The RI Society of CPAs began a trailblazing workforce skills training program this spring that concluded with rave reviews and a determination to expand the initiative. The 4-week seminar, held between May 28-June 18 for area college students in accounting and finance majors was part of a first of its kind Accounting and Financial Collaborative, that was funded by a grant from the state of RI’s RealJobsRI workforce training program to strengthen the job readiness of the students.
The Accounting Collaborative is composed of the RI Society and Rhode Island’s leading accounting firms including BlumShapiro, DiSanto, Priest & Co., Piccerelli, Gilstein & Co., LLP, Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP as well as TD Bank. Rhode Island College participated as the organizational partner.
The students, drawn from local colleges in RI and southeastern Mass., were taught soft skills development in areas such as public speaking and presentations, social media usage, thought leadership, business development and sales, personal branding, marketing, networking, project management, financial literacy and other workforce skills. State Treasurer Seth Magaziner was among the guest instructors who gave presentations to the students.
“RISCPA is determined to become a central partner to firms in the accounting and finance sectors and positively impact the state’s efforts to enhance the skill readiness of young people entering the job pipeline of these professions,” says RISCPA President Melissa Travis. “We are confident that not only will these students benefit from the additional skills our program provided them, but the firms will benefit as new young professionals with enhanced skills become their employees.” Several of the students received offers during the training.
A graduation ceremony, held June 19 at The Imperial Room banquet facility in Cranston, featured state office holder dignitaries, in addition to the students, leadership of RISCPA and representatives of the financial and accounting firms in the Collaborative.
RISCPA plans to host the second workforce skills training program for students during the January 2020 winter school break; registration information is forthcoming.