Initiative Backed by $145,000 Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) Grant, Partnership with Rhode Island College (RIC) Institute for Education in Healthcare (IEH)
February 11, 2021
PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of Providence Office of Economic Opportunity and the Institute for Education in Healthcare (IEH) at Rhode Island College (RIC) have launched a professional development training program to support Rhode Island’s One-Stop Career Center System and healthcare and social assistance (HSA) workers. As part of PVD HealthWorks initiative, this partnership will strengthen Rhode Island’s economy by providing workforce development professionals with tools necessary to better identify and support clients who have behavioral health or substance misuse issues.
“Community health and well-being are incredibly vulnerable right now and we know that now, more than ever, we need to invest in programs that respond to these diseases of despair,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “By strengthening the competencies of workforce development professionals, this innovative initiative directly invests in our people and creates pathways to good jobs for our residents, while breaking down barriers to care for individuals in need.”
In 2017, the City of Providence launched PVD HealthWorks, a Real Jobs RI partnership, to meet the growing demands of the healthcare and social assistance industry in Rhode Island. Since its inception, the initiative has helped develop healthcare partnerships to create diverse youth and adult training pipelines, career pathways, and other innovative workforce solutions for the demands of employers and individuals in the healthcare and social assistance industry. Now in its fourth year, PVD HealthWorks has joined forces with the Institute for Education in Healthcare at Rhode Island College to provide behavioral health and substance misuse disorders training for workforce development professionals.
“One of the goals of the Institute of Education in Healthcare is to provide education and training programs for healthcare organizations and employers to meet their needs for training and workforce development,” said Marianne Raimondo, executive director of the IEH. “This partnership is an example of how we’re innovating to meet those goals and serve the community.”
Key outcomes of the training include enhancement of the following competencies for workforce development professionals:
- Interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of Opioid Support Resources
- Knowledge of Clients Social Determinants of Health
- Psychosocial Needs
- Client Education
Additional components of the training include:
- Definition(s) of Behavioral Health
- Predominant Mental Health Diagnosis
- Understanding of a Recovery Friendly Workforce
- Responses to Behavioral Health Needs
The training program is funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, as part of a United States Department of Labor Recovery Through Opportunity Grant. The purpose of these federal funds is to implement innovative approaches for addressing the economic and workforce-related impacts on local communities impacted by the opioid and substance misuse epidemic. Rhode Island was selected as one of six states to receive funding to provide reemployment services for individuals impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.
“The coronavirus pandemic launched Rhode Island into an economic crisis that has been especially difficult for those struggling with substance misuse and behavioral health issues.” said Scott Jensen, RIDLT Director. “Equipping our workforce development professionals with the tools they need to support these jobseekers is essential to ensuring an equitable recovery. We are grateful to the City of Providence and Rhode Island College for taking on this important work.”
The first cohort of the training program began on January 25. Registration is currently open for additional cohorts that will continue throughout spring 2021. Due to the public health crisis, the training is being conducted virtually via Zoom. Individuals interested in registering for the free 8-hour training are encouraged to learn more at: https://www.providenceri.gov/economic/recovery-opportunity-grant/