PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As commercial construction grows in Rhode Island with more businesses converging on the state, a new initiative led by Gov. Gina Raimondo and the R.I. Department of Labor and Training was announced Monday where the agency will poll construction employers to determine their needs along with the best courses of action for training new workers.
The initiative will be effected through Real Jobs Rhode Island to, as Raimondo put it, “create a pipeline of skilled Rhode Island workers to fill the good, family-supporting jobs we’re creating.”
The governor’s office said since the recession, employment in Rhode Island’s construction sector has increased by 20 percent and is expected to keep growing. They cited projections that 26,000 construction jobs will be created by 2026.
“We need to raise the profile of construction as a profession, or we won’t have enough skilled workers to fill the demand,” said John Sinnott, the president of the Rhode Island Associated General Contractors. He said if there isn’t enough workforce to build commercial space as more businesses come here, it’ll cost shareholders—and taxpayers—more to build commercial buildings.
In the coming months, industry leaders will be working with state government on an integrated basis to develop the next generation of building professionals.