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Workforce and Development 2020: RI’s Resources, Options and Ideas around ROI

  • 27 Feb 2020
  • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
  • New England Institute of Technology
  • 0


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Workforce and Development 2020:

RI’s Resources, Options and Ideas around ROI

February 27, 2020

Time: 7:30-9:30 am* 

Location: New England Institute of Technology

One New England Tech Boulevard
East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818

*registration open 7:30-8, program runs 8-9:30 am

Seeking funding for your company’s development programs?  Interested in discovering new and different resources to acquire quality talent? Do you worry about your ROI and does that prohibit your organization from continuously improving?  This panel of experts will share their information, resources, ideas, success stories and solutions that are sure to assist you and your company throughout 2020 and beyond.


Michelle Desaulniers, CPLP

Director, Organization Development
Taco Comfort Solutions
Michelle is a seasoned training professional with extensive experience leading diverse corporate learning, especially around developing new managers, creating on-boarding programs, and supporting learning initiatives during system upgrades.  Her expert application of adult learning theory to training initiatives has been effective in reducing attrition, recruitment and operational costs for health care, communications, non-profit, and manufacturing organizations.   Michelle has a BA in English from Northeastern and a Master of Arts in Literature from Simmons; in 2022, she expects to complete her Master of Science in Organizational Development and Change from Penn State.  Prior to joining Taco in 2015, Michelle held learning and development positions at the Pine Street Inn, Athenahealth, and Tufts Health Plan.  Michelle also found space in her life to found a training consulting practice and to serve as a member of the adjunct faculty at several Boston-area colleges including Northeastern University and Massasoit Community College.  She is a certified learning and development professional (CPLP) through Association for Training and Development (ATD).

 Kevin Gaw, PhD

Executive Director

Amica Center for Career Education

Division of Student Affairs

Bryant University

Dr. Kevin Gaw has over 25 years’ experience in higher education at multiple institutions, serving in career and counseling services. He received his Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from University of California at Santa Barbara; a Master’s in Education from San Jose State; and has an undergraduate degree from University of California, Santa Cruz in Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies. Dr. Gaw brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the college student experience, higher education, career planning and development, and intercultural development.  He taught English at Universitas Sanata Dharma, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and a graduate from the International School at of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Kevin has presented as a keynote speaker and panelist at dozens of regional and national conferences on such topics as measuring program effectiveness and outcomes, recruiting practices, culture shock and re-entry culture shock, the international student experience, r鳵m頷riting, the art of networking, interviewing skills, and much more. He’s published and contributes regularly to books and articles, and has consulted on career and mental health concerns.  Dr. Gaw is a licensed Psychologist in both Nevada and Rhode Island. While enjoying theoretical explorations, Kevin’s work is highly applied in nature and seeks to work with others to find actionable solutions that deliver meaningful results to stakeholders.  He is also trained as a diversity and inclusion facilitator and has run experiential workshops designed to promote personal growth.  


Robert Kalaskowski

Robert Kalaskowski is Assistant Chief of Policy and Planning with the Governor’s Workforce Board – a position he has held since January 2017. Prior to that, Robert was Program Manager for Real Jobs RI – Rhode Island’s comprehensive workforce development initiative that relies on strategic industry partnerships to identify and address the range of workforce challenges RI employers face.

Before joining the state’s workforce development effort in 2014, Rob spent nine years with the Rhode Island Senate as a Policy Analyst covering the areas of Health and Human Services, Education, and Commerce. In addition to his state service, Robert has worked in the private sector in hospitality, retail, and finance.

Robert received his MBA with Beta Gamma Sigma honors from the Isenberg School at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2010. In 2005 he earned his Baccalaureate degree from Rhode Island College majoring in Public Administration and minoring in English.
Outside of work, Robert enjoys spending time with his wife Monique and two daughters Talia (born 2014) and Reya (born 2016).

 Nina Pande

Executive Director Skills for Rhode Island’s Future

Nina Pande is the driving force behind the Skills for Rhode Island’s Future (Skills RI). Named founding executive director in June 2016, Nina quickly went to work to form, incorporate and launch the agency.  In less than 30 months, Nina has built Skills RI into an impactful nonprofit agency that has already helped more than 5000 Rhode Islanders and placed 2000 people in jobs.

Nina’s work in the nonprofit sector springs from the understanding that the opportunities in her life have been a luxury, and not a way of life for most. With more than 23 years of hands-on experience in social work, non-profit organization management, civic and social organization, business, and education, her job at SkillsRI seems like a natural fit to create opportunities for allowing others to succeed, while connect all the aspect of her life that define her work and self.

Before joining Skills, Nina was the Executive Director of Federal Hill House Association, the Director of Social Services at the Nickerson Community Center, a Clinical Social Worker at the State’s Juvenile Correctional Facility (DCYF), and an Adjunct Faculty member at Rhode Island College School of Social Work.  

Nina is currently the Vice President of the Providence School Board and chairs their finance committee where she helps direct the District’s $387 million budget. Nina volunteers her time between preparing meals for homeless persons, mentoring new nonprofit leaders, assisting refuges resettling in Rhode Island and promotes her culture and heritage with the India Association of Rhode Island. She is an avid international traveller, and believes her greatest learning has come from immersing herself in other cultures. 


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