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Rhode Island


Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Economic Adjustment Assistance 2 $1,694,725
Public Works 2 $2,337,826
Total 4 $4,032,551

Newport County, Rhode Island is best known as home to several major military, research and higher education institutions including the United States War College, Naval Station Newport, United States Naval Education and Training Center, and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.  However, this reliance on the defense sector has left the Newport region susceptible to the uncertainty of federal budget reductions and possible Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC). 

In recent years, Rhode Islands’ defense industry has been directly impacted by reduced funding and delays in receipt of funding, resulting in short and long-term furloughs and some permanent layoffs of a largely high skill, high wage workforce.  In response, the Newport area, along with the state of Rhode Island, developed a series of economic development policies to diversify and expand the region’s economy by promoting the transfer of defense-related technologies into commercial products. 

In 2014, EDA invested $1.7 million to redevelop a former public school for use as a technology business incubator, accelerator, and innovation center to be known as Newport TechWorks. The state-of-the-art facility will be designed to meet LEED standards and will support defense, marine, climate change, environmental and digital industry clusters and entrepreneurs.  The facilities will provide on-going business development, training and a place for tech-driven entrepreneurs to gather and share best practice resources. 

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