Developed through a generous partnership with Fidelity Investments and Partnership for Rhode Island, the free online portal will match educators with Rhode Island employers to bring career learning into the classroom.
Skills for Rhode Island’s Future (SkillsRI)–the nonprofit organization that connects unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders to job opportunities and sustainable career pathways–today announced the launch of the PrepareRI Work-Based Learning (WBL) Navigator in collaboration with the Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) and Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). The free, online portal is designed to connect Rhode Island public and charter school students to year-round, meaningful work-based learning and career exploration opportunities in the classroom that will equip them with the skills needed to thrive in the workplace.
The WBL Navigator tool was built through a generous partnership with Fidelity Investments and Partnership for Rhode Island.
“Through our work with the PrepareRI high school and college internship programs, we’ve seen first-hand how work-based learning can help us fight inequities and ensure that every student has access to resources that will help them succeed in their careers.” said Nina Pande, Executive Director at SkillsRI. The new PrepareRI WBL Navigator will help us expand on our work to bring hands-on career learning activities into the classroom, effectively breaking down barriers and paving stronger career pathways for our future workforce.”
“Fidelity Investments is committed to making a difference in the lives of school-age children and teachers in the communities where we work and live by sharing our experience and resources to help deliver financial literacy programming, curriculum and activities, and the Navigator is the perfect extension of those efforts,” said Rick Metters, Head of Government Relations and Public Affairs in Rhode Island. “We were happy to work with Partnership for Rhode Island, the GWB and RIDE to develop a tool that delivers learning modules to increase knowledge and skill.”
In addition to the development of the Navigator, Fidelity Investments also recently partnered with SkillsRI–a nonprofit organization that connects unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders to job opportunities and sustainable career pathways–to recruit Rhode Islanders for a variety of entry-level positions in client services. As part of this initiative, Fidelity is committed to helping Rhode Islanders gain valuable experience, personal and professional growth and strong mentorship in the financial services industry.
Using the new PrepareRI WBL Navigator, Rhode Island employers can post virtual or in-person work-based learning and career exploration opportunities, called “resources,” and educators can search, browse and request resources based on their need. Skills for Rhode Island’s Future then serves as the intermediary that matches educator requests with relevant resources for their students.
Resources on the Navigator will include:
Career Exploration Resources
- Career Fairs
- Career Panels
- Guest Speakers
- Employer Advisor for CTE Programs
- Job Shadows
- Workplace Tours
Work-Based Learning Resources
- Academic Year Internships
- Employer or Industry-Specific Projects
- Service-Learning Opportunities
- Summer Internships
- Teacher Externships
- Work Readiness Career Enhancement Workshops
Resources organized and provided through the PrepareRI WBL Navigator can also be applied to the state’s requirement of 80 work-based learning hours for students.
“The need for work-based learning has never been more important,” said Scott Jensen, Director of Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training. “Our youth are entering a rapidly-transforming workforce, where new fields and ways of work are emerging. The Navigator will be a critical tool in bringing together the education, business and workforce development communities to connect the dots between traditional education and the current workforce for students as they build their vision for the future.”
“This incredible program will help connect our students and teachers with our business community and leaders,” said Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green. “The skills built and experiences provided by these work-based learning opportunities will help prepare students for career pathways in their future. We’re excited for the launch of this innovative and collaborative tool for our schools.”
The PrepareRI WBL Navigator will be piloted with a select group of employers and educators starting today, and will roll out to all Rhode Island employers and educators in the new year.
“We are very excited to launch the Navigator pilot,” said Tom Giordano, Executive Director of Partnership for Rhode Island, a nonprofit coalition of Rhode Island’s leading business executives. “This platform will provide valuable and unique work-based learning opportunities across the state resulting in hundreds of hours of interactions between professionals, teachers and their students. This type of collaboration is what builds the workforce of the future. ”
Employers and educators can sign up on the PrepareRI Work-Based Learning Navigator at www.riwblnavigator.com. For more information and to speak with a Skills for Rhode Island’s Future team member, visit www.skillsforri.com/navigator.