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Member Profile-Alex Arroyo-Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning.

Alex Arroyo is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning for Ocean State Job Lot (OSJL). He is responsible for change management, performance and talent review, and learning across the organization, including OSJL’s corporate office, distribution center, and 133 stores throughout the Northeast. Alex oversees a team of three OE Consultants. He’s had over 20 years previous HR and Learning and Development experience with companies that include Sun Life Financial, AT Cross, United National Foods Incorporated, and Metlife.

Alex was previously involved in RISHRM on the Programs Committee as well as the RISHRM Board for Diversity and Inclusion. Alex retired from the RI Army National Guard at the rank of Major with 24 years of military service, which also includes his  time serving in the US Navy.  When Alex began seeking civilian employment, he reached out to the HR community. He partnered with the Guard Reserves to do mock interviewing and resume writing, and participated in career fairs for veterans.

OSJL Charitable Foundation helps active military and veterans throughout the Northeast  through its unique programs and partnerships with other organizations. One such program is Buy-Give-Get, which has allowed OSJL and its customers to donate tens of thousands of coats and boots to veterans in need.  OSJL’s recruiting team participates in career fairs, like the Greater Boston Veterans Job Fair, where veterans approached the OSJL booth to personally extend their gratitude for all the company does for the military.

Several OSJL workforce development initiatives include partnerships with Real Jobs RI to utilize grant funding for associate development, like ESL training. They also have worked with the Year Up program, hiring several associates from temp to perm through the program.  OSJL offers internships for college students from both in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities, and recruits candidates through on-campus events. On the radar for 2019 is continuation in the grant process for the Worker Immersion Program, and outreach for  the Quonset Apprenticeship program.

Industry Partner

Tim McCourty is the Veterans Service Coordinator for the Workforce Development Services Division.

Tim and his team are a workforce development resource to businesses and veterans.  He shared that larger companies have a dedicated Veterans recruiter to coordinate nationwide services. He works more to help small to medium size companies to design a recruitment strategy for veterans. These organizations don’t typically have resources to target veteran candidates and that labor pool. The organizations are able to identify many different facets like the type and status of a veteran and their level of experience. Tim works with organizations to identify roles and position postings that will attract veterans and match their military skill sets.  Transitional job seekers from the military need assistance with their first interview articulating their skills and experience because their resume may not accurately reflect their skill set.

Not only does he help guide recruiters to view veterans from a different lens with a focus on relatable skills from military to civilian employment, but he also coaches HR managers to provide valuable feedback to the veteran. Since veterans can be a jack of all trades, Tim finds industries that are best suited for veterans that match their skills to civilian requirements. Key sectors include the defense sector, manufacturing, production, and logistics. Translatable skills such as machine operation, trades, welding, or other hands-on roles, along with IT and computer skills may be a good career path for veterans.

Services that his team provides include visits to employers to determine working conditions, culture, and assisting with the design of the veterans program.  He helps to create a path for promotion or professional development and the time frame.  He assists with opening jobs and coordinating programs with the DLT pipeline programs and resources. Key elements of this program design include Retention Strategies for Vets and Inclusion programs. Tim said that companies that have these programs in place have significantly higher retention of veterans.  Additionally, there has been a recent focus on military spouses and higher unemployment rates so he promotes events for the spouses and their families.

Tim emphasized that organizations look for leadership skills that veterans can proved with their experience.  Leadership has been the key difference when comparing experienced civilian candidates against veteran candidates.  Wages for veterans may be far more competitive as well. Tim noted the new Medallion Award to recognize organizations that support veteran hiring.  

For more information contact Tim McGorty, Veterans Services Coordinator, Workforce Development Services Division at 401-462-8815 or Timothy.McGorty@dlt.ri.gov.  Website http://www.dlt.ri.gov/wfds/vetserv.htm

HIRE Vets Medallion Award – applications January 31 to April 30

The federal government enacted the HIRE Vets Act nearly two years ago.  Officially known as the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017, the intention is to recognize employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. Employer-applicants meeting criteria established in the rule will receive a “HIRE Vets Medallion Award.”  According to the Department of Defense, approximately 0.5% or 1.3 million Americans actively serve in the military; of which over 60% are reservists or National Guard.  How military-friendly is your organization towards those called upon to serve their country for drills, special missions, trainings or deployment?  If your company has a good record of supporting veterans, consider applying for the Medallion Award.

