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PrepareRI launch event kicks off new college and career readiness initiative to impact all Rhode Island students

The Governor and her Workforce Board, RIDE, the Department of Labor and Training, business leaders, educators, and stakeholders gather to celebrate and discuss details of PrepareRI


Providence, RI – On January 30, Governor Gina Raimondo, the Governor’s Workforce Board, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), and the Department of Labor and Training (DLT) hosted a PrepareRI launch event and panel discussion in the State Room of the State House.

PrepareRI is a commitment to significantly expand college and career opportunities that lead to jobs that pay for Rhode Island’s youth, with a 2020 goal of providing advanced coursework and career exploration opportunities in every high school across the state. Rhode Island is one of only ten states nationally awarded $2 million from JPMorgan Chase, in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE, to support the improvement of career readiness and postsecondary attainment for all youth.

“The PrepareRI launch event marks the beginning of a robust cross-sector initiative to ensure our students are prepared for the jobs of the future,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “PrepareRI, from its inception, was built with the input of Rhode Island business leaders, educators, and engaged stakeholders—many of whom were here today—who remain committed to successful alignment and delivery of career pathways that offer our young people greater opportunity to secure jobs that pay.”

“Today should signal to all Rhode Islanders how dedicated our business and education community is to working with RIDE, as well as the Governor and her team, to ensure all students receive early college offerings, career-and-technical education programs aligned to industry standards, and hands-on learning experiences,” said Education Commissioner Ken Wagner. “This is an important initiative that will touch every student in impactful ways for many years to come.”

Today’s PrepareRI panel offered state and national perspectives on the value of career readiness and the impact it will have on preparing Rhode Island students for post-secondary and career success.

The event featured:

  • Governor Gina Raimondo
  • Ken Wagner – Commissioner of Education, Rhode Island Department of Education
  • Rick MacDonald – Head of Commercial Banking New England, JPMorgan Chase
  • Chris Minnich – Executive Director, the Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Scott Jensen – Director, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
  • Mike Grey – Chair, Governor’s Workforce Board and Vice President of Operations, Sodexo School Services
  • Heather Hudson – Executive Director, Governor’s Workforce Board
  • Mike Barnes – Superintendent, Foster-Glocester Regional School District
  • Lisa Carnevale – Executive Director, DESIGNxRI and RealJobsRI partner
  • Samuel Avila – Health careers student, William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School

“Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities,” said Rick MacDonald, head of Commercial Banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. “This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed.”

For more information about PrepareRI and college and career readiness, please review the PrepareRI Q&A document.

There are multiple opportunities for students, parents, educators, counselors, and business leaders to drive and inform the PrepareRI work, including serving on boards, hosting interns, building career readiness partnerships, and providing critical feedback. All interested individuals should read and make the Pledge to PrepareRI.

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About CCSSO

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.


About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights, and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.