BRIDGE.JOBS Initiative Announces Major Push to Have More Employers Offering Internships in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, RI (January 9, 2014) – Recognizing the valuable role internships play in the preparation of the state’s workforce and its economic growth, the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (“RISLA”), the Governor’s Workforce Board, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of RI, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, and the RI Partnership Project together announced a targeted new campaign to promote internships to Rhode Island employers through its BRIDGE.JOBS initiative. The group was joined in the announcement of the employer campaign by Governor Lincoln Chafee at GTECH’s world headquarters in Providence.
The BRIDGE.JOBS campaign was launched over a year ago to encourage work-based learning for students, youth, and adult learners throughout Rhode Island. The objective of the program is to increase the work readiness, knowledge, and skills of the current and emerging workforce in the state, while giving students and adults greater opportunities to remain in RI and contribute to the state’s economic growth. Through its free website, BRIDGE.JOBS matches qualified interns with internship opportunities throughout Rhode Island.
“By supporting internships and partnering with the business community, Rhode Island government is making a valuable and long-lasting investment in the state’s economy,” Governor Chafee said. “Meaningful work experience for Rhode Island’s students builds skills and résumés for the current and future workforce.”
“Since we launched BRIDGE.JOBS last year, thousands of area students and adults have come to the site to view the hundreds of available internship opportunities,” said Charles P. Kelley, Executive Director of RISLA, the agency that hosts bridge.jobs. “We are proud to work with our partners to make these opportunities available to students and adults, but it is imperative to encourage more Rhode Island employers to participate. Internships are a gateway to employment opportunities, a more skilled workforce, and a revitalization of our economy. That is why we are making a major push to grow this successful program.”
Thursday’s announcement at GTECH underscores the commitment that many area employers have already made to the BRIDGE.JOBS program. Leo Perrone, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at GTECH, Alexis Devine, Youth Development Coordinator at Lifespan, Valerie Joseph, RN, Nurse Manager at Clinica Esperanza, and Laurie White, President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce all spoke of the benefits of providing internship opportunities to high school and college students as well as adults. The growth of internship opportunities has also been a priority of Governor Chafee and the Governor’s Workforce Board along with the Rhode Island Foundation. RISLA recently received a $100,000 grant from the Foundation, as part of the Make It Happen RI campaign to promote the benefits of BRIDGE.JOBS to Rhode Island employers.
BRIDGE.JOBS is a partnership of the Governor’s Workforce Board, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of RI, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, and the RI Partnership Project. To learn more about RISLA’s Bridge Jobs initiative, please contact Adrian van Alphen at 401-468-1796, or visit http://www.bRIdge.Jobs.