Gov. Gina Raimondo’s recent roll out of more than $4 million in job training grants to a bevy of Rhode Island agencies likely includes some money that may end up training Connecticut workers, RIPR has learned.
At issue is a $150,000 grant to the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, an agency formally known as the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck (CT) Chamber. Michael Healey , spokesman for the RI Department of Labor and Training, acknowledged ``It’s possible that some money awarded to the Westerly partnership will be used to train some residents of Connecticut who will commute to Rhode Island for jobs.’’
Cross-border employment is ``a reality for tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders – and tens of thousands of people from Massachusetts and Connecticut.’’
Healey says about 15 percent of Rhode Island’s employed 525,000 – roughly 75,000 to 85,000 – work in either Massachusetts or Connecticut. ``Although DLT doesn’t have or keep this statistic, it’s reasonable to infer that many thousands of Rhode Islanders were trained at the expense of those states, or their employers and workforce agencies. So cross-state employment is also a two-way street.’’
Healey also says that the purpose of the Real Jobs RI is to stimulate the economy by partly funding training for RI job seekers for RI companies. ``We expect instances in which folks from other states are being trained to be uncommon.’’