WPRI: Langevin wins 9th term in US House

WPRI: Langevin wins 9th term in US House

by WPRI.com Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Congressman Jim Langevin has been re-elected to a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Eyewitness News projects.

Langevin, a Democrat who has represented the 2nd Congressional District since 2001, defeated Republican Rhue Reis and two independent candidates, Salvatore Caiozzo and Jeffrey Johnson.

“We’ve got our challenges in the country right now, we’ve also got a find a way to come together in a strong bipartisan way,” Langevin told his supporters. “And I hope my colleagues around the country have heard the frustration of the American people, that they’re tired of the partisanship in Washington, the gridlock, that we need to get beyond what has been going on and find a way to come together.”

Langevin, a former state lawmaker and secretary of state, was always favored over Reis, who previously ran against him in 2014, but nevertheless spent money to air TV ads promoting his bid for another term.

All four members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation are Democrats. Congressman David Cicilline was also re-elected Tuesday. U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are not up for re-election again until 2020 and 2018, respectively.

Langevin thanked Rhode Islanders for their continued support in a statement Tuesday night.

“Serving the people of Rhode Island has been the greatest honor of my life, and I am so incredibly humbled and grateful that the voters have again put their faith in me. With the budget deadline looming and so many incredible challenges facing our nation – from income inequality to immigration reform – I am anxious to return to Washington and to get back to work on behalf of our great state. I also want to thank my General Election opponents, Rhue Reis, Sal Caiozzo, and Jeff Johnson. Putting yourself out there and running for office is not an easy thing to do. I applaud anyone who wants to pursue public service, including these three gentlemen.

“I got into public service because I wanted to give back to a community that had supported me and my family at a difficult time. The issues we face may seem different today than they were back then, but my reasons for pursuing this office have not changed. I love the State of Rhode Island and the people here, and I promise that I will continue to do my very best to represent you.”

Warwick Beacon: New program ‘welds’ path to jobs, career

Warwick Beacon: New program ‘welds’ path to jobs, career

by Tessa Roy

Rhode Island government officials united Thursday to celebrate the opening of Warwick’s new Marine Trades program. Mayor Scott Avedisian, Senator Mike McCaffrey, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator Jack Reed, Representative Jim Langevin, Governor Gina Raimondo and members of Warwick’s City Council, School Committee, and school administration all appeared at Toll Gate High School to voice their support for the program.

“Warwick is proud to showcase our new Marine Trades CTE program, which already is offering an engaging, hands-on and directly relevant education to motivated students who will soon help Rhode Island meet the hiring needs of Electric Boat as well as marinas, boat builders and other maritime-related employers in Warwick and throughout the state,” Avedisian said.

The Warwick Area Career and Technical Center’s expanded Marine Trades CTE program now has five state-of-the-art welding booths, a curriculum approved by the American Boat and Yacht Council and National Center for Construction Education and Research, and new textbooks. It currently serves 30 students, 22 from Warwick and eight from West Warwick, and is open to public high school students from around the state.

General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) is a partner in the program.

Sean Davies, General Dynamics Electric Boat Vice President – Quonset Point Operations said the program will provide EB with educated, motivated employees with the necessary skills to perform effectively at their jobs.

“We are proud to take part in this innovative effort, which represents the active roles Rhode Island, local school systems and industry are taking to build the educated work force required to compete and succeed in the 21st century,” he said.

Langevin agreed, saying EB would be helpful to students as well.

“Working with EB, students are going to be able to experience firsthand the opportunities that really do awaken right here in Rhode Island,” he said. “Graduates of this program will be able to identify the right path not just for a job, but for a career.”

Marine Trades instructor Christopher Bianco said the new Toll Gate location is beneficial since it is right next to the Career and Tech Center. Before, recruiting might have been difficult for them with students having to travel across the city on buses when they did their assessments, but now they are much closer.

Bianco said Toll Gate administration and Superintendent Philip Thornton have been supportive as the program transitioned from its former location at Warwick Vets.

“They’re behind us 100 percent. Basically whatever we’ve needed to make ourselves successful, they’ve been able to come forward and give it to us,” he said.

