Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced that the state's I-195 Innovation & Design District will be the setting for three days of manufacturing- and maker-focused pop-ups, from March 26-28. Open to the public, these pop-ups will each be held at One Ship Street in Providence and hosted by local organizations and universities such as IYRS School of Technology & Trades, Polaris MEP, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, Rhode Island College and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (RICC).
"Rhode Island is home to a thriving community of makers, manufacturers, and creators," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "This showcase of our state's advanced manufacturing and maker movement in a district being developed as a regional hub for innovation is a creative and powerful demonstration that Rhode Island is gaining momentum to create jobs and strengthen our economy."
"Manufacturing has played a key role in Rhode Island's economy for centuries, and the advanced manufacturing industry is a driver of our state's future," says Stefan Pryor, Secretary of Commerce. "This pop-up showcase will give the community a hands-on feel for what kind of technologies are being put to use in today's manufacturing industry and will help inspire the next generation of Rhode Island manufacturing workers."
"This event will create a nexus between the sort of education that's needed to inspire young people and the type of manufacturing careers that will be available as the industry evolves into more advanced technologies," says Terry Nathan, President of IYRS School of Technology & Trades.
"Today's manufacturing industry is undergoing rapid changes and it is important that we showcase what manufacturing can look like in the 21st century," said David Chenevert, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association. "We need to reach students to help them understand that careers in advanced manufacturing are some of the most rewarding opportunities for young people today."
The pop-up series comes as Governor Raimondo has made strengthening and revitalizing the state's manufacturing industry a key priority of her FY2018 proposed budget. In January she launched the Rhode Island Manufacturing Initiative and formed the Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council to help position Rhode Island for success in creating and attracting the advanced manufacturing jobs of the future.
The Governor's Rhode Island Manufacturing Initiative proposal includes economic development incentives that, if enacted, would encourage manufacturers to purchase new equipment, innovate new technologies to launch new product lines, and hire and train new workers. The emphasis is on providing access and opportunity to smaller manufacturers. Additionally, it includes successful training initiatives, including the Real Jobs RI program that is helping train hundreds of Rhode Islanders for manufacturing jobs at Electric Boat, among others, and proposes investing in career and technical education by establishing a Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the state's Davies Career and Tech High School in Lincoln.
The event will run from Sunday, March 26, to Tuesday, March 28, with each day highlighting a different segment of manufacturing and making. The symposium will begin on Sunday with a spotlight on Makers + Hackers. The soft opening at 10 a.m. will begin the symposium with a demonstration.
Monday's program will center on manufacturers, including presentations from Polaris, the statewide non-profit organization that provides improvement programs to R.I.'s manufacturing industry.
The last day of the symposium on Tuesday will focus on educators and students, beginning with a round-robin event with event titles like "Manufacturing Is Cool" and "Advanced Manufacturing for the Future."
The latter half of each day will focus on the vision for a Mobile Maker Lab (MML), a traveling technology laboratory developed by IYRS, Polaris MEP, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, Rhode Island College and the RI Commerce Corporation. Filled with the latest in advanced manufacturing & automation, the MML will promote experiential learning, workplace innovations and statewide collaboration.
For more information on the manufacturing pop-ups, visit https://www.mfgmkr.tech/.