Fixing the Skills Gap in Rhode Island

Come hear what leaders in government, education, recruitment and community development are doing to help pair workers with jobs in Rhode Island.

The economy has been one of the biggest stories in the United States for more than eight years, particularly in Rhode Island, one of the states hardest hit by the Great Recession. Prospects in the state have improved in recent years, but the sense that many Rhode Islanders are still struggling lingers, especially if you talk to people who have been trying to find work for a long time.

There is still a divide between people who are looking for fulfilling work that pays a decent wage, and employers who say they can’t find qualified people to fill their jobs. I examined that divide, which is known as the skills gap, in a story called “Minding the Gap,” in the September issue of Rhode Island Monthly. It's on newsstands now. 

At the same time, a lot of effort is going into training workers to learn new skills around the state. As an extension of the story, in conjunction with Rhode Island PBS and with support from the Rhode Island Foundation, we are holding a skills gap panel on September 21.

"Bridging the Divide: Fixing the Skills Gap in Rhode Island" will bring together some of the state’s leaders in government, education, recruitment and community development to discuss the challenges they are facing and the solutions they’re working on. The panelists are Scott Jensen, director of the state Department of Labor and Training; Meghan Hughes, president of the Community College of Rhode Island; Joe Devine, a partner at Bridge Technical Talent, a recruiting firm based in North Kingstown; and Mario Bueno, executive director of Progreso Latino in Central Falls.

Please join us for the taping of the panel on September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The free event will be held at Rhode Island PBS studio, 50 Park Ln., Providence. It will begin with a reception, where light refreshments will be served, followed by the taping. If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP here.