The first graduates of the pre-apprenticeship Mission Program pose for a picture at CIC in Providence after receiving their graduation certificates. Photo by Stephen Ide/ONE Neighborhood Builders.

For Immediate Release
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March 3, 2023

The program provides pathways into community health careers and is the first of its kind to be registered with the RI-DL

PROVIDENCE, RI – Twelve residents of Greater Providence graduated today from ONE Neighborhood Builders’ (ONE|NB) first Community Health Worker Pre-Apprenticeship Program. The graduates completed a five-week training program, putting them on a path for a career in community health work as a registered Community Healthcare Worker. ONE|NB’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the first program of its kind to be registered with the Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training.

“I want congratulate the graduates of the pre-apprenticeship program,” said Jennifer Hawkins, ONE|NB’s president and Executive Director. “This program provides people a pathway to a career in community health and allows them to give back to their own community. We are proud to have played a part.”

The program is supported by five trainers from organizations across Providence, including United Way of Rhode Island, Lifespan, Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN), Project Weber, and House of Hope CDC. Each organization has expertise in skills and capacities critical to a career in community health, including motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and mental health first aid, among others.. Each of the trainers spends a full 8-hour day with the 12 cohort members, providing a total of 40 hours of instruction and mentorship over the course of the five weeks.

“One of the reasons I joined the program was because of ONE|NB, who have given me opportunities in the past. They realized I had a passion to help others. This Pre-Apprenticeship training is the perfect program to help me and others in similar situations,” said Alfred Quinones, a graduate of the inaugural Pre-Apprenticeship Mission Program cohort and a resident of Olneyville. “They say ‘Family First.’ The Mission Program is all about that – helping others and families in need to the best of their abilities. I am so fortunate and blessed to be part of such a great team.”

Six additional organizations served as collaborators on the project by mentoring Pre-Apprentices throughout the program. These organizations include Crossroads, Providence Housing Authority, Providence Community Health Centers, Providence Public Libraries, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, and The Autism Project.

Community Health Workers play a pivotal role in communities because they are trained, knowledgeable frontline workers who are also neighbors. They understand community context and provide a bridge between people and the health and social services organizations in their community. This improves overall health and quality of life.

Upon graduation, cohort members will receive a $1,000 stipend for their time in the program, along with a certificate of completion and the opportunity to enroll in a registered CHW Apprenticeship program. In addition, US Representative Seth Magaziner’s office and Rhode Island State Representative Enrique Sanchez presented citations to each of the graduates.


ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB) is a nonprofit community development leader in Rhode Island that is expanding its work to the broader Greater Providence area while maintaining its deep roots in its historic home of Olneyville. ONE|NB’s mission is to develop affordable housing and engage neighbors to cultivate healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. Since its founding in 1988, then as Olneyville Housing Corporation, ONE|NB has developed 466 affordable apartments; 130 for-sale homes for low- to moderate-income homebuyers; and nearly 34,000 square feet of commercial and community space—totaling more than $135 million of investments. ONE|NB is the convening entity of Central Providence Opportunities: A Health Equity Zone, which brings together residents, more than five dozen community-based organizations, health professionals, local businesses, elected officials, and others to address root causes of health disparities and to improve neighborhood conditions. As the convener, ONE|NB is the backbone organization of this collective-impact initiative to increase economic mobility for residents in Central Providence. ONE|NB also created the first free community wireless network in Rhode Island, providing high-speed broadband to nearly 3000 unique users in the Olneyville neighborhood.


Media Contact (for ONE Neighborhood Builders)

Mike Raia, Half Street Strategic Consulting

401-340-9425 |