Thornton called Bianco “inspiring and tireless” and said he was proud to have the program expanding here in Warwick.

Raimondo’s central job-training initiative, Real Jobs Rhode Island, awarded a grant of $369,500 to an EB-led maritime sector partnership that helped fund Warwick’s new Marine Trades module. In addition, all levels of government, several funding streams, and other public and private educational partners have supported the new Warwick Marine Trades CTE program. These include $70,000 from The City of Warwick: $70,000, a $115,000 competitive grant from the Rhode Island Department of Education, $50,000 in Perkins Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education (This funding has been spread out over several years. Not all $50,000 has been spent just this year on just this project), and approximately $5,000 for Marine Trades textbooks (NCCER’s formal Marine Trades curriculum) from the U.S. Department of Labor – Real Jobs RI.

The Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island, and New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) all have contributed to and have roles in implementing RI’s strategic workforce plan for EB. In addition, instructors in the ship-fitting programs have received training from NEIT’s Shipbuilding Marine Trades and Advanced Manufacturing Institute, also in Warwick. All instructors have been certified in Maritime Trades from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (US Department of Labor).

Governor Raimondo thanked those on all levels that worked on the program and said it would change lives.

“We’re all in for you guys. Your success is Rhode Island’s success, and your future is Rhode Island’s future,” she said.


The Independent: Web Exclusive: Langevin seeking ninth term in crowded Congressional race

The Independent: Web Exclusive: Langevin seeking ninth term in crowded Congressional race

by Matthew Enright

Congressman Jim Langevin is seeking a ninth term in office but, in order to get it, he will have to fend off three challengers as voters head to the polls Tuesday.

The senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and Homeland Security Committee, Langevin has been one of the leading proponents of cybersecurity for years and continues to emphasize it as one of his top legislative goals if given a return trip to Washington.

“Cybersecurity is the top security issue of the 21st century,” he said. “It’s both a challenge on the security side but also to our economy as well as protection of our privacy and civil liberties.”

He also points to creating an educated workforce as a focal point of his efforts.

“It’s either going to be going to a college or university will be essential, or it’s going to be an associate’s degree or advanced training and a career in tech,” he said. “Making sure young people are aware of these opportunities and to focus on them having the right support to go into these areas is something I’m going to continue to focus on,” he says.

While a strong supporter of Hilary Clinton in the presidential election, Langevin also touts his bipartisan record and willingness to cross the aisle. Among the Republicans he works with are Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Michael McCall (R-TX) and Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-PA).

”At the end of the day, we’ve got to come together as a country, we have to reach out across the aisle and govern in a bipartisan way, it’s the best way to get things done.”

Langevin sees this upcoming election as a job application.

“I have to reapply for my job every two years, the voters have the prerogative of changing who represents them,” he said. “I’ve never viewed this seat or any elected position as anybody’s birthright. I am a steward of a position that belongs to the people, and it’s their decision as to who they want to hold that position and whether they want to see me re-elected or want to have a change.”

Providence Journal: Editorial: Vote for Reps. Cicilline, Langevin

Providence Journal: Editorial: Vote for Reps. Cicilline, Langevin

Originally published by The Providence Journal, 24 October 2016

It is good to see competition in the races for Rhode Island’s congressional seats. The election of a politician to Congress too often becomes virtually a lifetime appointment. Since incumbents enjoy enormous advantages in a time of massive government spending, we have called for term limits on members of Congress.

That said, the presence of a challenger does not mean that voters should blindly support the newcomer. Voters are wise to weigh who would best serve their interests in Washington. In the races for Rhode Island’s two seats in the U.S. House, we believe the far superior candidates are the incumbents, both Democrats — David Cicilline in the 1st Congressional District and James Langevin in the 2nd Congressional District.

Mr. Cicilline, a former lawyer and state representative who served eight years as mayor of Providence, has shown himself to be an articulate and energetic congressman, supporting investments in infrastructure, advocating for assistance for the most needy Americans and seeking greater restrictions on gun purchases and ownership. Respected by his House colleagues, he is a member of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. He has made efforts to reach across the aisle as a member of the No Labels coalition, which strikes to find bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems.

