Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) today praised the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) after they were awarded funds from a federal program that will provide $1 million to improve the data used to make decisions about efforts to prepare workers for the job market.
The US Department of Labor's Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant will allow Rhode Island to expand databases of workforce data and to link them to education data. Grantees are expected to use this data system to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs to better inform customers of the publicly-funded workforce system. DLT will work with the state Departments of Education and Human Services as well as the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education and the data analysis non-profit ProvPlan to evaluate the successes and shortcomings of state programs.
"Visiting with businessmen and women through my District, I hear repeatedly that there are jobs available in our state, but companies struggle to find workers trained with the skills needed to fill them," said Langevin. "While this issue requires immediate action to improve collaboration between educators and employers, we must work simultaneously to measure the success of workforce initiatives. Despite their growing fiscal challenges, I applaud the hard work of Director Charlie Fogarty at DLT and his staff to obtain these resources to ensure the state knows what programs work and what should be changed."
Charles J. Fogarty, director of the RI Department of Labor and Training, stated, "By creating a data hub to monitor the relationship between education and employment, Rhode Island will now be able to better measure the effectiveness and impact of its K-20 and workforce development policies."