhode Island Financial Skills Initiative
IG-16 Aquaculture Training Partnership
IG-17 Construction Trades Skill-Up Partnership
IG-18 Building Futures Partnership
IG-19 Real Jobs IT Partnership
IG-20 CNA Talent Network Partnership
IG-21 Phoenix Partnership
IG-22 Partnership for Real IT Jobs
IG-23 The Real Jobs Pathway for Minorities and Women
IG-24 Design Forward Partnership
IG-25 Westerly Regional Real Jobs Partnership
IG-26 Real Jobs Partnership of Northern Rhode Island