"Rhode Island is a great place to do business"
Warwick, RI - "The smallest state in the nation has always been one of the country's biggest leaders." So begins a positive 15-page feature profile about Rhode Island in Delta Air Lines' in-flight Sky magazine, which reaches an estimated 5 million readers each month. Governor Lincoln D. Chafee highlighted the profile at a three-pronged press event at T.F. Green Airport today emphasizing some of the ways in which Rhode Island is a great place to do business. In addition to the Delta Sky piece, the Governor announced a new partnership between the Governor's Office, the RI Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the RI Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), and the City of Warwick to grow and promote the Warwick Station Development District, and also showcased RIDOT's new interactive kiosk and screens that make using the InterLink and intermodal station easier and more convenient for business and leisure travelers.
Governor Chafee was joined by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, RIEDC Executive Director Keith Stokes, RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis, local business and governmental leaders, and Delta Air Lines officials for the event at the Warwick InterLink.
Delta's Sky rings in the New Year with a profile focusing on the benefits of doing business in Rhode Island, the state's natural beauty, its rich history and variety of visitor activities and attractions, and its growing reputation as a world-class innovation and academic haven – "New England's higher education hub," as Sky put it.
Throughout the month of January, an estimated 5 million readers throughout Delta's industry-leading global network will get an in-depth look at Rhode Island's "Roots of Innovation." Readers will hear first-hand from key businesses such as Hasbro, TACO, CVS, 38 Studios, Amica, Citizen Financial, Textron and APC on why they choose to do business in Rhode Island. To view the Rhode Island section, visit http://www.pageturnpro.com/MSP-Communications/34407-Rhode-Island/index.html.
"I have often said that the best way for Rhode Island to attract new jobs and economic growth is through capitalizing on our existing assets – on what we do well or where we have already made investments," said Governor Lincoln Chafee. "Today we are here to celebrate assets that make Rhode Island a great place to do business. We are working collaboratively at the state and local levels to market the Station District, leveraging Warwick's position as a regional transportation hub. We are making travel to and from the airport even easier and more convenient with the new InterLink facility, with the intermodal train station, and, now, with this new RIDOT kiosk that will further improve travelers' and commuters' experiences in Rhode Island."
"The investments have already been made," Governor Chafee continued. "We invested in a new terminal for T.F. Green. We invested in the InterLink and train station. Now we need to build on our strengths, market our assets, and the Delta Sky piece is a terrific example of Rhode Island's appeal."
In addition to presenting the international Sky special section as a valuable statewide marketing tool, Governor Chafee pointed to collaboration between the RIEDC, RIDOT, and the City of Warwick to promote Warwick Station as a key economic development priority for the State. An integral part of Rhode Island's economic growth plans is the development and marketing of business-ready infrastructure hubs, like Warwick Station, that act as magnets for industries, businesses and jobs.
"Today the advantages of Rhode Island's business environment are on full display," said Senator Whitehouse, who this week sent a letter along with the other member of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation to the Federal Highway Administration in support of RIDOT's application for a grant to fund marketing and branding efforts around the Warwick Station Development District. "I'm proud to stand with state leaders working to improve the Warwick Station Development District, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Congressional delegation to support their efforts."
"With the Warwick City Council's recent approval of the Warwick Station Development District Master Plan, we are moving forward with our vision that will guide development of 1.5 million square feet for mixed uses, and create a strong, vibrant sense of place that will appeal to businesses, residents, developers and tourists," said Mayor Avedisian. "The City is now working cooperatively with EDC, RIDOT and the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce to obtain federal funding for a comprehensive marketing and outreach plan that will directly target major real estate developers/brokers and company site selectors to promote the benefits of relocation or expansion to the district – improving the economic vitality and job growth in the city and the entire state."
In keeping with the theme of Rhode Island being a great place to do business, the Governor showcased RIDOT's new interactive transportation board in the Interlink, just outside the car rental area at the airport in the connector walkway. The 12 new flat screens have been connected to display a map of RI, the MBTA commuter rail schedule, the RIPTA bus schedule, and 16 live highway cameras that route images. A kiosk has been installed giving commuters and travelers Internet access allowing them to request directions and maps, make hotel reservations and research Rhode Island attractions. The kiosk is hooked up to a printer so that travelers can print out their travel materials and take everything with them.
"This travel information center was set up to help visitors as well as Rhode Islanders get where they need to go with as much information as possible," said RIDOT Director Michel P. Lewis. "Armed with directions and maps that can be printed out along with an actual look at current roadway conditions will make for a more informed travel experience."
"It is through the Governor's leadership that Rhode Island has generated many marketing and growth opportunities as we move into the next stages of our economic growth in 2012," said Keith Stokes executive director of the RIEDC. "Marketing tools such as the Sky feature, partnerships at the state and local levels as well as new traveler friendly interactive technologies further create opportunities for Rhode Island to move the needle to achieve business and job growth."