The new program, which university Spokesman Matt Boxler confirmed is already posted online, will add a Doctorate of Nursing Practice and Master of Science degree to the existing undergraduate nursing programs. Those undergraduate programs include a pre-licensure track for high school graduates, transfer and second-degree students, as well as a "degree completion track" for students who are already registered nurses, according to the university website.
Salve Regina's nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. In existence for more than 60 years, the school has maintained approval from the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education, the website states.
The new doctoral program will be offered this fall pending approval from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation by CCNE would be sought after completion of the first academic year, the website states.
Boxler declined to elaborate on the new programs, saying that university President Sister Jane Gerety would make a formal announcement next Wednesday, along with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and Eileen Gray, chairwoman of the school's nursing department.
That press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Young Building at 518 Bellevue Ave., the corner of Bellevue and Ruggles avenues, according to a media advisory.
Details about the donor and other means of helping finance the new program were unavailable.]]>
Still higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for March, the Rhode Island figure is the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, the DLT said in a release. The Ocean State's jobless rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point compared with February and eight-tenths of a percentage point compared with March of last year.
For the eighth consecutive month, the number of unemployed residents in Rhode Island dropped, this time by 1,100 to a total of 48,500 - the lowest unemployment level since August 2008. At the same time, the number of employed state residents increased by 2,700 in March month over month, rising to 506,000, but was unchanged year over year.
Between February and March, the Rhode Island labor force increased by 1,500 to 554,400, but that number reflected a year-over-year decline of 4,600 people.
Estimated nonfarm payroll in the state dropped to 475,800 from 476,600 in February, but the March figure represented an increase of 6,400 compared with the 469,400 total reported in March 2013.
Sectors losing jobs in the past month included Accommodation and Food Services, which lost 400 jobs; retail, which lost 300 jobs; and health care and financial activities, which each lost 200 jobs.
Industries that gained jobs between February and March included civic and social organizations, with a gain of 300 jobs; professional and business services, with a gain of 200 jobs; and transportation and utilities, and arts, entertainment and recreation, which each gained 100 jobs.
Jobs in the mining and logging sector remained unchanged.
On a year-over-year basis, 10 sectors reported job gains, notably the professional and business services industry, which gained 2,400 jobs, and entertainment and recreation and educational services sectors, which added 1,200 jobs each. Four sectors reported declines, including in health care and social assistance, which posted a loss of 500 jobs.]]>
Jodie Woodruff has taught the NFTE course in her classroom at The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center in Providence to more than 200 students over the last seven years and established a 3,600-square-foot Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at the school.
In addition to her role at the center, Woodruff creates hands-on opportunities for her students, including setting up internships for her students and bringing in two entrepreneurs from the community on a weekly basis, NFTE said in a news release.
Woodruff is among more than 5,000 teachers worldwide who have received NFTE training, which aims to inspire students to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures. Woodruff will receive NFTE's Global Enterprising Educators Award at the 2014 gala, the only Rhode Island teacher and one of only two teachers in the New England region receiving the award, which will be presented to 24 educators who teach NFTE programs across the United States as well as in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.
NFTE will also honor 34 recent program participants with the Global Young Entrepreneur Award, which recognizes young people who embrace the entrepreneurial mindset and display an exceptional commitment to their own business ventures.
Angela Ivana Greene, founder and CEO of Angela Ivana & Bridal by Ivana in Providence, is one of two NFTE New England graduates receiving the Global Young Entrepreneur Award. Greene graduated from an NFTE high school program in 2005 and went on to earn a degree in finance from Northeastern University.
During the recession, Greene was laid off at her finance job, but continued working at a spa on weekends and realized her potential as a makeup artist. She launched her own company, Angela Ivana & Bridal by Ivana, which offers makeup, hair and wig services for private and commercial clients including Givenchy, Reebok, MTV and more, NFTE said.
Angela Ivana & Bridal by Ivana will also be showcased at the NFTE Gala's global marketplace alongside the other top young entrepreneurs' businesses and products.
"This year's gala is particularly special as it's a time where we can celebrate and recognize Angela Ivana Greene and Jodie Woodruff as our global ambassadors and a true testament to NFTE New England," said Jennifer Green, executive director of NFTE New England. "NFTE has proven for [more than] 25 years that the entrepreneurial mindset is a powerful tool that can be taught and this year's local honorees exemplify these strides."
