PROVIDENCE, R.I. - In January, Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced her push to pass the Rhode Island Manufacturing Initiative, a comprehensive package of new programs designed to help train Rhode Islanders to compete in modern manufacturing and provide assistance to local manufacturers looking to buy new equipment or hire more workers. The jobs report from the Department of Labor and Training released today shows that Rhode Island added 900 manufacturing jobs in April.
"Earlier this week, I had a beer with a 94-year-old Pawtucket resident who spent more than three decades working at the Narragansett Brewery. We talked a lot about Rhode Island's manufacturing tradition and the pride Rhode Islanders take in what they make. I'm determined to rebuild and reinvent manufacturing in Rhode Island, and I am encouraged by the latest data which shows we added close to 1,000 new manufacturing jobs last month.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but we are making progress. Our labor force has expanded for the fourth straight month and private sector employment is near an all-time high. As recently as 2014, we had the nation's highest unemployment rate, and it's now below the national average for the third straight month.
"While there are a lot of tough choices to make in the weeks ahead, I'm going to keep fighting to protect the investments which have helped expand our economy and equip people with the skills they need to compete for jobs in our advanced economy, including jobs in 21st century manufacturing."
Key components of the Manufacturing Initiative include: -Investments to help the William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School create a Center for Advanced Manufacturing and modernize equipment at the state's leading career and technical high school; -Support to help manufacturing companies hire and train more Rhode Islanders for jobs in advanced manufacturing. -Credits to help manufacturing companies--particularly small manufacturers--invest in new equipment; and -An expansion of the Qualified Jobs initiative to include manufacturing companies.
Last week, the Governor released a web video on Medium highlighting the Rhode Island Manufacturing Inititaive. On Tuesday, she toured the Isle Brewers Guild facility in Pawtucket with Joseph Ianaire, a 94-year-old Pawtucket resident who worked at the Narragansett Brewery for 34 years. Isle Brewers is now brewing Narragansett beer in Rhode Island for the first time since 1983.