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Foundation, RIEDC Announce Initiative to Work with Private Sector in Developing Plan to Improve State’s Economy
By Lauren Paola / September 23, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...

$75,000 award from Rhode Island Foundation will enable partnership to bring leaders of eight industry sectors together to build action plan for economic development

The Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) today announced a partnership to seek input from business leaders to build an action-oriented blueprint for improving the state’s economy.

The Foundation and the RIEDC will bring together representatives from eight industry sectors in order to develop action steps as well as inform and contribute to the state Division of Planning’s RhodeMap RI economic development planning process.

A series of workshops will focus on facilitating private-sector-led discussions about the market opportunities for the sectors that were identified in the Economic Development Data Analysis conducted earlier this year by Fourth Economy Consulting for RhodeMap RI as well as ideas generated through the Foundation’s Make It Happen RI initiative.

“This collaboration between the Rhode Island Foundation and RIEDC will enhance contributions by the business community to the RhodeMap RI process, which is developing a comprehensive and forward-looking economic development plan for the State,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “RhodeMap RI is the State’s big-picture initiative to strengthen our economy, create vibrant neighborhoods, and prepare for future growth.”

The Foundation is providing $75,000 to support the work through its Civic Leadership Fund.

Earlier this year, the Foundation also committed $1 million above its normal grantmaking to fund 18 projects stemming from Make It Happen RI, which brought together more than 300 business and community leaders to brainstorm ways to jumpstart the state’s economy. The work includes producing university-generated economic data for state policymakers and streamlining the process for obtaining state building and fire permits.

“From the moment Make It Happen RI kicked off, we’ve had great results by bringing people together to get things done. We’ll be listening hard to what these business leaders have to say and using their input to move Rhode Island forward now,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

“Rhode Island’s unique size creates opportunities within our borders to expand and intersect business growth,” said Marcel A. Valois, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. “There’s so much happening in the state, and this is an opportunity for us to bring together private business leaders in an initiative that will provide constructive input to the work being done by RhodeMap RI.”

“By bringing together business leaders from across Rhode Island, we will be strengthening the already robust public engagement we are doing through RhodeMap RI,” said Kevin Flynn, associate director of the Rhode Island Division of Planning. “What we learn will be critical to the creation of an action-oriented state economic development plan.”

“Our team is extremely excited about building on our work in Rhode Island. The publication in February of “Economy RI: Economic Development Analysis and Assessment”, was an important milestone and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to reengage as the RhodeMap RI process continues,” said Rich Overmoyer, president and CEO of Fourth Economy Consulting. “We are particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity to build on thoughts collected during our interviews and analysis of strategy documents like Make it Happen RI and begin to further delve into market opportunities and cluster modeling.”

Beginning this fall and through the end of 2013, business leaders will join together to further discuss and develop actions steps for the various intersections where Rhode Island industries meet. The industry intersections have been identified by stakeholders over the past several months. Each area identified intersects in some way with another industry, which has the opportunity to further develop economic growth with existing Rhode Island businesses and resources.

  • Arts/Culture/Creative Sector
  • Biotechnology/Medical/Public Health Sector
  • Tourism/Hospitality/Visitor Sector
  • Finance/Insurance/Real Estate/Corporate Sector
  • Technology/Digital/Software Sector
  • Manufacturing/Design/Makers Sector
  • Logistics/Connectivity Sector
  • Agriculture/Aquaculture Sector

1/23/2014 update: Download the executive summary report of the economic intersections recommendations.

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