We continue to be troubled by Mr. Cicilline’s deceiving the public about the health of Providence’s finances during his final months as mayor in 2010, when he first ran for Congress, a big reason we supported the 2012 challenge of his distinguished Republican opponent, former State Police superintendent Brendan Doherty. But one cannot dwell on that aspect of his career forever, and he brings much to the table as a congressman for Rhode Island.

Mr. Cicilline, 55, is being challenged this time by Republican Harold Russell Taub, who argues that the country needs a more business-friendly environment that will foster good-paying jobs. But Mr. Taub’s experience pales with that of Mr. Cicilline, who is positioned to do much more for the people of Rhode Island.

In the 2nd District, we enthusiastically support the reelection of Mr. Langevin.

A former Rhode Island secretary of state who was first elected to Congress in 2000, Mr. Langevin has done a good job of representing his district and addressing his constituents’ needs. In Washington’s highly polarized and partisan environment, he has also shown a critical ability to work with members of both parties to craft legislation.

Mr. Langevin has been involved in key issues during his time in Congress, including career and technical education, national security (including the construction of Virginia-class submarines that are built in Quonset Point and in Groton, Conn.,) and cybersecurity, which has emerged as a major concern for our nation. Indeed, Mr. Langevin was prodding business and other leaders to focus on cybersecurity long before many Americans had given it much thought.

The victim of a 1980 shooting accident that left him a paraplegic, Mr. Langevin, 52, has also been involved in legislation that touches on medicine and health, including legislation that provided added help to home caregivers.

Mr. Langevin is being challenged by Republican Rhue Reis and independents Salvatore Caiozzo and Jeffrey Johnson. Mr. Reis, a casino floor manager, supports term limits and efforts to reduce the federal deficit, and we are glad that he is in the race. But we see Mr. Langevin as by far the more effective representative for Rhode Island, based on his experience and proven ability to work with both parties.

Warwick Beacon: Beyond cybersecurity awareness

Warwick Beacon: Beyond cybersecurity awareness

by Congressman Jim Langevin

On September 30, President Obama proclaimed October 2016 as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Throughout the month, the Department of Homeland Security and its private sector partners are holding events and engaging with the American public in an attempt to make people aware of the risks they face in cyberspace. As the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, I have been involved with a number of these efforts in Rhode Island, and I strongly support the President’s continued focus on raising awareness.

Unfortunately, it sometimes seems as if our awareness efforts have been overtaken by a persistent drumbeat of headlines. Whether it’s major corporations being breached, government systems being compromised, or democratic institutions being targeted in an information warfare campaign, it can feel like the news is filled daily with cyber-attacks and their aftermath. When I started the Cybersecurity Caucus in 2008, cybersecurity was rarely if ever discussed in the halls of Congress. These days, there are weekly hearings on the topic.

This barrage of hacks is starting to take its toll on the public’s psyche. Recent research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed that many people are suffering from security fatigue: they know that they are engaging in risky behaviors, but they are too overwhelmed to do otherwise. Cybersecurity awareness is not enough – we need cybersecurity empowerment.

The first step in cybersecurity empowerment is realizing that you, the user, have a lot of control over your safety online. Most compromises of companies and individuals are the result of common mistakes that can be remedied relatively easily. Use a password manager to help you generate and store strong passwords securely. Turn on two factor authentication – for instance, receiving a code by text message in addition to your password to sign into an account. And backup your data frequently.

We also shouldn’t expect technology to solve our problems for us. We all wish there was an easy fix to immunize us against cyber-attacks, just as we wish there was one vaccine that could keep us healthy. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case, so we have to keep updating our apps and washing our hands.

Perhaps the most important tool of cyber-empowered consumers is their wallet. There are a number of actions companies can take to better secure their products, but if their customers – both individuals and other businesses – do not demand action, we will continue to see software and devices that are trivially easy to hack.

