Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

Building a digital bridge back to work


The Back To Work Rhode Island state program sought to connect pandemic-displaced job-seekers with educational and employment opportunities as well as free social services for which they qualified.

Merit’s solution

Displaced job-seekers, using Merit portable, verifiable credentials, rapidly accessed educational opportunities, relevant employment needs in their communities, and a complete array of free social services.

Without Merit

Agencies and organizations often rely on legacy communication methods, such as random newsletters or generalized signage at events, that fail to connect with qualified candidates. The lack of a convenient and secure way for students and workers to carry and rapidly verify credentials leads to lost opportunities.

Possible Funding Sources

  • Federal and/or state grant(s)
  • Legislation such as WIOWA or the American Rescue Plan
  • Direct contracts


The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) joined with Merit to launch the Back to Work Rhode Island program in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Supplied with portable, verifiable credentials, displaced job-seekers could rapidly access actual educational opportunities, updated community employment needs, and a full array of available free social services. Merit’s platform enabled employers, social service providers and state agencies to bypass ineffective, legacy communications methods and, instead, send highly relevant opportunities to qualified job-seekers. RI DLT and participating government agencies also benefited from the availability of real-time, gapless data about Back to Work Rhode Island’s effectiveness for economic recovery and use of state resources.

Supporting the full job procurement lifecycle–quickly & programmatically

Merit's verified identity ecosystem helps maintain complete, digital records of workers' apprenticeships, certifications, and occupational licenses, connecting them with training and job opportunities, as well as supportive services for which they qualify. With Merit, states can help people quickly return to work and advance robust economic recovery.

About Merit

Merit’s verified identity platform brings visibility, liquidity, and trust to people-data, giving organizations the clarity to make better-informed decisions, engage with individuals effectively, and pursue their mission efficiently. Merit works with trusted private, state, and municipal organizations to solve critical real-world problems in sectors such as workforce development, emergency services, licensing, education, and defense readiness.

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