Bryant study shows Quonset Business Park a key driver of Rhode Island’s economy

By: | at 04:03 PM | Ports & Terminals  

Quonset supports more than 21,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the state—Quonset adds $2.85 billion to Rhode Island economy and $113.1 million in tax revenues for the local, state governments

Rhode Island Leaders at the State House today
Rhode Island Leaders at the State House today

Quonset, R.I. – The Quonset Development Corporation unveiled new figures from a Bryant University study today showing that investments made by the state and federal government at Quonset Business Park are producing major benefits for Rhode Island’s economy. The new figures show Quonset supported more than 21,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs or 1 out of every 23 jobs in Rhode Island. Quonset also produced $2.85 billion in economic output, $1.26 billion in labor income, and $113.1 million in tax revenues in Rhode Island. “Quonset Business Park is a major part of Rhode Island’s economy and it is a great example of how public investments can lead to greater private investment and job creation,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “But the success we have seen at Quonset cannot be sustained unless we have the skilled workforce to help businesses meet their growing demands. That’s why my administration launched the Real Jobs RI initiative and has been working with Electric Boat to introduce a strategic workforce plan aimed at addressing long-term hiring opportunities at Quonset. If we want to compete in the 21st century economy, we need to invest in the skills that businesses need.”

The former naval air station and construction battalion has been transformed into a major driver of the state’s economy with more than 200 companies employing nearly 11,000 people at the Park. Quonset’s Port of Davisville is also one of the Top 10 auto importers in North America. Since 2005 more than $500 million in private investment has been made at the Park.

“Economic activity at the Quonset Business Park is having a significant impact on the Rhode Island economy,” said Dr. Edi Tebaldi, Associate Professor of Economics at Bryant University. “The Park creates jobs, labor income, and output at its facilities, which greatly stimulate the statewide economy and play a major role in Rhode Island’s growth.”

The study also showed that more than 5,700 workers or 14 percent of all manufacturing jobs in the state are at Quonset. Further, the average private sector jobs at Quonset paid wages 8.3 percent higher ($56,524) than the state annual average wage ($52,196). The study also projected that by 2030 the Park will annually produce $4.5 billion in output, $2 billion in labor income, and $180.8 million in tax revenues in Rhode Island. The Park will also support more than 33,700 FTE jobs in Rhode Island.

“This study shows that Quonset’s impact on Rhode Island is critical to Rhode Island’s economy,” said Raymond W. Fogarty, Director of the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University. “The analysis also shows the importance manufacturing is playing at Quonset and across Rhode Island, supporting the need for more training and education in these fields for future generations to continue the momentum.”

The figures were unveiled at an event attended by the state’s elected leaders, including: Governor Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Representative Jim Langevin, U.S. Representative David Cicilline, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, and others. The study was completed by Bryant University’s John H. Chafee Center for International Business and the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies using data from 2015.

“Thanks to past investments, Quonset Business Park has a bright future. I remember when very few people from the state were paying adequate attention to the Port, but when the last of the Navy left, I went to work to help modernize the infrastructure with millions of federal dollars and support businesses like NORAD as they fought to grow and succeed. It is great to see the Port and Quonset become an important center of economic growth. Now we have to continue making smart, strategic infrastructure investments in the future. I will keep working to deliver federal resources and support sustained job growth here at Quonset and throughout the state,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

“This new report reinforces what we already know: Quonset is an economic powerhouse in Rhode Island,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Federal and state infrastructure investments are paying off, as the Park continues to attract new tenants and add jobs.”

“Investments in Quonset Business Park have paid dividends for our state and for the businesses that call Quonset home. Thanks to support at the federal, state, and local levels, and the incredible leadership of the Quonset Development Corporation, the park continues to thrive and grow, helping Rhode Island’s overall economy to do the same,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I hear from resident businesses time and again that they benefit immeasurably from the infrastructure, support, and streamlined approval processes that are part of the Quonset experience, and I’m so proud to support Quonset’s continued efforts to make our state an attractive place to do business.”

“The Quonset Business Park is responsible for over 21,000 direct and in-direct jobs in Rhode Island and is playing a critical role in rebuilding our state’s economy. These are good-paying jobs, offering above-average wages in a diverse range of industries, including advanced manufacturing, defense, and transportation,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “The success of the Park is a perfect example of what we can achieve when our federal, state and local officials work closely with our partners in the private sector to get the job done for Rhode Islanders.”

“Quonset Business Park is one of the most important models for successful economic development that we have in Rhode Island,” said Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. “It proves that with both federal and state support we can leverage our assets to help more companies grow here and create more jobs for Rhode Islanders. It is essential that we keep this momentum going and ensure continued growth.”

President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, “The outstanding success at Quonset is a result of collaboration at all levels of government and public-private partnerships investing in the business park. With strong leadership and strategic lease incentives in place, continued growth at the park will help fuel robust economic development and job creation well into the future.”

“Quonset continues to be an example of how public investment can spur private investment and can help grow our economy,” said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, who serves as Chair of the Quonset Development Corporation Board of Directors. “This study shows the importance of ensuring that our infrastructure can meet the demands of businesses at Quonset. Investing in our success here will be vital to achieving the projections laid out in Bryant’s study.”

“The growth of Quonset Business Park has been a generational endeavor,” said Steven J. King, managing director of the QDC. “The figures unveiled today are a reflection of many people working together to better

Rhode Island’s economy and create a world class business park where companies can succeed and grow. There is still much more work to be done and much more growth on the way if we continue to work together.”


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