For more information about the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship or to purchase tickets for the event, visit www.daretodreamdc.org.]]>
WATERBURY, Conn. - Webster Financial Corp., parent company of Webster Bank, N.A., reported net income of $47.8 million in the first three months of 2014, an increase of 2.2 percent compared with the same period last year.
The profit for the first quarter of 53 cents per diluted share compares with 44 cents per diluted share a year ago.
"Overall, our performance was driven by exceptionally strong commercial loan growth, but the winter weather wreaked havoc across our business units, with 29 snow and ice events," Chairman and CEO James C. Smith said Thursday in a conference call to report quarterly results.
The winter weather cost the bank $800,000 in snow removal, said Smith. Combined with a decrease in customer transactions, Smith estimated the impact of the bad weather at about $1 million.
Combined growth in commercial and commercial real estate loans of $975.7 million represented a 15.9 percent increase from the same period a year ago, the bank reported. Overall loan growth of $992.7 million amounted to an 8.3 percent gain from last year's first quarter, with total loans standing at $13 billion at the end of the period.
The bank posted total interest and non-interest income of $227.7 million in the quarter, an increase of 4.3 percent on its first quarter 2013 total of $218.4 million.
The company's return on average assets increased from 0.84 percent a year ago to 0.96 percent this year, on an asset base of $21.2 billion. Similarly, the return on average common shareholder equity rose from 8.01 percent to 9.16 percent in the period. And the net interest margin grew from 3.23 percent in the first three months of 2013 to 3.26 percent in the most recent quarter.
Webster Bank has 13 branches and about 100 employees in Rhode Island.]]>
In a fresh analysis of the White House budget plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposal would result in a $446 billion spending increase for the 10 years ending in 2024.
The agency projected that under the plan, the U.S. budget deficit would increase over a three-year period and then decline from 2017-2024, compared with current law. Shortfalls would be about $500 billion from 2014-2015 and rise to $700 billion to $800 billion by 2024. The total would be about $1 trillion less over 10 years than under current law.
There's little chance of Congress adopting Obama's budget plan this year, as the U.S. House, Senate and Obama have already agreed to a deal on top-line spending for the next fiscal year. House Republicans adopted their own plan that cuts spending further, eschews tax increases and attempts to balance the budget in 10 years.
Obama's proposed budget includes several measures Congress is considering separately, such as a revision of U.S. immigration law similar to a bill the Senate passed last year.
That measure, S. 744, would increase the size of the legal labor force, "boosting tax receipts and direct spending for federal benefit programs." It's estimated to increase revenue by $456 billion while increasing spending by $298 billion.]]>
Commercial real estate leasing activity slowed in the greater Providence area during the first quarter, lowering the confidence of some developers, the Fed reported. However, contacts cited "positive developments in the Rhode Island economy that should contribute to job creation in coming months." The Beige Book did not specify which positive developments it referred to.
"Rents in Providence are described as flat on average, with some modest upward pressure in the class A office sector and diminishing concessions in suburban locations," the report stated.
A few of the Fed's contacts, located in Boston and elsewhere in the region, expressed concern that current construction levels of high-end apartments are excessive in relation to potential demand for such units, but said such units appear to be fetching rents in line with developers' projections. Meanwhile, although speculative office construction remains limited, respondents said the pipeline of planned office construction in Greater Boston is growing.
In the residential market, Rhode Island contacts cited declines in sales of both single-family homes and condominiums, while condominium sales in Massachusetts increased year over year. Consensus among Beige Book respondents indicated that the decline in sales will be short-lived, and was driven partially by lingering winter weather and uncertainty about new federal flood insurance regulations.
Residential real estate contacts said they expect sales to pick up seasonally this spring, but in Massachusetts, contacts said inventory shortages remain a challenge.
Manufacturers showed continued improvement in the Beige Book report, with seven of the Fed's nine industry contacts citing increased sales volume during the last six weeks compared with the same period a year earlier. Two reported flat sales, and several said harsh winter weather continued to impact sales through the second half of the first quarter.
A manufacturer of auto parts cited an inventory overstock due to slow sales in the auto industry, and said that if sales don't "bounce back" in the spring, factory shutdowns in the summer will be longer than usual. Most contacts said commodity and other input prices are generally stable, and inventory levels are largely unchanged.
In terms of employment, five of the nine manufacturers contacted this round reported no change in hiring, while two reported small payroll increases. One contact, a biotechnology company, plans to hire 1,000 workers this year.