Criteria for recognition vary by level (Platinum or Gold) and employer size (Large, Medium, and Small); however, the criteria for most of the awards are based upon:

  • ·         Percentage of new hires during the previous year that are veterans
  • ·         Percentage of veteran employees retained for a period of at least 12 months
  • ·         Percentage of employees who are veterans
  • ·         and other factors (visit  www.hirevets.gov)

Large employers are those with 500 plus employees, medium employers are 51 plus employees and small employers are those with 50 or fewer employees. 

The 2019 timeline for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award is as follows:

·         January 31 – Application period begins

·         April 30 – Application period ends

·         October 11 – Award winners are notified

·         Veteran’s Day – Award employer names are announced

There is an application fee based on employer size ranging from $90.00 to $490.00.  The first 300 applications will be considered for an award, so do not delay your application.  To learn more visit https://www.hirevets.gov/.

Veterans Recruiting Resources

Veteransjobs.stripes.com – RI Jobs for Veterans and Transitioning military


RI Veteran Jobs


RecruitMilitary job fairs


                                April 4, 2019      

Orion Talent (Military recruitment)


                                Search for Jobs by State, job title, military background

Jobs for Vets


                                Connecting veterans with jobs and employers with veterans

RI Office of Veterans Affairs


RI Department of Labor and Training

Contact Jack.Andrade@dlt.ri.gov to have your job openings circulated to Veteran’s Counselors throughout the State of RI each week.

Yellow Ribbon Schools in RI (tuition-free colleges for veterans)

                Brown University

                Bryant University

                Johnson & Wales University

                New England Institute of Technology

                Providence College

                RI School of Design

                Roger Williams University

                Salve Regina University

  • 11 Dec 2018 11:22 AM | Raymond Dutelle (Administrator)



    Solicitation for Real Skills for Youth Partnerships RELEASED


    The Governor's Workforce Board has released a Grant Solicitation for Real Skills for Youth partnerships on December 4, 2018.


    The purpose of this Grant Solicitation is for qualified organizations to form strategic partnerships to develop and implement high-quality paid work-based learning experiences and college and career readiness programming for youth in Summer 2019 and academic year 2019-20. The goal of the Real Skills for Youth program is to prepare youth for success in college and career through meaningful career exposure and exploration of potential career paths and their on-ramps, skill-building with an emphasis on essential and professional skills, and supported work-based learning experiences that allow participants to apply learning in a real-world setting. The Real Skills for Youth program, started in 2018, builds off the long-standing Summer Youth Employment program to enhance and scale work-based learning opportunities for youth, and more tightly connect work-based learning to year-round career readiness programming, by supporting partnerships among schools, youth-serving organizations, industry, and others.


Ray Dutelle has over 10 years of experience in Talent Acquisition and Sales Management. He is currently a Talent Acquisition Lead with MOO. His previous experience has been an Executive Search Director with Gatti and Associates, where he hired HR talent and Director of Recruitment with Northwestern Mutual. He is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Business Management and is currently studying for his SCP-SHRM HR Certification.

As RI SHRM State Chapter-Director of Operations he has been with the organization in various roles for about 4 years. As a Committee Member he started supporting the Programs and the Membership Teams. He moved into the Membership Director position and most recently to the Director of Operations. Ray’s experience with RISHRM was beneficial as he got to know the committee functions and gained a better understanding the RISHRM value proposition. In his leadership roles he has taken a deep dive into understanding what types of benefits and resources the membership wants from the RISHRM. Last year, the team put together a strategic plan to be a member focused organization. Currently the operations is rolling out a new system to improve and streamline the member database which includes a website hosting and a forum feature. The goal is to make it easier for members to access and share information while creating a great user experience. As a member of RISHRM Ray has had a number of opportunities to facilitate process improvements. He has also connected with an “awesome” HR community in RI, meeting a lot of interesting and genuine people. The experience has enhanced his professional career. He highly recommends human resources professionals from early career take initiative and become part of the organization.

What does MOO manufacture? What is your role?

·      Ray is a Talent Acquisition Lead for MOO-an award winning design, print and technology company. Moo strives to bring great design to everyone through print technology. Moo’s Luxe technology enables customizable print at high quality. A small business owner is now able to imprint his business content on paper that’s comparable to paper product used by the Queen of England. Moo provides a cost effective, high quality product for mass production.

