In the first of a series of economy-related campaign events, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island needs to take action to get a piece of the pie as more manufacturing jobs are returning to the US.
Raimondo declined to name names during a news conference Monday at Videology Imaging Solutions in Smithfield, but she says a lack of political leadership has left Rhode Island with the one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. She says the state can regain some of its bygone strength in manufacturing, and offered her plan for creating jobs in that sector.
“First, we’ll foster innovating with a focus on our strengths – the industries where we can have a competitive advantage; second, we’ll prepare our workforce with 21st-century skills; and third, we’ll do more to support our manufacturers to help them grow.”
Raimondo didn’t put a price tag on how much it will cost to fulfill her vision, and says it’s premature to estimate how many jobs might be created. She says universities, businesses, and philanthropists would pay much of the cost for the key aspects of her plan to strengthen manufacturing, including a so-called innovation institute, first mentioned during her campaign announcement in January, to foster collaboration between the private sector and universities.
Raimondo is competing with fellow Democrats Angel Taveras and Clay Pell in a three-way Democratic primary. The election is September 9.