Manufacturers expect higher capital expenditures in 2014 compared with 2013. Although none of the Fed's manufacturing contacts indicated a negative outlook going into the second quarter, four of the nine said they expect sales to remain flat or grow very slowly in 2014.
Retailers in New England reported year-over-year change in sales ranging from a decline of 4 percent to an increase of just over 10 percent for the first quarter. All retail contacts said sales were affected, to some degree, by the severe winter weather - some benefited from higher demand for winter-related items, while others saw sales suffer because snowstorms kept consumers from shopping. For retailers with both brick-and-mortar and online sales venues, Internet sales have continued to account for an increasing share of total sales, the Beige Book report stated.
Prices remain steady overall, but some retailers expect a modest increase in apparel prices, reflecting a rise in raw material costs and overseas labor costs. The majority of retail respondents indicated that consumer sentiment will continue to improve.
The Federal Reserve's consulting contacts reported a strong first quarter, led by health care consultants, who indicated continued demand for their services as providers adjust to the changes imposed by the Affordable Care Act. Advertising and marketing contacts, citing increased confidence in the economy, also posted strong first quarter results, with year-over-year revenue growth ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent.
Most consulting and advertising firms have held employment steady or increased payrolls slightly, and all industry contacts said they are optimistic about the coming year and expect economic growth either to continue at its current pace or to accelerate.]]>
Jobless claims increased by 2,000 to 304,000 in the week ended April 12 from a revised 302,000 the prior period that was the lowest since September 2007, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 315,000. The total number of people receiving benefits fell to the lowest since the last recession began.
Dismissals are on the decline as companies, already lean from recession-era job cutting, gear up for rising sales as the economy strengthens. Even with the improvement, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that policy makers must be mindful of how short the U.S. still remains of achieving its goals of full employment and price stability.
"Not only have you had a slowdown in layoffs, but also the total number of people on state benefit rolls has fallen," said Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, who forecast for claims of 305,000. "The labor market is getting better."
Stock-index futures held earlier gains after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index maturing in June climbed 0.1 percent to 1,855.4 at 8:42 a.m. in New York.
There was nothing unusual in last week's data and no states were estimated, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press.
Economists' estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 295,000 to 328,000. The prior week's claims were revised up from an initial reading of 300,000.
The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 312,000, the lowest since October 2007, from 316,750 the week before.
Claims may be in for some bigger swings in coming weeks as the Easter holiday, which varies from year to year, can complicate the adjustment of claims data for seasonal variations.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 11,000 to 2.74 million in the week ended April 5, the fewest since December 2007.
The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 2.1 percent in the week ended April 5, Thursday's report showed. California and Iowa showed the largest decreases in claims for that week. These data are reported with a one-week lag.
Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and typically decrease before job growth can accelerate. Some companies, such as Oshkosh Corp., are still reducing headcount as they wait for demand to pick up.
Oshkosh, the Wisconsin-based company that sells commercial trucks and supplies blast-resistant trucks to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, announced plans last week to cut 700 hourly positions starting in June, with another 60 jobs being eliminated the next month.
"We need to reshape our workforce with U.S. defense spending down as a result of tight government budgets and a return to peacetime operations," John Urias, president of Oshkosh's defense segment, said in an April 10 statement.
Payrolls expanded by 192,000 in March after a 197,000 gain in February, while the unemployment rate held at 6.7 percent even as more Americans entered the labor force. The steady progress will probably prompt Fed policy makers to continue reducing stimulus while keeping interest rates low.
In her first major speech on her policy framework as Fed chair, Yellen said central bankers must not yet be satisfied with the strides the world's largest economy has made since the recession ended.
"The larger the shortfall of employment or inflation from their respective objectives, and the slower the projected progress toward those objectives, the longer the current target range for the federal funds rate is likely to be maintained," Yellen said Wednesday to the Economic Club of New York.
The central bank announced last month a $10 billion reduction in monthly bond buying to $55 billion and repeated that it will taper purchases "in further measured steps at future meetings." The committee announced $10 billion reductions in purchases at the previous two meetings.]]>
Lanez, a business administration master's degree student at Johnson & Wales University, received the award after winning a competition during the 2014 ACF Northeast Regional Conference from April 11 to 14.
The ACF Student Chef of the Year Award, sponsored by Custom Culinary Inc., recognizes a student for professionalism, culinary skill and passion for the culinary arts. Approximately 500 chefs, students and food service professionals attended the conference, hosted by ACF Rhode Island Chapter, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Providence-Warwick.