Where are they located?

·      MOO is headquartered in London, with 2 offices in the UK and 4 US locations. All the print for North America is done out of the Lincoln, RI facility with Customer Service. Sales and Design based in the Providence location. The Executive office, marketing and finance for US are based in Boston. Another location in Denver, CO supports sales, business development and design.

How many employees?

·      Over 500 employees globally with 250 in the US.

What are the challenges in hiring trained, skilled workers?

·      MOO has a great employer brand and good response to their job postings. The company has a strong Employee Value Proposition, competitive benefits, company perks and a great culture. These factors make it easy to attract candidates for open positions. MOO’s recruitment challenge is typically around the sales capacity of the local workforce who may not have the experience managing a larger book of business. MOO is also moving to a LEAN manufacturing methodology focusing on data analytics to improve production efficiency requiring candidates with more progressive experience versus traditional manufacturing background.

What types of positions do you have open?

·      One of MOO’s most critical positions to fill is Key Account Manager. The position manages large complex client accounts. There is also a need for a Managing Shift Supervisor for the operations group, in RI. Outside of RI the current demand is for Product Marketing.

Explain MOO’s operations initiative.

·      As MOO is moving to a Cellular (LEAN) manufacturing there will be a manufacturing focus on data insight in real time, which will identify and avoid operation bottlenecks and result in more efficient operations.

Does MOO utilize workforce development partners to support hiring?

·      One of the successful partnerships has been with Skills for RI’s Future, a non-profit organization funded by the RI Department of Labor and Training. They have been a resource for customer service and operations recruitment, providing sourcing, posting open positions and getting the message out to diverse communities. The organization also utilizes temp agencies to fill positions as needed. MOO has also taken on an internal training partner to build out training programs for customer service, sales, manufacturing and operations.


Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC) is a non-profit organization that provides primary health care and specialty services to over 60,000 Rhode Island patients regardless of their ability to pay.  In partnership with SEIU Local 1199 PCHC embarked on the development of an apprenticeship training program for incumbent employees.  The newly designed Certified Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program is centered on providing well qualified highly-trained interim staff coverage for employee absences.  With eleven health clinics throughout the city of Providence, the apprenticeship curriculum has been customized to enhance the skills of current Medical Assistants who will float to provide coverage in all clinical settings ranging from pediatrics, optometry, podiatry and more. 

The apprenticeship curriculum was developed in partnership with the Rhode Island College, Office of Professional Studies & Continuing Education.  The curriculum design would not have been possible without grant money from the State of RI Governor’s Workforce Board.  If you are not familiar with Apprenticeship RI, it’s a valuable organization to guide employers new to this process.  Amy Weinstein, Employer Liaison from Apprenticeship RI is a wonderful resource to help organizations navigate state and federal grant opportunities to help pay for your apprenticeship program. 

The launch of on-site apprenticeship classes and on-the-job learning rotations start in October thanks to additional funding from H-CAP, a national organization whose mission is to transform healthcare workforce development and education.  Implementation of the program has been highly supported by CEO Merrill Thomas, and operations and clinical care teams. 

PCHC encourages other RI employers to explore available workforce development grants.  The entire apprenticeship project while a time commitment has helped PCHC further demonstrate our commitment to on-the-job adult learning.

Jackie Scungio, HR Operations Director, Providence Community Health Centers


Job Club RI is a community based 501C3 non profit volunteer organization assisting individuals at the semi skilled and skilled level to find meaningful employment. The program continues to receive regional and national media attention. Job Club is a resource for area professionals seeking to improve job searching and networking capabilities in a structured setting.

Volunteers, area human resource and business professionals lead presentations to enhance participant skills with interviewing, competencies, resumes, value propositions and confidence building.

Job Club has developed relationships with 104 employers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut who selectively assist participants with potential employment opportunities. Individuals are vetted through 6-week process and referred to prospective employers for further consideration in the hiring process when a specific opening is identified within the organization. Diverse participant backgrounds are noted in engineering, finance, marketing, project management, sales, human resources, executive administration. To learn more about Job Club RI and how your organization can utilize this valuable community resource visit their website.

"Career Guide for College Students With Disabilities
offers information for students with disabilities in order to help them with their career search

URI Rhody Net
RI Dept of Labor & Training

RI Society of Human Resource Management, 2018

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