Rhode Island business news: July 2022

TEAMER will reimburse URI for research that costs up to $150,000 per project.

The program is focused on marine energy, which is a renewable power that is harnessed from the natural movement of water, like ocean waves, tides, rivers, and ocean currents.

“Companies can test a device at URI that is designed to extract these types of energy,” said URI professor Reza Hashemi in a statement. “For instance, a company can build a scaled model of a tidal energy device in URI’s wave-current flume to study how much energy can be extracted or how wave loads affect the performance of the device.

“There is great potential to employ graduate students, along with the technicians at URI, to operate and perform the required experiments and analyze the data,” said Hashemi. “This will provide a great opportunity for students to work directly on research and development with marine renewable energy companies.”

R.I. physician named to electronic health record national advisory board

Dr. Jared Anderson, an emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals, was elected to the emergency medicine specialty steering board for Epic this week.

Epic is an electronic health record software used by academic medical centers, community hospitals, and other health care providers across the U.S. and world.

The steering board advises on clinician needs in “retrieval and storage of electronic health records, and provides user experience feedback on Epic software,” which are all designed to improve patient care and outcomes.

More than 250 million patients have a current electronic record in Epic.

North Providence local appointed director of Spectrum Health System

Mark Orris of North Providence, R.I. has been appointed the new executive director of inpatient services by Spectrum Health Systems, a Worcester, Mass.-based addiction treatment provider.

Orris will join Spectrum with more than 20 years of experience and will be in charge of the development, implementation, and control of Spectrum’s budgeting and plans, according to a company spokeswoman.

July 8, 2022

Reed announces another $12m to support affordable housing development

US Senator Jack Reed announced Friday a new $12 million federal grant for Rhode Island Housing to finance the development, construction, and preservation of affordable housing. These funds will help attract additional private and public investment to develop and finance affordable housing projects, according to Reed’s office.

Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, helped create the Capital Magnet Fund in 2008, which was designed to support community development financial institutions and non-profit housing developers that increase investment in affordable housing and economic development activities or community service facilities, like daycare centers or other workforce development centers.

This new grant through the Capital Magnet Fund from the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund build on the $16.6 million that Rhode Island Housing received in years prior through the Fund.

“Rhode Islanders need homes they can afford, and every dollar of financing received goes a long way to ensuring families have a roof over their heads, individuals working in the construction and allied fields remain employed, neighborhoods are revitalized, and our state is made stronger,” said Carol Ventura, executive director of RIHousing. “We are very grateful to Senator Reed for his leadership and commitment to providing solutions to the challenges we are facing.”

Rhode Island Housing was one of 59 organizations across the country to be selected by the Treasury. A total of $336.4 million through the program was administered.

“We must continue working together to expand affordable and sustainable housing opportunities,” said Reed in a statement. “In this challenging housing market, it is essential that we build more affordable housing and this federal funding will help attract essential housing investments.”

The Capital Magnet Fund requires recipients, such as Rhode Island Housing, to leverage at least $10 of housing and economic development investments for every $1 of federal funds.

July 7, 2022

McKee signs offshore wind-power procurement bill

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Gov. Dan McKee on Wednesday signed legislation into law that requires the state’s dominant electric utility to get 600 to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power for the state’s electric grid.Rhode Island Energy will have to issue the procurement by Oct. 15 this year under the legislation, which was sponsored by state Sen. Dawn Euer, D-Newport and Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston.

”Adding offshore wind clean energy capacity is essential for meeting our new 100 percent renewable energy by 2033 goal and our Act on Climate emissions reductions target,” McKee said in a news release touting the new law, which he signed at Quonset Point.

The electricity from this procurement could power about 340,000 homes a year, McKee’s office said. It would meet about 30 percent of the state’s 2030 energy demand.

There are several offshore wind power projects in the development pipeline off Rhode Island, which was the home to the nation’s first demonstration project, the Block Island wind farm.

The legislation would allow the Public Utilities Commission to decide whether Rhode Island Energy will receive a payment of up to 1 percent of the contract amount under the deal. — BRIAN AMARAL

June 28, 2022

92 percent of Bally’s Twin River Casino workers vote to strike

SMITHFIELD, R.I. — More than 92 percent of workers at Bally’s Twin River Casino voted in favor of authorizing a strike late Tuesday6/28 night. If the union and the casino do not reach an agreement when they meet Wednesday, 6/29 the workers could go on strike as soon as their contract expires on Friday, the union said in a press release.7/1

The workers, who began bargaining with the casino on June 24, are demanding that the company increase staffing, offer more full-time schedules, and increase wages to match the rising costs of living.

New leadership at Leadership R.I. after executive director takes position at Gallup in Washington DC

Mike Ritz, the executive director of Leadership Rhode Island (or LRI), has accepted a new position at Gallup, a global analytics firm in Washington, DC. There, he will lead the company’s strategic effort as the executive director of a new government leadership institute.

Michelle Carr, LRI’s deputy director, will take over as Ritz’s place.

“I can confidently depart knowing Michelle Carr, our Deputy Director, is more than ready to take over. We have worked in tandem for almost eight years, growing and evolving LRI. She is the perfect person to lift this organization to new heights,” said Ritz.

East Providence workforce training program receives $350k federal investment

Congressman David N. Cicilline announced a $350,000 federal investment that will support a new workforce and professional development program for approximately 530 low-to-moderate income East Providence adults.

Program participants will enroll in certification coursework through Roger Williams University, which will be geared towards improving employment opportunities by “cultivating industry-specific, computer, and leadership skills.”

Cicilline’s office said he secured this funding in the omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2022. The program is one of 10 community project funding requests that he made to the Appropriations Committee. All ten of the Congressman’s recommended projects were funded.

More Rhode Island business news.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.