RI Department of Labor and Training


Plan to Help the Long-Term Unemployed Comes to RI

Platform to Employment (P2E), with an 80% Success Rate Placing Job Candidates in Other States, Will Partner with DLT and Job Club RI


February 9, 2016

CRANSTON, RI — The RI Department of Labor and Training (DLT) today announced the launch of Platform to Employment (P2E), a nationally-recognized program designed to address the specific needs of long-term unemployed workers. P2E helps people who have been unemployed for 26 weeks or more and have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits. It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Rhode Island is the second state, after Connecticut, to implement P2E as a statewide initiative. Since its inception in 2011, P2E has expanded to over 27 markets including San Francisco, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, Tampa and Dallas in 15 states and helped nearly 2,000 long-term unemployed workers return to work. Allstate Insurance Company and Atlantic Media recently honored The WorkPlace, the creators of P2E, with a Renewal Award for P2E’s innovative, local approach to this pressing issue. The WorkPlace was one of six awardees of 230 organizations that were nominated.

“My focus every day is finding ways to put people back to work and expanding opportunities so everyone can make it in Rhode Island,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “I’m excited about the partnership among the Department of Labor and Training, Platform to Employment and Job Club RI and about our aggressive plan to help Rhode Island workers who have been struggling find meaningful work.”

“P2E’s success rate is astounding,” said DLT Director Scott Jensen. “We look forward to helping Rhode Island’s own Job Club RI with the funding it needs to support the great work that Steve Colella has been doing at the West Warwick Public Library for many years.”

Jensen forged the partnership between The WorkPlace, the nonprofit that launched P2E, and grass-roots organization Job Club RI. DLT is paying for the program by repurposing $1.5 million in existing National Emergency Grants funding in a way that will better help Rhode Islanders who need it. USDOL’s most recent UI Data Summary report shows that in 2015, 32% of UI claimants in Rhode Island exhausted their benefits before finding work with nearly 11,000 claimants exhausting benefits in all. (Turn to Page 53 of this report.)

“Today, unemployed Americans face choices and pressures no one could have prepared for,” said Joseph Carbone, President and CEO of The WorkPlace. “Job loss and long-term unemployment have wiped out retirement savings and caused any hope of financial security to fade. The WorkPlace is excited to introduce Rhode Island to Platform to Employment and help put people back to work and pave the way to a brighter and more secure future.”

“With our similar intensive and holistic approaches to helping long-term unemployed job seekers, we look forward to leveraging our strengths and partnering with P2E in Rhode Island to help more people who need it,” said Steve Colella, Founder and Executive Director of Job Club RI. “As a 100 percent volunteer organization, we have developed and rely on strong relationships with over 50 major employers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and have helped hundreds of participants find meaningful paying with a living wage.”

P2E starts with mandatory job readiness training for five weeks including skills assessment, career readiness workshops, career coaching, financial counseling, family support services and job-placement strategy. This intensive approach has helped 80 percent of P2E participants in other states find good jobs.

Placements are made on a trial basis and are paid for by the program. The expectation is that a full-time job will result if the employer is satisfied with the performance of the candidate.

This provides employers a risk-free opportunity to evaluate the candidate and determine if a good match exists. Employers interested in participating are encouraged to contact the program at www.PlatformToEmployment.com.

People interested in enrolling in P2E are encouraged to apply to the program at www.PlatformToEmployment.com. P2E is expected to serve 175 Rhode Islanders who qualify under the federal grant guidelines.

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ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information, please call DLT at (401) 462-8000 or visit our website at www.dlt.ri.gov.