The theme of Cyber Security Awareness Month for 2016 is “Our Shared Responsibility.” Empowered users of technology are necessary to improve our security posture, but they are just one part of the solution. Technology companies and Internet services providers need to make security a more simple and straightforward experience for all of us as users. The government needs to be prepared to help defend against and mitigate the rare, but often severe, attacks by other nation-states like Russia, China and Iran. The government also needs to incentivize and encourage businesses to adopt cybersecurity best practices.

I have long viewed cybersecurity not as a problem to be solved, but as a risk to be managed. No one entity has all the answers in this arena, but, working together, we can build a more secure Internet and continue to take advantage of the wonderful benefits connectivity provides.

Jim Langevin, a Democrat, represents Rhode Island’s Second District in the United States Congress. He is a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, and as the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, has been a leader on cybersecurity policy.

Warwick Beacon: RI Foundation launches college scholarship fund honoring Roger Williams

Warwick Beacon: RI Foundation launches college scholarship fund honoring Roger Williams

Originally Published by the Warwick Beacon

Local high school students can now apply for college scholarships of up to $80,000 thanks to a new initiative from the Rhode Island Foundation that honors the state’s founding father.

“Roger Williams was many things – a seeker, a champion of democracy, a naturalist, a reader, a writer, a traveler, and undoubtedly an entrepreneur. Thanks to the vision of Letitia and John Carter, this initiative will connect Rhode Islanders with our state’s founder in an open, accessible manner,” said Neil Steinberg, the foundation’s president and CEO.

The Roger Williams Initiative is the brainchild of philanthropists Letitia and John Carter. Open to high school seniors from Rhode Island, recipients will be awarded up to $80,000 over four years based on financial need and academic good standing. Up to three scholarships a year will be awarded.

“We hope that after learning more about Roger Williams, students will understand what his values were, and how they remain significant, important, current and not as a study in history. Roger Williams should be seen as a set of living ideals and not only an historical figure. The goal is for students to gain an understanding of Roger Williams and, in that sense, see him as a mentor and personal guide,” said John Carter.

Students can begin applying for the scholarships immediately. The deadline is Feb. 16. More details are posted at findingrogerwilliams.com.

The website also includes a free online education hub offering activities and discussion starters on Roger Williams and his teachings for local elementary, middle and high school educators to use in their classrooms. Also available online is a comprehensive collection of verifiable information about Roger Williams, his life, legacy and character.

“We wanted to establish a sense of place and awareness for all Rhode Islanders by providing access to resources and opportunities inspired by our state’s founder and his teachings,” said Jessica David, the Foundation’s senior vice president for strategy and community investment, who led the project.

“This initiative is meant to encourage review and reflection. Roger Williams was a complex man, he was forward-thinking and yet very much a man of his time. We are committed to presenting a complete, verifiable and accurate portrayal of who he was and what he accomplished – without bias,” she said.

A host of speakers joined the Foundation to unveil the new initiative at the Roger Williams National Memorial, which is the site of a freshwater spring that was the center of the settlement of Providence Plantations founded by Williams in 1636.

“I’m proud to serve as the Governor of a state founded on Roger Williams’s principles of religious freedom and tolerance. Today, Rhode Island’s commitment to inclusion and opportunity for all remains one of our greatest strengths,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo. “As Governor, I have worked to establish programs to help high school students take college courses for free, and to help bridge the gap between financial aid packages and the actual cost of college. The Roger Williams Initiative and Scholarships Program will open doors of opportunity for even more of our students.”

“Roger Williams was a free-thinker and a fearless trailblazer. The values upon which he built our state are the same values that should be celebrated in young people today, and the Roger Williams Initiative will ensure that his legacy lives on in a new generation of independent leaders,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.

“Thinking about the establishment of this state we would be remiss not to acknowledge the impact of the Narragansett people on the ability of Roger Williams to, first, survive and, then, thrive in our homelands. I am pleased to partner on this initiative and to share the interwoven history of the creation of this state,” said Lorén Spears, executive director of the Tomaquag Museum.

“This initiative comes at a critical time when religious liberty and liberty of conscience is being threatened in our country and worldwide. Congratulations to the Rhode Island Foundation and the Carters for reinforcing Roger’s legacy in our youth of today, as they will be the leaders of tomorrow,” said David Wordell, president of the Roger Williams Family Association, which has hundreds of members in Rhode Island.

