Pawtucket and Central Falls hire consultant for economic development

PAWTUCKET AND CENTRAL FALLS have hired a consultant to joint economic development plan, workforce and business development assessment and feasibility study. The project will include recommendations for development around the the incoming train station which is being built at the site above. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
PAWTUCKET AND CENTRAL FALLS have hired a consultant to help develop a joint economic-development plan and workforce and business-development assessment. The project will include recommendations for development around the incoming train station, which is being built at the site above. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE – Pawtucket and Central Falls have hired McCabe Enterprises to consult on a joint economic-development plan and workforce and business-development assessment, the municipalities announced on Wednesday.

The project is funded by $150,000 in grant funds from the Economic Development Administration to support a joint economic-development plan for both cities. 

“Many of our beloved local businesses need support recovering and regaining momentum from this pandemic. Our Central Falls businesses are the core of our community, giving our residents jobs, giving character to our commercial districts, and driving economic growth,” said Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera. “Through this planning process, we’ll identify the true needs of our business community and specific ways we can support their growth, as well as the economic growth of our city.”

The consultant will also work to identify the top investment opportunities in both cities, as well as marketing strategies to attract additional public and private investment. The project is expected to take roughly one year.

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As part of the plan, the Pawtucket Foundation and the cities will engage local business and workforce-development leaders to create an action plan for future economic development, including recommendations for the Pawtucket Downtown and Transit Oriented Development District around the incoming train station. The work will also include identifying development options and opportunities at 280 Rand St., where several large mill buildings burned down in March 2020.

“We welcome McCabe Enterprises and are pleased to continue moving forward on developing future economic growth in the city and adapting in a post-COVID economic environment,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “Going on, understanding the workforce and job-training needs of Pawtucket residents will be a critical part of these plans. We will seek to identify existing skill and training gaps in order to best work with our public and private partners to fill these gaps with new job training initiatives.”

McCabe Enterprises was one of three companies that responded to a request for proposals.

This project will seek to capitalize off of existing development activity and work to connect the Tidewater Project currently underway along the riverfront with the Pawtucket Downtown and the Pawtucket-Centrals Transit hub opening in mid-2022, the cities said.

“Pawtucket has major, exciting new projects underway, that involve serious investment from governmental and private sectors,” said Pawtucket Foundation Executive Director Jan Brodie. “This EDA study will look at how to leverage that investment and ensure that the economic benefits are enjoyed by the residents, small businesses, craftspeople and those most impacted by COVID-19 within the two cities.”

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