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CCRI, Partnership for Rhode Island join forces to launch innovative work-based learning program

CCRI, Partnership for Rhode Island join forces to launch innovative work-based learning program

The Community College of Rhode Island is collaborating with the Partnership for Rhode Island to join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Employer Provided Innovation Challenges (EPIC) Network, allowing students in communications and business programs to get hands-on experience working with statewide industry partners.

Rhode Island is now one of only nine states to join the EPIC Network, a collective prioritizing work-based learning for students in high school and college.  

“CCRI is thrilled to be collaborating with the Partnership on this groundbreaking initiative to connect students to opportunities with in-demand industries,” said CCRI Interim President Dr. Rosemary Costigan. “Together, we'll deliver significant positive impacts to Rhode Island's workforce and business community while showcasing our state on the national stage as a leader in work-based learning experiences.”

The Partnership for Rhode Island is a nonprofit CEO roundtable comprisingthe state’s largest employers focused on initiatives in K-12 education, infrastructure, and workforce development. CCRI is joining forces with The Partnership to launch a pilot initiative from September–December for up to 30 students interested in the opportunity to work with industry partners, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island.

This pilot work aligns with CCRI’s focus on increasing work-based learning experiences for students; beginning in the Fall 2024 semester more than 90% of degree programs at CCRI will include at least one work-based learning course, demonstrating CCRI’s commitment to helping students reach academic and career goals.

Made possible by the support of American Student Assistance (ASA) and the Walton Family Foundation, the EPIC Network provides learners and workers access to authentic, employer-sponsored project-based learning through a network of business associations and other challenge providers.

“The Partnership is grateful for the opportunity to bolster our commitment to work-based learning, and we are incredibly excited to partner with CCRI as they share this commitment at every level. Employing more Rhode Islanders starts with partnerships like this where, together, we work to bridge the gap between students and careers by providing a learning experience that centers work-based learning,” said Tom Giordano, Executive Director of The Partnership for Rhode Island.

“The Boys & Girls Club is excited to collaborate with students from CCRI on a dynamic work-based learning project,” said Gary Rebelo, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Rhode Island. “Together, we aim to enhance our marketing materials and communication plans, blending fresh ideas with our mission to empower youth and foster community engagement.”

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