“Few note the tremendous contributions Roger Williams made to our basic ideals about freedom. These freedoms we take for granted today, began as an experiment, with Roger Williams at the helm, right here in Rhode Island. These scholarships are a fantastic opportunity for the next generation to understand and continue Williams’s experiment,” said Roger Williams National Memorial Park Ranger John McNiff.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2015, the Foundation awarded $41.5 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.

Providence Journal: Cicilline, Langevin make their cases for reelection

Providence Journal: Cicilline, Langevin make their cases for reelection

by Katherine Gregg

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — What have Rhode Island’s two $174,000-a-year congressmen, James Langevin and David Cicilline, accomplished in Washington in the two years since they last faced their home-state voters?

Lots, if you ask them, even though they are Democrats, from the smallest state, in a chamber currently dominated by Republicans.

Langevin, the former secretary of state who has been Rhode Island’s 2nd District congressman since 2001, takes credit for wording in five pieces of legislation that have cleared Congress since January 2015, including a boost in potential funding for transportation services for the disabled, a cyber-crime prosecution bill and the naming of a South County post office.

Cicilline, the former Providence mayor who has been the state’s 1st District congressman since 2011, had a hand in nine new laws that included a hike in funding for a national Veterans Crisis Center, the naming of a Providence post office, notice to manufacturers of overseas contract opportunities, and a high-profile diaper-changing bill.

Langevin spokeswoman Meg Geoghegan said: “I think the question is less, ‘How many bills have you passed?’ and more, ‘How much policy have you influenced?’ ”

By that measure, Geoghegan says, Langevin is proud of his “strong record of bipartisanship at a time when Congress faces unprecedented gridlock. … On all of the top issues he works on — his priorities of cybersecurity, national security and workforce development, in particular — he has Republicans with whom he works closely.”

Cicilline’s checklist includes the “Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act,” which was recently signed into law by President Obama.

The legislation mandates that all restrooms in federal buildings have diaper-changing stations.

The issue took flight after actor and new dad Ashton Kutcher complained on Facebook about the lack of diaper-changing stations in men’s restrooms and later started a Change.org petition to get the ball rolling. Advocates rallied to the cause. Cicilline led the charge in Congress with an election-year bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives, 389-34. The Senate unanimously approved the bill before it landed on the president’s desk.

“This is how government should work to make commonsense reforms that make life easier for the people we serve,” he said in a statement.

Cicilline’s campaign spokeswoman, Kathleen O’Hanlon, said former representative Dale Kildee, D-Michigan, had introduced the bill in previous Congresses, without success.

“It was brought to David’s attention by a staff member who previously worked on this legislation,” O’Hanlon said. “He didn’t need a lot of convincing.”

Who could possibly object to a bill titled “BABIES”?

“I understand the issue,” said Cicilline’s Republican opponent, H. Russell Taub. “Childcare givers of both genders would benefit. But I contend that there are many more pressing matters the House should address in the extremely limited time left to it before the election.”

“If David’s position in the minority means that all he can do for voters of the 1st District is to manage baby furniture legislation on the floor, then I think those voters ought to consider hiring a representative who will be in the majority,” Taub said.

Langevin faces Republican Rhue Reis and independents Salvatore G. Caiozzo and Jeffrey Johnson.

The Journal asked Langevin and Cicilline for a list of other bills they sponsored or cosponsored since the last election that became law. Their rundown:

Langevin has seen five pieces of legislation that bear his imprint signed into law in the last two years. The most recent named a federal post office in North Kingstown after the late Melvoid Benson, a one-time state lawmaker and teacher hailed as a trailblazer for women of color in elected office.

He also takes credit for an amendment to a law, titled the Every Student Succeeds Act, that requires states applying for federal education dollars to detail how they would use the money to provide apprenticeships for academic credit and “comprehensive career counseling to the students.”

Langevin, who has been paralyzed since he was accidentally shot as a teenage police cadet, also cosponsored an amendment to a five-year, $305-billion transportation-funding legislation that boosted potential funding for public transit services for people with disabilities.

