Recent information from our state's Department of Labor and Training (DLT) underscores the importance of addressing Rhode Island's skills gap to strengthen and expand the middle class. While we must create more quality jobs, we have far too many good-paying positions going unfilled because employers can't find qualified workers. Careers like "computer systems analysts" and "software developers" are among the areas in which DLT reports workers are in high demand.
That's why I've been a steadfast advocate for initiatives like the one that brought IT and health care training courses to CCRI. I've also taken the lead in building bipartisan support for the Perkins Act, which gives students and workers the equipment and instruction required for effective training.
Last week I took part in an announcement of federal funding that will boost our efforts to assist the unemployed and expand skills training. In part, these funds will help career centers around the state offer personal assistance to unemployed workers to get them back on their feet and help them find their next job. Furthermore, DLT will rehire some employees who provide services to the unemployed after the agency was forced into layoffs earlier this year. I joined my colleagues in the state's Congressional delegation in requesting relief for these employees from the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and I'm pleased we received a positive response.
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