Polaris MEP launches manufacturing report on workforce, growth in R.I.

PROVIDENCE – Nonprofit consulting organization Polaris MEP has launched the “2022 State of RI Manufacturing Study,” a first-ever look at trends in the state’s manufacturing sector with analysis of its economic impacts and a comprehensive survey of Rhode Island manufacturers.

“The manufacturing sector covers the state of Rhode Island and employs nearly 1 in 10 of all private-sector workers. The sector is almost always referenced in other economic reports,” said Kathie Mahoney, Polaris MEP center director. “However, we believe this is the first study to focus exclusively on the trends driving the sector – the challenges of today and opportunities of the future.”

The goal of the study is to uncover ways manufacturers in the state can use talent, technology and strategic support to transform. A survey of manufacturers is at the center of the study. Most Rhode Island manufacturing companies – 86.5% – employ less than 50 people.

“We want to hear directly from the small-business owners,” Mahoney said.

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In the survey, senior executives will have the opportunity to respond to questions about their workforce, growth trajectory, obstacles to success and plans for innovation.

The report, which will include survey insights, is expected to be published in early 2022.

Mahoney said that Points Consulting has been hired to lead the data collection and analysis. Other partners for the study include the R.I. Commerce Corp., the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and RIHub, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs and startups reach their goals.

Study updates, including notice when the report is published, can be obtained by registering here.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.