At the regional competition, held at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Lanez competed against three chefs to prepare two portions of a main dish that incorporated a whole bone-in chicken in 1 hour, 40 minutes. He next advances to the national competition in Kansas City, Mo., in July, competing for the national title and $1,000.
In addition to the student chef category, seven other competitions were held at the conference, including one for student teams. The Johnson & Wales University student team members, Luis Alvarado, Frank Carrieri, Dimitri Demopoulos, Matthew McDonald and Spyridon Giannakoulopoulos, had the highest overall score and received a gold medal at the competition. The team was coached by Ray McCue, assistant professor at the university, and will compete at the national level as well.
Lanez is also a part-time cook at Somerset Club, Boston, and hopes to become a certified master chef, compete at the "culinary Olympics" and earn the title of U.S.A.'s™ Chef of the Year. He is certified by the American Culinary Federation.
"Receiving this award is a humbling moment in my life, as it has been a dream of mine since I began competing four years ago," said Lanez. "I look forward to competing against my regional counterparts at the 2014 ACF National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., and I wish them the best of luck."
For more information about the conference, visit www.acfchefs.org/Northeast, or at Facebook.com/ACFChefs or on Twitter @ACFChefs.]]>
Funded with a voter-approved bond in 2012, the road project completed 32 miles of repaving last year and began this year's work Wednesday on Moses Brown Street in the Wayland Square neighborhood. Ultimately the city intends to repave one of every six streets in Providence by 2015.
"We covered a lot of ground last year and anticipate another productive season of road repairs," Mayor Angel Taveras said in a news release. "The Providence Road Improvement project is a long-term investment in jobs and infrastructure, and is immediately improving the quality of life in Rhode Island's capital city."
A map of streets already repaved and which are next can be found at data.providenceri.gov.]]>
The recommendations from the Senate Task Force on School Housing Aid, released Wednesday, aim to frame a 10-year plan based on findings that suggest "pay-as-you-go" would be sound fiscal policy, said Sen. Ryan W. Pearson, D-Cumberland, the task force chairman.
"On average," the report reads, "approximately 40 percent of housing aid reimbursements fund bond interest rather than school improvements, due to the historical reliance on bonding." Shifting to pay-as-you-go would reduce costs by as much as 40 percent, the report says.
The task force undertook a sweeping examination of the state's approach to school building improvements in anticipation of the expiration of a three-year moratorium on aid this June 30, the end of the state's fiscal year.
Every school district or "local education agency," which could also be a public charter school, has a different "share ratio" based on its ability to pay, Pearson said. That ratio in the future would be calculated the same way it is today.
"The real obligation is how you find the money on the state side to" make that work, Pearson said.
Aside from that shift in payment, the report recommends the state earmark 1 percent of the 7 percent sales tax, beginning in fiscal year 2016, to meet the needs of running a quasi-public agency dubbed an "infrastructure authority" and to fund school construction programs.
The authority would be modeled on one in Massachusetts that prioritizes school building improvements, Pearson said.
The authority's seven-member board would include the state general treasurer as chairman; the director of administration; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education; and four additional members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate with professional expertise in construction, engineering and public financing.
The report also recommends allowing school districts or LEAs to negotiate their own redistricting arrangements to better consolidate facility use; a statewide onsite facility assessment every five years starting in 2014; a revolving loan fund for smaller school upgrades; and promotion of energy efficient improvements.
Pearson says the current housing aid program, without either a cap or prioritization, has a $600 million backlog and is not sustainable.
The R.I. Department of Education's "Public Schoolhouse Assessment," which came out in January, estimated the total cost to bring all 276 district schools into "good" condition is $1.79 billion. That estimate, however, is based on self-reporting from the districts and "does not provide an objective, uniform, statewide assessment" of facility needs, the report states.
Approvals from the Board of Education for "necessary" school construction costs have averaged $74.8 million a year, the task force found.
A tentative timetable for implementing these and other recommendations includes: the sunset on the moratorium this June; statewide assessments by RIDE starting in July and completed by February 2015; a newly established "infrastructure authority" by March 2015; and revisions to housing aid programs from that authority by June 2015.
Dedicated funding stream to the authority in July 2015 would include the money coming from 1 percent of the state's sales tax.
The task force report was also based on four public hearings held in January and February.]]>