Previously, local transit systems could use up to 10 percent of their federal formula funds to provide “mobility options for people with disabilities.” The language that Langevin cosponsored with congressmen Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, and Frank LoBiondo, R-New Jersey, doubled the allotment to 20 percent if the extra money is targeted for improvements such as wheelchair lifts.

Asked the extent to which Rhode Island has benefited from these spending moves, Geoghegan said: “It’s too soon to say.” A RIPTA spokesman said an application is pending for $1.4 million more than the roughly $2.8 million “potentially available under the old 10-percent cap.”

Elements of an unrelated bill that Langevin cosponsored with Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., were incorporated into an omnibus cybercrime bill.

According to Langevin, the law would make it easier for authorities in the United States to prosecute foreign criminals who trade in Americans’ stolen credit cards.” These are the middlemen who sell stolen credit- and debit-card numbers.

Under previous law, these middlemen had to store the stolen card numbers or their illicit gains from selling them in the United States to be prosecuted.

According to Langevin’s staff, the new law would permit the United States to prosecute anyone trafficking in credit-card numbers with intent to defraud if the credit cards were issued by a United States financial institution, regardless of where the possession or trafficking took place.

Langevin, who is the co-founder and co-chair of the Cybersecurity Caucus in the U.S. House, also placed his imprint on a 2015 law that provided immunity, from liability, to private companies that voluntarily report “indicators” of possible hacks to other businesses and federal agencies.

The bill was titled the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015.

Langevin’s amendment to the bill excluded from the definition of cybersecurity risk “any action that solely involves a violation of a consumer term of service or a consumer licensing agreement.” (Translated: unauthorized access by a consumer or cybersecurity researchers.)

His stated goal: to make sure “our focus is on the many real cyber threats out there, not on consumers and researchers.”

Cicilline takes credit for portions of nine new laws, including the “BABIES” bill.

He led a successful effort in Congress to rename the Elmwood Avenue Post Office in Providence after the late Sister Ann Keefe, a social justice advocate who worked for more than 33 years at St. Michael the Archangel Church, in South Providence, and helped launch at least 22 organizations, including the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence.

In July 2015, the House passed a resolution Cicilline introduced “to support the right of the Ukrainian people to choose their government in free, fair elections in the face of Russian aggression.”

Also on his checklist: the 2015 passage of an amendment to a National Defense Authorization Act that was aimed at requiring the departments of State and Defense to give American companies the same opportunities that are given to overseas competitors to equip the Afghan National Security Forces.

The owner of the company that manages Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket was very appreciative.

“American manufacturers have been at a competitive disadvantage for years because the Department of Defense is not required to notify them about overseas military contracts,” said Sam Brickle, chairman of the board of the Brickle Group, according to a press release issued by Cicilline’s office.

Responding to a Journal inquiry about the tangible effects of the legislation, company president Max Brickle cited awards of foreign-military supply contracts for pea coats and blankets.

On the federal funding front: Cicilline “led the effort,” according to his staff, to secure extra funding for the 24/7 operation of a national Veterans Crisis Line. The $78.5 million included for the crisis center in a “continuing resolution” to fund the federal government represented a 40-percent increase over last year’s funding.

Cicilline took up the cause after an Inspector General’s report revealed that nearly 1 in 5 of the 450,000 calls placed to this mental-health and suicide-crisis hotline in 2014 had been directed to a backup call center, and callers did not always receive immediate assistance.

Cicilline also takes credit for blocking an effort to reduce Rhode Island Public Transit Authority funding by $12 million, and securing $927,000 for the creation of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.

According to his office, Cicilline also championed new federal grants for afterschool programs, reflected in the “Every Student Succeeds Act.” State Department of Education spokesman Elliot Krieger told The Journal that Cicilline’s advocacy saved $5.4 million in annual grants for afterschool programs from getting swept into a block grant.

