Cicilline Commends RI Company and Association Leading Effort to End Employment Practices that Disadvantage Unemployed

Friday, January 31, 2014

PAWTUCKET, RI – In an effort to help train Rhode Island’s workforce and build ladders of opportunity into the middle class, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today congratulated a local company and association that are leading the way to end employment practices that disadvantage jobless Rhode Islanders and encouraged Rhode Island job training programs to apply for a new federal competition that would help make unemployed Rhode Islanders more job-ready.

Making good on a promise in his State of the Union address, President Obama today outlined a plan to get unemployed Americans back to work.  In addition to announcing a new federal job training grant, the President also announced a new partnership with the nation’s leading companies to develop best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed.  The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and CVS Caremark, along with more than 300 companies – including over 80 of the nation’s largest businesses, have signed on to this initiative. 

“I am proud that CVS Caremark and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association are leading the effort among the business community to end hiring practices that put the long-term unemployed at a disadvantage,” said Cicilline, who authored legislation that would renew unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. “This is a smart business practice that will put more Rhode Islanders to work to boost spending and improve our local economy.”

During a meeting with CEOs from across the country, President Obama today announced that he will direct $150 million in grants toward partnership programs that retrain, mentor, and place unemployed workers in good paying jobs.  The U.S. Department of Labor will be the lead agency in distributing the funds.

Cicilline, who today celebrated the success of Building Futures, a job placement program, at their Providence headquarters said: “I urge Rhode Island job training programs to compete for these federal grants that will help strengthen our workforce and help the long-term unemployed get back on their feet.  Addressing the skills gap is one of our state’s most pressing challenges and placing unemployed Rhode Islanders in established apprenticeship programs will  make them better qualified and prepared for future job opportunities.”

Cicilline has long supported efforts to renew unemployment benefits and improve job training programs.  As Mayor, he helped launch Building Futures, which places low-income Rhode Islanders in quality apprenticeship programs to give them the skills they need to find work in the construction industry.  To date, Building Futures has completed more than 40 construction projects throughout the state. 

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