By the BF Staff
From the May/June 2018 Issue
With over 200 companies, and more than 11,000 people working here, Quonset Business Park is Rhode Island’s leading engine of job creation and economic growth—and manufacturing plays an important role in that success. A recent study conducted by Bryant University found that businesses located within the Park account for one out of every seven manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island, or 14 percent of the state’s manufacturing employment.
Quonset has emerged as a key destination for many manufacturing businesses. Our investment in infrastructure and the support of local, state and federal agencies have allowed us to build a business park that meets the demands of modern manufacturers. Not only do we provide access to different modes of transportation, we also offer modernized utilities, retail options, recreation facilities and several hundred acres of protected open space. Initiatives like our “site-readiness” program, with pre-permitted parcels that guarantee shovels in the ground 90 days after site control, are paying dividends for the businesses that choose to make their home at Quonset Business Park. The 5,000 new jobs here since 2008 (and $2 billion in private investment since 1980) is due in large part to the strong presence of manufacturing companies at the Park.
Manufacturing has found a home at Quonset and the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) is positioning the park to build on that success. Recently the QDC embarked on a new initiative—designed to help current and future manufacturing tenants grow their businesses—when we broke ground on the first building in our new flex industrial campus. Each flex industrial building will range from 25,000 to 50,000 square feet and will contain office space, restroom facilities and high bay (24′ clear) manufacturing/ assembly/ warehouse space. The versatile space was designed to meet the diverse needs of modern manufacturers.
The QDC is excited to be able to provide these affordable, attractive, state-of-the-art facilities to new start-ups and existing manufacturers in our community and across the country. Our goal is to continue to provide our tenants with the modern infrastructure and predictable business climate that they need to succeed. No matter a company’s size, Quonset is ready to help it grow and create more jobs for Rhode Islanders.
The overall plans for the flex-industrial campus include the construction of multiple buildings that will be phased in over several years. To learn more about the project and available space at Quonset, we encourage you to visit www.quonset.com/land/real-estate.
Quonset is confident its new flex industrial campus will build on the success of existing manufacturers and lead to more job creation for Rhode Island.
ELECTRIC BOAT GETTING BIGGER
General Dynamics Electric Boat will accelerate the hiring of more than 1,300 new employees, officials announced during a ceremony May 3, while a construction project to increase the size of the company’s Quonset Business Park facility will support more than 600 construction jobs.
These developments are being made possible through a $14-million state investment to “improve and modernize the Quonset Business Park,” according to a release distributed during the ceremony, as well as millions in tax incentives. Gov. Gina Raimondo and several of her staff members were in attendance, along with the entire Rhode Island congressional delegation, business and union leaders and employees.
“This is great news for our company, current and future employees, Rhode Island-based suppliers, the state, the submarine force and our nation’s security,” Electric Boat President Jeff Geiger said. “The investment today provides crucial support for our workforce development and facility expansion, and will help Electric Boat grow, increase its economic contribution to the region and continue to deliver the world’s most capable submarines to the United States Navy.”
Geiger said the first phase of facility expansion, for module assembly construction, would cover the entire field next to where the ceremony was held. He said under the current Navy plan, 29 Virginia class and 12 Columbia class submarines are scheduled for construction over the next 20 years.
“The state’s partnership will also help us secure additional work in the future by improving our capacity and competitive position and strengthen Quonset Point’s standing as the manufacturing crown jewel of the submarine industrial base,” Geiger said.
The project, which will feature a 1.3-million-square-foot manufacturing expansion, is eligible for up to $20 million in tax credits and exemptions. Electric Boat is expected to invest nearly $800 million in the project.
Electric Boat also signed on as the 12th company to take part in the Supply RI program, aimed at employing more local vendors and contractors.
“As EB is poised to expand, we are excited to see another double-digit percentage leap in park employment,” Quonset Development Corp. Executive Director Steve King said. “At the heart of Quonset’s success has been infrastructure. With new highway access, improved rail facilities, robust utilities [and] modernized port facilities, Quonset Business Park has become a platform for economic growth.”
Raimondo thanked Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen and the Real Jobs RI program for placing more than 1,000 workers at Electric Boat over the past few years. Electric Boat has training programs with Coventry High School and the Westerly Higher Education Center, among others, through Real Jobs RI.
Now, with the second-largest project labor agreement in state history, Raimondo said Electric Boat is “doubling down” in Rhode Island.
“This is a big win for Rhode Island,” she said. “It’s a big win for the 1,000-plus people and families who are going to get good jobs and economic security, and I am really proud of it and have been really pleased and excited to work with you.”