Rhode Island Employers are helping Rhode Island Get Back to Work through Registered Apprenticeship


Barbara Jackson, Executive Director, We Make RI

“Many people need training to help them gain a foothold in our manufacturing industry.  Although much of the training we do is necessary to land a manufacturing job, once employed, apprenticeship is a way to continue gaining skills and increasing your value, and paycheck. Our apprenticeship programs include Production Technician, Machinist, CNC Machinist and Tool Maker. We also offer a mid-level career apprenticeship in OHS safety training.

Rhode Island was one of the first states to develop a small shop Registered Apprenticeship for non-licensed trades. Other states saw what we were doing and have adopted our standards.. In Rhode Island, manufacturing is strong, the real problem is sourcing labor. We are reaching Rhode Islanders displaced from their jobs due to COVID and connecting them to employer apprenticeship programs.”

Learn More About We Make RI’s Apprentice Programs

Shannon Brawley, Executive Director RI Nursery and Landscaping Association

“Registered Apprenticeship is a good opportunity for folks looking for a career with growth opportunities, a living wage, and a purpose. At RINLA, we are building resilient people who can respond and adapt to a changing environment. Our Registered Apprenticeship programs build skills and community. We are building healthy environments and healthy people, and linking it back to how an individual can earn a living and connect to their community.

There is such a diversity in Registered Apprenticeship programs available with RINLA employer sponsors, from arboriculture, to fine gardening, people who work on farms, landscape construction and masonry. Through Registered Apprenticeship in plant based industries, there are opportunities to grow with a company. We currently have 25 employer sponsors, and are onboarding more. We have been doing tremendous outreach with Back to Work Rhode Island. There’s a real lack of understanding about what the industry has to offer and what we do, but when people learn about the opportunities, they want to know more. We are recruiting as many new apprentices as possible, we hope to bring on over 100 new people.”

Learn More About RINLA’s Growing Futures Program

Fred Mattera, Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island

“Our Commercial Fishermen Apprenticeship Program provides a pathway to a unique life style for individuals going to Sea. The pandemic has been very difficult for the fishing industry, most shut down for the initial 4-6 weeks and then limited markets at 25% to 50% capacity, but we know the pandemic is affecting every business. Despite the challenges, the 2020 Commercial Fisherman Apprentices Program did proceed. We made adjustments to our program, conducting the class with 10 individuals to allow for social distancing guidelines and had infrared thermometers and prescreening every day. Several of the apprentices went to sea on a trial trip and impressed the Captains so much that they immediately offered them a permanent site on their vessel.

The Captains are elated that they have finally found a crewman that is dependable, focused and eager to learn.  Pure match made in heaven was one captains words.  No one has given up- that is the encouraging part. Our captains and apprentices are staying committed.”

Learn More About the Commercial Fisherman Apprenticeship Program
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