SOURCE: Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation

April 11, 2005 11:45 ET

Governor Carcieri Announces New Public-Private Partnership Targeting Rhode Island's Manufacturing Industry

Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Rhode Island Manufacturing Summit Develop New Campaign Aimed at Assisting Manufacturers

PROVIDENCE, RI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 11, 2005 -- Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri today announced a new business strategy targeting Rhode Island's manufacturing industry. The strategy was developed in partnership between the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) and the Rhode Island Manufacturing Summit.

"Manufacturing is a critical part of our state's economic engine," Governor Carcieri said. "Today, I am pleased to announce that the Manufacturing Summit and the RIEDC are partnering to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure the future success of our state's manufacturing industry."

"This public-private partnership will help link companies with state resources and programs designed to help them thrive and expand," Carcieri continued. "It will also include a mentoring program to enable successful manufacturers share their strategies on innovation with other businesses. All told, this partnership will help strengthen our manufacturing industry in paving the way for companies to tap the resources available to them and to capitalize upon tested innovation."

Strategic components of this program involve raising awareness within the manufacturing industry about already-existing programs the state has to offer to this industry, including financing through the use of industrial revenue bonds, federal procurement assistance, enterprise zone tax relief, export assistance, job creating grant program, job training tax credits, and small business assistance (e.g., Every Company Counts) to name a few. The Manufacturing Summit will offer its "Innovation Audit" and "Four Phase New Product Development Programs" at no expense to Rhode Island Manufacturers via the RIEDC. Summit members will also assist participating companies as an informal "Innovation Board of Advisors" to ensure implementation of innovation strategies. Lastly, the Manufacturing Summit's Workforce Development strategies will include a campaign to address the image of manufacturing.

"This is another wonderful example of how Rhode Island's private sector is working with the public sector in developing critical new programs to address business challenges," stated Michael McMahon, Executive Director, RIEDC. "The desired goal of the partnership between the Manufacturing Summit and the RIEDC is to actively assist the manufacturing community, particularly those representing small-medium-sized manufacturers. Raising awareness of existing programs and working with the manufacturing industry to create new initiatives specifically targeted to assist them along with mentoring younger companies to become more innovative are all critical components of this long-term strategy."

In 1990, Rhode Island employed nearly 100,000 individuals in its manufacturing sector. Currently, that figure is approximately 56,000(Source: Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training-Labor Market Information).

"Our industry needs to take a proactive stance with respect to finding new partnership and synergies that will serve to strengthen our presence not only in Rhode Island but in the Global marketplace," said John Hazen White Jr., President, Taco, Inc. and Founding Member of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Summit. "This strategy is certainly a step in the right direction. Engaging the public sector in programs geared to assisting manufacturers is critical to the vitality of the industry. Similarly, having the industry engaged in a way that we assist each other is also a critical element."

About the Rhode Island Manufacturing Summit

The Manufacturing Summit is a non-partisan coalition working together to strengthen and expand manufacturing in Rhode Island. Its member include local manufacturers CAS America, C.I. Hayes, Cranston Print Works, Cooley Group, Cowan Plastics, Electric Boat, Jade Engineered Plastics, Tanury Industries, Taco, Inc. and Wardwell Braiding along with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Rhode Island Export Assistance Center, and the Center for Design and Business.

About the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) is a quasi-public agency that works to strengthen the Rhode Island economy through policies, programs, and public-private projects and partnerships. Its initiatives enhance and enrich the business environment for public and private sectors in order to create new prosperity for all Rhode Islanders. For more information about the RIEDC, please visit www.blueskyri.com.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
    Andy Cutler
    Cutler Communications, LLC
    (401) 743-7842
    andy@cutlerpr.com

    Rhode Island Manufacturing Summit
    Bob Mayoh
    Sheppard Leger Nowak
    (401) 276-0233
    mayoh@slnadv.com