Rhode Island Small Business Journal: Governor Raimondo Launches Talent Sourcing Solution That’s the ‘Missing Link’ to Connect Unemployed Job Seekers and Employers

Rhode Island Small Business Journal: Governor Raimondo Launches Talent Sourcing Solution That’s the ‘Missing Link’ to Connect Unemployed Job Seekers and Employers

by RISBJ Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Governor Gina M. Raimondo, joined by Congressman David N. Cicilline, Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, state workforce development officials, and business leaders, today launched Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, a public-private partnership that meets the hiring needs of employers by offering customized talent sourcing solutions to place qualified long-term unemployed and underemployed candidates into available positions.

Raimondo credited the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, which along with the Department of Labor and Training (DLT), is collaborating with Skills for RI’s Future. She thanked employers that have already committed to consider, recruit, and hire applicants who have been unemployed longer than six months including event host Bank of America, CVS Health, and General Dynamics Electric Boat — and she encouraged other employers to join them in making this commitment. The more employers that sign up, the more unemployed Rhode Islanders will get back to work and onto promising career pathways at quality companies.

The importance of “buy in” was made clear when Skills for Rhode Island’s Future announced that already, RI employers have committed to hire 150 long-term unemployed workers through this new sourcing connection.

“The best words I can hear are ‘I got the job!’ — I want every Rhode Islander to be able to say that,” Raimondo said. “And the best way to make this a reality is to prepare job seekers for work that actually exists. This is the essence of ‘demand-driven’ programs like Real Jobs RI, TechHire RI, and P-TECH. Now, with the launch of Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, we will have that missing link to make the direct connection between the workers we are training and the businesses that are hiring. I’m excited to keep the momentum going, and want to thank the Congressional Delegation for their support in securing funding to bring this initiative to Rhode Island.”

Skills for RI’s Future (SRIF) is based after the successful model created by Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a nationally recognized workforce intermediary that has shown great success in getting the unemployed back to work. Rhode Island is the first statewide launch of this model, and the first expansion of the initiative outside of Chicago. The Congressional Delegation helped obtain a $5.25-million Sector Partnership-National Emergency Grant, of which $1.25 million is funding Skills for RI’s Future. The US Department of Labor announced this award in June 2015.

“We want to attract, grow, and keep businesses across the state and that means better aligning our education, job-training, and workforce development programs to meet the needs of today’s workers and employers. I am pleased to have helped secure federal funds for this demand-driven and targeted workforce development initiative,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed.‎

“Even as our economy has gained momentum, too many Rhode Islanders have struggled to get a foothold in a good-paying job in the years since the Great Recession,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Skills for Rhode Island’s Future will ensure hiring managers are giving long-term unemployed and underemployed job seekers a fresh look. I applaud Governor Raimondo for her sharp focus on growing our economy, and I’m grateful to the companies that have stepped up to help get Rhode Islanders back to work.”

“Governor Raimondo has said that our state needs programming to provide ‘skills that matter for jobs that pay,’ and that statement really resonated with me. There are employers in need of talented workers, and Rhode Islanders in need of work opportunities, and Skills for Rhode Island’s future is the type of bridge we need to close the divide,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, who co-chairs the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus in Congress.

“Our state’s economy is going to rely on our ability to train workers for the skills employers need in the 21st Century economy,” said Congressman David Cicilline, who advocated for the $5.25 million federal grant that is funding this initiative. “Skills for Rhode Island’s Future will allow employers to find, train and hire qualified workers to allow them to grow their businesses and create more jobs in our state. This is a great use of federal funds and will help put Rhode Islanders back to work.”

“Understanding the needs of employers and creating pipelines of skilled workers to meet this demand is central to the work of our city and state,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “I applaud of the work of programs like Skills for Rhode Island’s Future and look forward to continuing to support their work in our capital city.”

“It is important that Rhode Island businesses play a role in energizing our state’s economy and investing in local talent,” said William F. Hatfield, Rhode Island President of Bank of America and Skills’ Chairman of the Board. “Skills for Rhode Island’s Future is the perfect workforce intermediary to help Rhode Island employers achieve these goals. My fellow Skills for Rhode Island’s Future board members and I are excited about leading this new organization and continuing the national dialogue on creating inclusive hiring practices and addressing barriers that prevent qualified Rhode Islanders from gaining employment.”

