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Matching-grant challenge raises $110,000 for streamlining state government
By Chris Barnett / January 4, 2016 /   Loading Disqus...

Seven companies have donated a total of $61,000 in response to a matching-grant challenge from the Rhode Island Foundation. Together with the maximum $50,000 match from the Foundation triggered by the donations, the state will receive $111,000 to fund its efforts to streamline state government and eliminate waste.

Amica, Corning, Groov-Pin, Hope Global, TACO, Taylor Box and Toray Plastics are the companies that responded to the Foundation’s matching-grant challenge with contributions.

“We are committed to helping state government work better for all Rhode Islanders. Every one of these donors deserves our thanks for investing in creating a strong economy that will enable all Rhode Islanders to prosper,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The Foundation announced the matching-grant challenge in May in coordination with Governor Raimondo’s new "Lean Government Initiative," which is already fostering innovation across state government and promoting a culture of continuous improvement.

“The generosity of these donors will give us the resources to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state government,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo. “Rhode Islanders deserve a government that moves at the speed of business. These matching grants give us the resources to invest even more in developing better approaches, designed by our state employees, providing 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 budget also includes $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.

The first company to respond to the Foundation’s challenge with a $10,000 donation was Groov-Pin. The Smithfield company, which is a precision manufacturer of industrial pins and threaded inserts for high-tech, aerospace and industrial uses, 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, CEO of Groov-Pin.

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.

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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