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$50,000 challenge grant supports streamlining state government
By Chris Barnett / May 18, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation is offering a $50,000 challenge grant to encourage private support for the state’s efforts to streamline state government and eliminate waste.

“Governor Gina Raimondo understands that improving a person’s experience with government is an important component to moving our state forward,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s CEO. “We are committed to helping state government work better for all Rhode Islanders and will match every dollar pledged up to $50,000 with an additional dollar to promote this comprehensive effort.”

The Foundation announced the matching grant in coordination with Governor Raimondo’s new "Lean Government Initiative," which will foster innovation across state government and promote a culture of continuous improvement.

“I am thrilled with the Rhode Island Foundation’s commitment to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state government,” said Governor Raimondo. “Rhode Islanders deserve a government that moves at the speed of business. This matching grant is an exciting opportunity to invest in solutions, designed by our state employees, that will provide dependable service from state government.”        

The Lean Government Initiative is intended to empower state employees to improve procedures and solve problems. Lean is a proven methodology used by manufacturers to eliminate waste, get rid of unnecessary steps, reduce wait and processing times and realize greater efficiency as well as cost reductions.

Governor Raimondo’s proposed budget also allocates $100,000 for the Office of Management and Budget to support the Lean Government Initiative and establish a mentorship program for Cabinet directors with private sector leaders with experience in Lean process improvement.

Two companies have already responded to the Foundation’s challenge by donating to support the Lean Government effort. Taylor Box Company of Warren and Groov-Pin of Smithfield, which instituted Lean principles in 2009.

“I know first-hand how effective Lean is. What used to take us 12 weeks to manufacture and ship to customers now takes just 20 days. Imagine the impact that applying Lean principles to state government will have on Rhode Island’s economy,” said Scot Jones, Groov-Pin's CEO.

This is the Foundation’s third investment in streamlining state government. Through its Make It Happen economic development initiative, the Foundation also has awarded $50,000 to the state Office of Regulatory Reform to create a statewide electronic building and fire permitting system and $47,000 to the state Dept. of Environmental Management to create a permitting assistance center.

With the donations by Taylor Box and Groov-Pin, the challenge has already raised $22,000 including the Foundation's dollar-for-dollar match. To make a contribution, contact Jessica David at jdavid@rifoundation.org.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

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