Governor Lincoln Chafee, perhaps responding to the clamor about the need for more short-term steps on boosting hte economy, has issued this news release:
Chafee today announced the latest in a multi-agency effort to develop an integrated approach to economic development. This effort will compile economic information, conduct economic data analysis on the state’s regional performance, and identify the state’s strengths and possible ways to improve the economic conditions of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), in collaboration with Statewide Planning, issued the request for proposal (RFP) as part of a larger initiative funded through a $1.9 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities program. In addition to RIEDC and Statewide Planning, the Rhode Island Departments of Environmental Management, Labor and Training, and Transportation are partners in this multiagency effort to organize the state’s assets to move in the same direction to improve Rhode Island’s economic success.
“I agree with all Rhode Islanders that we need to take steps to improve the economic climate of the state. In 90 days we will have data analysis that we will use to inform decisions to use our assets wisely, prioritize our ideas and focus our resources in specific areas where we can make a real difference,” said Governor Chafee.
“Because of this federal grant through HUD, we have an opportunity to develop a whole new approach that integrates efforts across state agencies and involves community partners to mobilize our assets to create a better place for all of Rhode Island,” said Statewide Planning Director Kevin Flynn. “This partnership with the RIEDC is the first step in a larger plan to combine business growth with strategic land use, transportation, housing, environmental protection and social equity issues.”
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker Gordon Fox have cited plans to raise the focus on economic development in the legislative session starting in January.