“I am truly honored and excited to lead Skills for Rhode Island’s Future,” said Skills Executive Director Nina Pande. “Throughout my career, I have worked with many hardworking families that have struggled to find work, or work two or three low-wage jobs just to make ends meet. I have also heard from personal friends who share a similar narrative that they too struggle to find meaningful, stable employment. Witnessing these struggles inspired me to take this position, where I can connect employers with hardworking, motivated, and qualified unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders.”

“I am thrilled to see the official launch of Skills for Rhode Island’s Future,” said Marie Trzupek Lynch, founding President and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. “National expansion of the Skills model has been a key goal since our launch in 2012, and Rhode Island is perfectly positioned to replicate the strong impact we’ve seen in Chicago. In our past year of collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Bank of America, and other partners from Rhode Island’s business community, we have witnessed an impressive level of shared commitment. Nina’s and Bill’s leadership will play a critical role in leading SRIF to change the lives of Rhode Island’s unemployed and underemployed job seekers.”

“As the White House said in 2014, a ‘stubborn legacy’ of the economic recovery since the recession has been helping long-term unemployed people overcome the barriers preventing them from getting back to work,” said DLT Director Scott Jensen. “Governor Raimondo has made this a priority of her administration and of the skills policy agenda that DLT is pursuing. We talk a lot about skills pipelines in workforce development but that’s exactly what Skills for Rhode Island’s Future is — it’s a human resources pipeline for employers looking to expand in or come to Rhode Island and a resource for small businesses that may not have a recruiting capacity in house.”

Skills for RI’s Future will work with Rhode Island employers and workforce partners. We will do this by:

1. Identifying the hiring needs of employers and/or identify candidate profiles for job training candidates;
2. Sourcing motivated unemployed/underemployed candidates that are qualified by matching their relevant skills with employer demands;
3. Offering valuable, business-to-business services, from targeted recruitment to customized train-to-hire programs, at no cost to employers.
4. Delivering services with the speed and agility employers and training partners need to connect with skill-ready talent.

Kent County Times: Langevin tours company keeping manufacturing tradition alive

Kent County Times: Langevin tours company keeping manufacturing tradition alive

WEST WARWICK — Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin visited AstroNova Tuesday afternoon as part of his Rhode Island manufacturing tour. AstroNova, formerly Astro-Med, Inc. located on East Greenwich Avenue, is a data visualization technology firm global leader in developing and applying data visualization technologies in products serving industrial, packaging, aerospace, and the defense markets.

The company creates solutions that acquire, process, analyze, store, print, and present data in a variety of useable forms. These solutions are adapted specifically to customer requirements to enhance the quality, productivity, and profitability of their businesses. AstroNova has three branches including Test and Measurement, Aerospace and Quicklabels.

All AstroNova products are derived from its data visualization technology and are manufactured in its Rhode Island, Canada and Germany facilities. Direct sales and service centers are operated in the Unite States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, China, Malysia and Singapore.
Because Langevin believes strongly in keeping the economy growing in the state through, in part, manufacturing, he felt is was important to include AstroNova as part of his tour. The company started out with producing data and measurement equipment then branched out into the printing areas.

Tom Carll, vice president and general manager for the aerospace area, explained that the company produces printers for air crafts that provide readouts for all the instrument data and area data necessary for a flight, which can be printed as well.

“Even with all this new technology of Ipads, etc, the pilots are still telling us that they like the information printed because they can have it right in front of them without scrolling through anything and the can write on it,” Carll said.

Carll added that much of their aerospace business come from Boeing, American Airlines and Delta.

“We’re in the process of creating a smaller printer so it can fit into smaller aircrafts,” he added.
Langevin was impressed with the work that goes on there as well as how the company has been able to grow and hopefully attract the younger people to join in the career.

“We always hear about the skills gap and I’m always looking for ways we can improve training systems for young folks who have recently graduated or before they graduate,” the Congressman said.

Woods said the company does work with students from University of Rhode Island and Brown University. Some of the companies they work with include Kimberly-Clark, General Motors, Raytheon, Panasonic and Boeing. They attribute their growth to their efficiency and product line expansions.