Updated March 25 at 2:33pm

Leadership RI 2013 class to focus on Quonset Point


PROVIDENCE – The 2013 Leadership Rhode Island class will focus its action projects on Quonset Point, Mike Ritz, executive LRI director, announced the plan at the group’s Un-Masquerade Party on Friday, Oct. 26.

In light of the announcement, Leadership Rhode Island is extending its application deadline for the 2013 class to Nov. 7 in order to also “established and emerging leaders who have a stake in Quonset” to apply, according to a release.

“As people may recognize from our work in Central Falls this year, Leadership Rhode Island is taking a more active, hands-on role in stewarding our state,” Ritz said in prepared remarks. “This year, we will look to see what has accounted for Quonset’s recent progress in helping to create jobs, and how those lessons might be applied to Rhode Island as a whole.”

Quonset Point is home to the state’s 3,207-acre business park, a state airport, Air and Army National Guard facilities and is the seventh largest port for auto imports in North America. The business park is home to 168 companies and 8,800 jobs. Since 2005, 2,700 new jobs have been created at Quonset.

According to a release, LRI staff has already had preliminary discussions with businesses and management in Quonset in order to explain the goals of the class projects: “to showcase significant economic success and to explore what, if anything is holding businesses back from doing even better in Rhode Island.”

“The Quonset Business Park is pleased to be able to team up with Leadership Rhode Island to spread the news about Rhode Island’s progress at Quonset, and to share the details of our approach that has led to these results,” Steven J. King, managing director of Quonset Development Corporation, said in a statement.

The 10-month 2013 class curriculum will explore major Rhode Island issues in areas ranging from education and the arts to crime and basic needs, only the class’s external projects will involve Quonset.

According to Ritz, focusing the Leadership-in-Action projects on a specific geographic place has drawn the support the 1,600 LRI alumni who live and work in Rhode Island.

Months ago, alumni were asked where the Leadership program could best serve Rhode Island in 2013 and Quonset emerged as a top response, said a release. Alumni also suggested the city of Providence and the Blackstone Valley region.

“LRI’s focus on Quonset and what has led to the Business Park’s recent successes will contribute to the ever growing dialogue about how to bring Rhode Island forward into a progressive 21st century economy,” said Ritz in a statement.


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