The Rhode Island Welcome Back Center (RIWBC) was founded in June 2008 as a state adult education initiative that serves an unusual population identified in RI’s Strategic Workforce Plan, 2009-2014: a highly skilled, underemployed, low-wage earning adult. This person is the internationally trained professional who is seeking to use his or her skills in a higher level occupation. Until the RIWBC was founded, this population was largely invisible and underserved. Today, the RIWBC is providing services to more than 300 professionals in Rhode Island and has served over 500 professionals since it opened.
To help internationally trained professionals re-enter their fields in the local workforce, the RIWBC provides a comprehensive continuum of services that includes career pathway planning and employer networking, English language instruction contextualized for health, re-credentialing and licensing support, employer-based clinical exposure and internship opportunities, acculturation to the U.S. healthcare system, and tutoring and study groups to ensure licensing exam preparation.
Since the RIWBC opened in 2008
196 immigrant professionals have improved their English proficiency
128 have had their credentials evaluated
51 have passed licensing exams
163 participants have re-entered the healthcare field
There is an average salary increase of 315% for participants placed in healthcare positions through the RI Welcome Back Center.
RI WBC number of participants served in 2014:
New Enrollees: 36
English Language Institute: 62
Workforce Readiness and Acculturation: 86
Study Group Participants: 28
Licensing Process Assistance: 32