Workforce Development Initiatives
Tech Collective's mission is to inspire, engage, educate, and employ. Workforce development programs and initiatives are a critical component of that commitment. Tech Collective has developed several of its own workforce development programs as well as collaborates with many local and national organizations to develop opportunities to workers at all levels across Rhode Island. Tech Collective's current workforce development programs and contacts are listed below.
Contact us today to get involved or learn more.
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Tech Force Rhode Island
In October 2014, Rhode Island received $7.5 million in U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Ready to Work Partnership funding to address the state's information technology (IT) industry employment and workforce needs. Training programs and services will serve Rhode Island’s long-term unemployed and under-employed as well as provide Rhode Island IT employers with the qualified IT talent.
The Grant has been awarded to Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston, Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, and provide four years of funding from November 2015 through October 2018, with a six month implementation phase and 3.5 years of service. During the grant period, 476 individuals are expected to be serviced.
Impact: 376 individuals are expected to be serviced through the grant period ending October 2018.
2015 Activity: Tech Force RI programs are currently in session and accepting applications.
More Information: Unemployed, Under-employed, and Employers: visit www.techforceri.org
Designed and delivered with industry involvement, Tech Collective’s IT On Demand program is geared toward unemployed mid-level IT practitioners. The program aims to ‘skill up’ participants and prepare them to re-enter the workforce. The 14-week program consists of three training components: technical (as chosen by RI employers), business, and experiential (hosted at a RI IT employer company). It is anticipated that participants will be considered for hire upon successful completion of the program.
Previous sessions of IT On Demand have been funded and supported by a GWB RI Innovative Partnership Grant and the CCRI Pathways to Advance Career Education (PACE) program; as well as Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston and the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island with funds provided by a grant from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training and the US Department of Labor.
Impact: In 2013 and 2014, 32 participants completed IT On Demand; 26 became employed; 17 companies participated.
2015 Activity: IT On Demand will take place in December 2015 as one training strategy within Tech Force RI.
More Information: visit www.techforceri.org
The mission of Tech Collective’s Women in Technology (WIT) group is to foster growth for women both personally and professionally, through education, training, networking, and common support. WIT’s Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program matches experienced and up-and-coming professional women to share best practices, answer questions, offer advice and leadership, and provide support in the worlds of IT and bioscience as well as business. The nine-month program is designed and supported by industry representatives and members of the WIT Committee. The WIT Mentor Program is funded by GWB RI Industry Partnership Grants.
Impact: Since its launch in September 2012, the Program has successfully matched 40 mentors/mentee pairs.
2015 Activity: The 2015-2016 Mentor Program will begin in October 2015.
Incumbent Worker Training
Through GWB RI, Tech Collective members and Rhode Island companies at large are eligible to receive up to $45,000 in training dollars to upgrade the skills of their existing workers performing industry-specific roles. Training funding is a 50% match program.
2015 Activity: Incumbent worker training grants are accepted and awarded on a rolling basis.
More Information: visit www.gwb.ri.gov
Tech Collective’s Professional Development Series cultivates business and professional skill sets for employees in the technology industry. Presented by education and leadership experts, these half-day training workshops are free to Tech Collective members and focus on employer-identified training needs. Topics include: problem solving and critical thinking, effective communications, DiSC training, project management, and HR metrics and analytics. The Professional Development Series is funded by GWB RI Industry Partnership Grants.
Impact: Since its launch in 2012, 13 Professional Development sessions have had a total attendance of 245.
2015 Activity: 3 professional development sessions are currently being planned for Spring 2016.
Tech Collective is dedicated to STEM career awareness and engagement for all Rhode Island students. Through classroom speakers, industry tours, job shadows, expos, and student competitions, we work to provide bioscience, IT, and STEM opportunities to K-12 students as well as educators. Organizations and programs include: GRRL Tech, STEM in the Middle, Hour of Code, Junior Achievement of RI, SkillsUSA RI, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Cyber Security Competitions, US FIRST Robotics, Southern New England Girls Collaborative Project, The RI STEM Center at RI College, IT and bioscience academies at Rhode Island high schools and career and technical centers, and STEM scholarships. Youth initiatives are funded by GWB RI Industry Partnership Grants and employer sponsorships.
Impact: Between July 2014 and June 2015, Tech Collective’s youth initiatives had a total student participation of 2,479. Since 2009, $32,500 in scholarships have been awarded to RI students pursing STEM education.
2015 Activity: Activities listed above are actively available for students; industry professionals are encouraged to volunteer to share their experience and passion.
More Information: Tech Collective Youth Initiatives
Tech Collective’s bioscience and IT industry skills gap studies comprehensively focus on Rhode Island’s high-tech, high-growth industries. The reports identify workforce skills gaps at the entry and mid-levels; career pathways and professional development; the education pipeline from K-12 through higher education; and offer recommendations and actions to move forward. The reports are researched and compiled using local and national industry data as well as garnering Rhode Island employer insights via focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and surveys. RI Skills Gap Studies are funded by GWB RI Industry Partnership Grants.
Impact: The reports have become the most comprehensive resources on Rhode Island’s IT and bioscience industries. More than 300 printed copies of the reports have been distributed across Rhode Island industry; digital copies are additionally available online. Tech Collective’s Rhode Island Skills Gap Forum Series followed the reports and welcomed 189 industry, academic, and government professionals and leaders.
Download/Share: Tech Collective Workforce Development Initiatives Flyer
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