Momentum in Manufacturing

Do you feel the rising energy in Rhode Island’s manufacturing community these days? It springs from a quiet confidence that companies have about their future based on projected or recently won contracts.

Even though these good signs haven’t hit the state or federal metrics yet, they are real. A great example is Yushin America, in Cranston, which makes robots to improve other companies’ manufacturing facilities. They recently opened a $2 million expansion. Other companies, including Edesia in North Kingstown, consolidated operations to move into a larger facility and increased their production capabilities.

The state recognized that these projects have the best chance for success if the entire economy that surrounds their business is supported. Then it got behind fast and effective programs that support this growth today, and will help catapult Rhode Island manufacturing to a new, higher level.

Real Jobs Rhode Island is changing the game on hiring needs. R.I. Commerce Corp. has a broad array of new programs, including vouchers and tax credits, to support the growth, and House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello championed the state funding of Polaris MEP. This enabled the creation of our Rocket Program, which provides more accessible growth and innovation programs for all these companies.

The Polaris MEP growth programs help companies navigate common pitfalls and grow their operations profitably. The state is making growth its top priority and manufacturing clearly fits into that plan.

Manufacturing Week 2015 was strongly supported this year.

Groov-Pin and Yushin America once again opened their doors to show their industry best practices, leading products and processes to participants. These events showcased the industry’s rising status, and it felt great to see our state officials out in the field seeing this growth potential.

Rhode Island manufacturing is certainly at an inflection point. Manufacturing will likely never get back to its high point, but the tide has turned and advanced manufacturing techniques have changed the playing field. There are many manufacturing companies in Rhode Island that feel optimistic about their new growth potential, and now there are programs to support this growth.

It will take all of us to execute on these programs for these prospects to be fulfilled. Let’s get it done.

Christian Cowan is director of Polaris MEP.

Post also published on Providence Business News.

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