PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — New work force development programs established by Rhode Island lawmakers to help the jobless are set to launch early next year.

One of the more high-profile programs is Back to Work R.I., which would allow Rhode Island job seekers to continue collecting unemployment benefits while participating in unpaid job training at local companies.

The Providence Journal reports that state Department of Labor and Training spokeswoman Laura Hart says the agency still needs to hire up to three full-time staffers. She said the department hopes to have the employees in place and jobs seekers working at local companies by January.

The second and final part of the state's Work Immersion Program is set to roll out in January. The first part was a state subsidy for college internships that began this fall.