September 13, 2023
New location for Workforce Solutions anchors a growing cluster of economic development opportunities at the 50 Sims site
Mayor Brett P. Smiley and Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston on Tuesday hosted a ribbon cutting for the agency’s new location at 50 Sims Avenue in Providence. The event was attended by Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, Marc Amato, Chairman of the Workforce Development Board, Allori Fernandes of the Jane Adams Resource Center, and numerous partner agencies. The new location for Workforce Solutions anchors a growing cluster of economic development opportunities at the 50 Sims site.
“Our new Workforce Solutions location at 50 Sims is another strong addition to the revitalization that we are seeing in our Valley neighborhood that underscores how we are positioning Providence to be competitive in new economies,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “We are excited to welcome folks all of interests and skill levels to this space where we have trained professionals excited to connect you with training and employment opportunities.”
The new facility serves as a one-stop-shop for job seekers and employers and shares an office building with other local organizations such as the Jane Addams Resource Center, Providence Preservation Society, WaterFire Providence, and more. As an American Job Center, Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston also hosts space for the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, the Comprehensive Community Action Program, Job Corps, and the Providence Public Library to provide services onsite.
Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, who previously represented the neighborhood as City Councilor, shared enthusiasm for the new location. “Creating a centralized location for economic development eases the burden on jobseekers and makes it easier to get help. The addition of Workforce Solutions to this already-bustling economic development site will make it more convenient than ever for the residents of Providence and Cranston to get training and support. Transforming 50 Sims from an unused factory to a community-centered space was a major goal of mine as a city councilor, and I’m thrilled to see that Mayor Smiley and the Council are continuing that work.”
Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston staff and its partner agencies provide services to employers such as recruitment, marketing, training facilitation, pre-screenings, administering employment tests, and providing information about tax credits, employee skills upgrade programs, labor laws, labor market information, income support programs, and workplace safety and accessibility. Job seekers also receive comprehensive support from the agency, including customized career counseling, GED preparation, resume assistance, and tailored information about training and job opportunities.
“With this new facility we look forward to maximizing the potential of our training and employment programs, promoting their success, and bolstering our workforce in the months and years to come,” said Cranston Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins. “We will continue to improve job growth for Cranstonians and Providence residents alike through our constructive relationship with Mayor Smiley and his administration.”
The revitalization of the Workforce Solutions site is part of a larger strategy for improved economic development in the City for all residents and businesses. The Administration also entered a new partnership with the Small Business Administration earlier this year to improve supports to local business owners. As a result of the new partnership, the City is facilitating workshops that increase access to important technical information and support. The City is also working to streamline processes and digitize information to make it easier to open a business in Providence.
“I want to say that I am very impressed with our team at the American Job Center for the countless hours put in to facilitate this move,” said Marc Amato, Chairman of the Providence/Cranston Workforce Development Board. “This move was of strategic importance to the AJC. The new location gives us the ability to better serve the community and get our clients the job training and job sourcing support needed to succeed.”
Earlier this year, Mayor Smiley welcomed JARC and Polaris MEP to the 50 Sims site, which was supported by the Providence Redevelopment Agency. JARC and Polaris MEP provide free manufacturing skills training and classes to help Rhode Islanders earn a better wage, and work closely as partners in an aligned mission with Workforce Solutions.
“JARC and Polaris MEP are proud to work with Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston,” said Allori Fernandes, Site Director of the Jane Addams Resource Corporation. “We share a common understanding that the prevalence of job vacancies in manufacturing in times of concentrated poverty and unemployment for disadvantaged populations, particularly people of color, underscores the severity of the skills gap problem. ”
Job seekers and employers can learn more about Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston programs by visiting www.providenceri.gov/oeo/workforce-solutions