New Board Members Appointed
May 11, 2011
The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, one of two local workforce investment boards that partner with RI industries to increase labor and training initiatives, has appointed six new members to its board of directors. These include: Ernest “Gip” Cabral, president of Cabco Engineering; Marie DeRoche, acting chief of employment and training programs at the RI Department of Labor and Training; Karen Jedson, director of the Warwick Department of Tourism Culture and Development; Lauren Slocum, president and CEO of the Central RI Chamber of Commerce; and Paul Wielgus, executive vice president and chief credit officer at Coastway Community Bank.
Ernest “Gip” Cabral of Central Falls has more than 40 years experience in mechanical and energy-related industries. Since 1994, he has served as president of the Pawtucket-based Cabco Engineering, which specializes in industrial process piping, design build projects and boiler and chiller plants. Cabral is currently a member of the State Small Business Advisory Council, the Central Falls Planning Board, and the Board of Directors of Associated Builders and Contractors. Cabral is a Vietnam veteran and a Bronze Star recipient.
Marie DeRoche of Harrisville has more than 20 years of progressive experience in workforce development services at RI Department of Labor and Training, including extensive work in design and implementation of training programs. Prior to becoming an acting chief of the Workforce Development Division, DeRoche managed the Pawtucket office of the netWORKri career one-stop system.
Karen Jedson of South Kingstown has worked for the City of Warwick for 20 years, where she has focused on economic development and tourism initiatives. She serves on the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, the Warwick Tourism Advisory Board, and the Johnson & Wales University’s Graduate School Advisory Committee. She holds a BS in business administration and marketing from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA in global marketing from Johnson & Wales University
Sharon K. Lee of Providence is the director of the RI Department of Education’s Office of Multiple Pathways, where she supervises reform efforts in adult, career and technical, and secondary education. Prior to her time at RIDE, she has worked as a teacher and science department chair through the Exeter/West Greenwich School District, and as a college instructor at both the Community College of Rhode Island and the University of Rhode Island. She holds a PhD in education from the URI/RI College Feinstein Doctoral Program, as well as on MS and two BS degrees from URI and an associate degree from CCRI.
Lauren Slocum of Warwick has worked at the Central RI Chamber of Commerce for more than 15 years, during which time she advanced from director of membership to vice president to president and CEO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the state’ second largest chamber of commerce. She is also involved in a number of business and community programs, including the RI Mentoring Partnership Leadership Council, Cornerstone Adult Services, and the RI Small Business Advisory Council.
Paul Wielgus of Barrington is the executive vice president and chief credit officer of the Cranston-based Coastway Community Bank, where he oversees credit administration, credit policy and loan review function, and is responsible for regulatory compliance. Wielgus also serves on the advisory committee for Youth in Action and is a member of the Coastway Cares charitable foundation. He holds a BA from Providence College and an MBA from Bryant University.
The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island board leadership includes Chairperson Steven Kitchin of the New England Institute of Technology, Vice Chairperson Paul Ouellette of Northern RI Chamber of Commerce, Secretary Robin Smith of the Community College of Rhode Island and Treasurer Joseph DiPina of Exeter Jobs Corps. Other board members include Diane Cook of the RI Department of Human Services, Vanessa Cooley of the RI Department of Education, Bob Cooper of the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, Joseph DeSantis of Tri-Town Community Action, Alexis Devine of Lifespan, Allen P. Durand of IBEW Labor Union 99, Cynthia Farrell of Thundermist Health Center, Carmen Ferguson of United Way of Rhode Island, Raymond Filippone of the RI Department of Labor and Training Unemployment Insurance Program, Victoria Galliard-Garrick of Davies Career & Technical High School, Kathleen Grygiel of the Office of Rehabilitative Services, Paul Harden of the RI Economic Development Corporation, Wendy Kagan of BankNewport, Peter Koch of Koch Eye Associates, Dorothy Mattiello of Hope Global, Courtney Murphy of Electric Boat/General Dynamics, Susan O’Donnell of the Hotel Viking, Joseph W. Oakes, Jr. of V.P. Industries, Betty Pleacher of the East Bay Chamber of Commerce, Raymond Pingitore of Teamsters Local 251, Fred Ricci of Today’s Office Staffing, Scott Seaback of RI Temps, Andrew Tyska of Bristol Marine, Darrell Waldron of the RI Indian Council, and James White of RI Department of Labor and Training Veterans’ Services.
For more information on the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, visit http://www.griworkforce.com.
In the spring of 2009 the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island unveiled its latest version of the On the Job Training Program. Now a year and a half later the amount of participants is expected to more than double in the next twelve months.
This federal Workforce Investment Act funded program provides a 50% reimbursement of wages during a predetermined training period to companies hiring jobseekers who need additional training to become competent in a job role. The aim of this program has been to offer local businesses an incentive to hire while providing unemployed members of the community with a new set of relevant and marketable skills.
Interplex Engineered Products of East Providence has been one of Rhode Island’s leaders in providing On the Job Training. This thriving manufacturer provides a wide range of services covering metal stamping, electroplating and plastic injection molding and skiving for a diverse range of markets. Since April 2010 Interlplex Engineered Products has hired six employees through the new On the Job Training program in specialized roles such as tool makers, skiving operators and reel to reel electroplaters.
Interplex’s HR manager Kevin Bettencourt is a former OJT trainee (2002) and is now integrating the program into staff training plans for new hires. Demand for staff has been high in 2010, but finding experienced candidates with the right skill set can be difficult. Bettencourt attributes the lack of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector to the industry’s growing reputation for laying off workers and sending jobs overseas. Laid off workers are often encouraged to retrain in other occupational areas in order to avoid the possibility of further lay offs rather than take another job in manufacturing. This leaves manufacturers who are expanding their workforce in a situation where they must hire jobseekers who may be eager to work, but will need intensive training on the job in order to develop the appropriate skills and knowledge. The rapid growth of technology in the field has also left those who do have experience in need of additional training in order to keep up to date.
With the state’s unemployment rate currently at record levels, job creation has been a high priority. The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island is excited to be able to offer this service to local businesses that are interested in hiring and training new staff for permanent full-time positions.