Friday, September 9, 2016

Bridging the Divide: Fixing the Skills Gap in Rhode Island

As of June 2016, more than 30,000 Rhode Islanders didn’t have jobs and were actively trying to find work, according to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT). In April and May, nearly 4,000 jobs in the state disappeared, though 1,700 were added in June.

At the same time, some Rhode Island employers say they can’t find qualified workers to fill their job vacancies. This divide is known as the "skills gap."

On Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m., we broadcast Bridging the Divide: Fixing the Skills Gap in Rhode Island, a one-hour interactive discussion moderated by Jennifer McCaffery, associate editor of Rhode Island Monthly. The program brings together the academic, private, and public sectors on one stage to explore solutions and map out strategies and plans for remediation.

Panelists are
  • Scott Jensen, Director of the RI Department of Labor and Training
  • Joe Devine, Partner of Bridge Technical Talent
  • Dr. Meghan Hughes, President of the Community College of Rhode Island
  • Mario Bueno, Executive Director of Progreso Latino
The public is invited to be in the studio audience for the taping on Wednesday, September 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event includes a reception with the panelists, then watching the taping of the show in the studio. Seating is very limited; reservations are required in advance by September 20. (Sorry, but walk-ins cannot be accommodated.)

Audience guests will likely be seen on camera and should plan grooming and attire accordingly. Guests who do not wish to be on camera are invited to watch the taping from the reception room.

Interested parties who may have a skills gap question for panelists but who cannot attend the taping are invited to email the question to no later than Tuesday, September 20.

Bridging the Divide: Fixing the Skills Gap in Rhode Island is presented by the Rhode Island Foundation, in conjunction with Rhode Island Monthly and Rhode Island PBS.