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Progress on MBE contracting limited without enforcement

This year’s General Assembly session ended without changes to the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program, despite a $500,000 study that identified a host of...
GETTING ­CERTIFIED: ­Dominican immigrant Pedro Mendez, right, has applied for his business, AmeriSigns, to be part of the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program. Also pictured are workers Luiyi Moreno, left, and Obdalis Csisa.  / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

R.I. needs to get with the times on minority contracting

The state historically has failed miserably in ensuring minority-owned businesses get their fair share of tens of millions of dollars in state contracts. That looked...
INCREASED WORKFORCE: From left, Justin Monte, Suzanne Violet and Kate Arsenault walk along the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport campus. The workforce at the 180-acre, 76-building complex mainly consists of highly paid professionals such as engineers and scientists, administrators and technicians. The workforce has grown by more than 200 employees to between 6,100 and 6,200 since last fall, 4,500 of whom live in Rhode Island.
 / COURTESY NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER DIVISION NEWPORT

Newport’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center a hub for defense-based research and...

There’s no denying the boost Rhode Island’s economy gets from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport. Like so many other parts of the...

SBA broadens program eligibility for businesses

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration recently took action to allow more small businesses to become eligible for the agency’s loan guarantees and...
CHANGING INDUSTRY: Cheryl Burrell, right, associate director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity in the R.I. Department of Administration, is heading the state’s efforts to further diversify the construction industry. At left are Dorinda Keene, assistant administrator of MBE, or minority business enterprise, and Elvys Ruiz, chief supplier to diversity officer.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Diversity elusive in construction

White men still dominate construction, though some companies are committed to changing that Born to immigrant families struggling to get by in Providence, Edwin A....
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