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In October 2014, Rhode Island received $7.5 million in U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Ready to Work Partnership funding to address the state’s information technology (IT) industry employment and workforce needs. Rhode Island has named its grant programs and services Tech Force Rhode Island. Training programs and services will serve Rhode Island’s long-term unemployed and under-employed as well as provide Rhode Island IT employers with the qualified IT talent they require. Ready to Work Partnership Grants are funded by fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under the H-1B non-immigrant visa program. The grant has been awarded to provide funding from November 2015 through October 2019. The period includes a six-month planning and implementation period and 3.5 years of service. The service period will run from May 1, 2015 through October 2019. During the grant period, 476 individuals are expected to be serviced.

/// Who Has the Tech Force RI / Ready to Work Grant Been Awarded To?

The Ready to Work Grant has been awarded to Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston and the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, which will aim to deliver Tech Force RI programs and services to develop Rhode Island’s IT workforce pipeline.

Learn More: Tech Force RI Grant Awardees


Tech Force RI will serve Rhode Island unemployed and under-employed  individuals as well as IT employers. Grant programs and services will  focus on the IT industry, providing technical and business skills  training to unemployed and under-employed Rhode Islanders and assisting  in filling open technical positions within Rhode Island and the  surrounding area. To be eligible as a participant you must meet the following criteria:

AGE: 18 years or older

RESIDENCY: RI residents and out of state residents that previously worked for a RI  employer and collected unemployment insurance through the state of RI

WORK STATUS: US citizen or eligible to work in the US


  • Long-Term Unemployed A. Unemployed who lost job since 12/1/2007 and have exhausted or nearly exhausted unemployment benefits (if eligible)
  • Long-Term Underemployed B. Underemployed who lost a job since 12/1/2007 that have not connected  with a full-time employment commensurate with former wage, skill or  education for 27 consecutive weeks or longer
  • Other Unemployed Worker C. Individual without a job for fewer than 27 consecutive weeks who is not underemployed* *Employment status eligibility subject to change based on US Department of Labor’s Ready to Work definitions of Long-term Unemployed and Other Unemployed workers.

EDUCATION LEVEL/EXPERIENCE: – Minimum of high school diploma or GED required


The grant will provide individuals with assessments, career coaching,  technical training, business/soft skills training (such as project  management, customer service, and communications), and employment  services to enter or re-enter the Rhode Island IT workforce. All employers will have the opportunity to hire grant participants to fill  their outstanding or upcoming technical needs. Employers are encouraged  to become involved in grant programs and services, including  contributing to training program curricula, interviewing and selecting  program participants, and hosting experiential learning opportunities.  On-the-Job Training (OJT) funding is additionally available to employers  through the Ready to Work Grant. To learn more or share a job posting contact;  info@techforceri.org


Tech Force RI is currently accepting applications. To apply, please click the link below.



There will be three specific training strategies offered by the grant. The goal of each is to enable participants to develop a career plan and take actionable steps towards obtaining IT employment. All three strategies will include intensive coaching and other short-term, specialized services culminating in job placement assistance into middle and high-skill jobs. A Career Coach will work with participants to identify how they can improve upon their job search tools, resume and job-readiness credentials, and interactions with employers.  The Career Coach will also work with participants in developing the technical and soft skills that all employers value. Strategies: 1. Intensive coaching and other short-term services leading to direct job placement 2. Short or long-term skills training 3. Tech Collective’s IT on Demand soft skills and technical training program

Strategy 1: Intensive coaching and other short-term services leading to direct job placement This approach is designed for long-term or other unemployed participants assessed to need minimal intervention of education and technical training and focuses on one-on-one sessions as well as participation in career pathways/coaching and job-readiness workshops. This strategy will include intensive coaching and other short-term, specialized services culminating in job placement assistance into middle and high-skill jobs.

Strategy 2: Short or long-term skills training This strategy will be utilized when a long-term or other unemployed participant has been assessed to need career coaching, job-readiness training, and long- or short-term training for either technical or soft/business skills. This training may be short-term to refresh or upgrade a participants skills or longer-term along a career pathway that leads to an industry-recognized credential and employment in middle and high-skill jobs. This strategy includes training in a classroom setting with our education/training providers or with employer partners who will provide On-The-Job Training (OJT).

Strategy 3: Tech Force’s IT on Demand soft skills and technical training program This strategy is appropriate for participants who require a more intense intervention for entering a mid-level IT career and includes a combination of soft skills and technical training. This program is designed and delivered with industry involvement and provides unemployed IT practitioners with technical, business, and experiential training. It is a 16-week contextualized education and training program with wrap-around support services leading to mid-level and high skill jobs in the IT industry. Delivered by Tech Force and its training partners, the program includes eight weeks of paid experiential learning at a local IT employer.

/// About the Tech Force RI / Ready to Work Grant Awardees:

Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston is the administrative entity for the Providence/Cranston Workforce Investment Board. Their mission is to continuously improve the Providence/Cranston workforce investment area’s capacity to connect people, employers, jobs, education, and service. Their vision is to create a rich, vibrant, competitive economy in the Providence/Cranston workforce investment area where people find good jobs, employers find the skilled workers they need, and where all parties find the Providence/Cranston area a place they want to live, work, and invest. Learn more: https://www.providenceri.com/wspc.

Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island The mission of the Workforce Partnership of Greater RI (WPGRI) is to provide strategic leadership to meet the current and future human resource needs of Rhode Island’s employers and to ensure a well-trained, self-sufficient and adaptable workforce. The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, Inc. is an employment and training resource providing responsive, market-based solutions for employers and potential workers. WPGRI will collaborate with business, labor, education leaders and community-based organizations to establish a dynamic, outcome-driven, visible resource providing measurable and comprehensive market-driven based employment and training services. These services will include the provision of information, technical assistance and life-long training opportunities to customers. Employers will have access to a well-trained and dependable workforce. Learn more: http://www.griworkforce.com.  


All inquiries about services/programs or involvement should be addressed to info@techforceri.org. We will respond to your inquiry within 3 business days.


Unemployed and Under-Employed Individuals We are currently accepting applications and enrollment is rolling. To participate in Tech Force RI programs and services, please apply online: APPLY HERE!

Employers There are many ways for employers to benefit from Tech Force RI programs. In addition to hiring trained individuals, employers may participate in training curricula development, industry tours and presentations, interviewing and work-readiness workshops, and hosting experiential learning opportunities. To learn more and inquire about participating, please contact info@techforceri.org. CONTACT US!

///Grant Partners

Tech Force Rhode Island Logo
Tech Force Rhode Island Logo

Tech Force Rhode Island is funded by the USDOL.
Funds were awarded to Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston with partnering agency Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island.