Rhode Island business news: July 2022

The Miriam earned this same honor in 2020 and 2021.

U.S. News also ranked The Miriam as the top hospital in the Providence metro area, which includes Providence, Pawtucket, Fall River, and New Bedford. It also gave the hospital a ““high performing” ranking or distinction for its care and treatment in nine conditions and adult specialty areas, which includes hip and knee replacements, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (typically known as COPD), colon cancer surgery, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and diabetes.

July 25, 2022

Vanzetta James named vice president, chief nursing officer at The Miriam Hospital

The Miriam Hospital in Providence appointed Dr. Vanzetta James as its new senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. James comes to The Miriam with over 20 years nursing leadership experience in magnet, teaching, and academic medical centers, spokeswoman Kathleen Hart announced Monday.

James most recently served as the senior vice president and chief nursing officer at University of Maryland Capital Region Health. There, she was responsible for the overall nursing practice in the inpatient, emergency, perioperative, procedural, and ambulatory settings. She also helped put together a quarterly nursing publication.

James earned her doctor of nursing practice degree from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. She is also a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

July 22, 2022

Warren shipyard will get USDOT grant for equipment

Blount Boats Inc., a Warren-based shipyard, will receive a $937,933 federal grant to buy equipment that will improve its material-handling efficiency, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration said Friday.

The grant is part of $19.6 million in grant awards to 24 small shipyards in 19 states that the department said would help awardees “modernize, increase productivity, and expand local employment opportunities while competing in the global marketplace.” With its own slice of funding, Blount Boats will be able to buy a telehandler, two three-ton overhead cranes, a forklift and four scissor lifts.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry, helping us get the goods we depend on every day,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a news release.

Blount Boats, founded in 1949, is a full-service shipyard that designs, constructs and repairs steel and aluminum vessels up to 220 feet, according to its website. Its work includes building vessels used in the offshore wind industry.

— Brian Amaral

July 19, 2022

Woonsocket, R.I. receives $3.2m boost for retail food sector from US Commerce

US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced Tuesday that the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.2 million grant to the city of Woonsocket to support business expansion, workforce development, and entrepreneurship efforts designed to boost the retail food sector.

The project will facilitate the acquisition and conversion of an existing facility for use as a public market by retail food businesses and will support workforce development and technical assistance that will “drive the growth of the retail food sector,” according to a press release.

This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in economic assistance grants available to various communities.

“This project will strengthen Woonsocket’s local food system while simultaneously supporting the diversification of the local economy,” said Raimondo, the former governor of Rhode Island, in a statement.

The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

Hasbro second-quarter earnings snapshot

PAWTUCKET (AP) — Hasbro Inc. (HAS) on Tuesday reported second-quarter net income of $142 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

The Pawtucket-based com
pany said it had net income of $1.02 per share. Earnings, adjusted for amortization costs and costs related to mergers and acquisitions, were $1.15 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 88 cents per share.

The toy maker posted revenue of $1.34 billion in the period, missing Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.38 billion.

July 18, 2022

The Warren Alpert Foundation pledges $1m to Crossroads Rhode Island

The Warren Alpert Foundation announced Monday a $1 million pledge over five years to help Crossroads Rhode Island create an innovative health and housing facility for medically vulnerable adults experiencing homelessness.

When complete, this new facility is expected to provide 36 permanent supportive apartments, laundry, common areas, a healing garden and parking for medically vulnerable adults who are experiencing homelessness.

Pre-development work for this project is currently underway. It will be funded through a mix of public and private money. According to Karen Santilli, Crossroads’ CEO, the provider’s new health and housing facility will be located on Pine Street in Providence, close to the non-profit’s headquarters.

“Study after study shows that access to stable and affordable housing leads to better health outcomes,” said Santilli. “Ultimately, this innovative facility will allow us to create healthier communities by giving people the stable housing and support they need to heal, address chronic health conditions and lead more independent lives.”

Arthur S. Robbins named chair emeritus of HopeHealth’s board

Arthur S. Robbins was appointed chair emeritus of the HopeHealth Board of Directors after more than four decades as a board member, the company announced Monday.

Robbins helped launch the Rhode Island Holocaust Museum, the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the first charter school in Rhode Island. He has served on more than 20 civic and nonprofit boards, including HopeHealth’s.

At HopeHealth, Robbins led fundraising campaigns that helped build the facility’s first inpatient unit, the Hulitar Hospice Center, which opened in 1993.

“Arthur Robbins has been an absolute champion for end-of-life care in this community,” said HopeHealth president and CEO Diana Franchitto. “Through our inpatient hospice center alone, he has helped bring compassion and dignity to thousands of patients in their final days, and to their loved ones. That legacy will only grow.”

The board of directors, led by Keith Kelly as chair, named Robbins chair emeritus at a special ceremony at the end of June.

July 14, 2022

US energy department funding will allow companies to partner with URI ocean engineering

The University of Rhode Island’s ocean engineering program has been accepted into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research program, which is also known as TEAMER. The acceptance will allow companies to take advantage of the university’s research facilities and expertise — without a fee.

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 pa
tient 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 l
eadership 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.