In This Issue
Bryant Study: Quonset Drives Rhode Island's Economy
American Mussel Harvesters Gears Up for Growth
North Kingstown Honors Melvoid J. Benson
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Bryant Study: Quonset Drives
Rhode Island's Economy

Rhode Island Leaders at the State House today

The Quonset Development Corporation unveiled new figures from a Bryant University study today showing that investments made by the state and federal government at Quonset Business Park are producing major benefits for Rhode Island's economy. The new figures show Quonset supported more than 21,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs or 1 out of every 23 jobs in Rhode Island. Nearly 11,000 people work at the Park itself. Quonset also produced $2.85 billion in economic output, $1.26 billion in labor income, and $113.1 million in tax revenues in Rhode Island annually.

"Quonset Business Park is a major part of Rhode Island's economy and it is a great example of how public investments can lead to greater private investment and job creation," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "But the success we have seen at Quonset cannot be sustained unless we have the skilled workforce to help businesses meet their growing demands. That's why my administration launched the Real Jobs RI initiative and has been working with Electric Boat to introduce a strategic workforce plan aimed at addressing long-term hiring opportunities at Quonset. If we want to compete in the 21st century economy, we need to invest in the skills that businesses need."

The former naval air station and construction battalion has been transformed into a major driver of the state's economy with more than 200 companies employing nearly 11,000 people at the Park. Quonset's Port of Davisville is also one of the Top 10 auto importers in North America. Since 2005 more than $500 million in private investment has been made at the Park.

To read the full press release, click here.

Quonset Tenant American Mussel Harvesters Gears Up for More Growth
American Mussel Harvesters, a longtime Quonset tenant on the shores of Allens Harbor, is gearing up for more growth. The fully integrated live mussel, oyster, and clam producer came to Quonset in 2000 and is expanding its production and distribution space at the Park. The company offers a variety of shellfish that are farmed and harvested in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner and then are distributed to seafood restaurants, retailers and distributors in the major cities of the US and Canada.

The Quonset Board of Directors recently approved an amended lease with American Mussel Harvesters that addresses their need for additional space at Quonset. The new agreement adds an additional 1.6 acres to their existing 3.02 acres. This will allow the company to add an additional 6,000 square feet of building space to their production facility and have room for additional storage area for their farming company. Salt Water Farms, which produces ocean farmed oysters and mussels, is expected to substantially increase its production over the next few years.
Bill Silkes, President of American Mussel Harvesters, said the company's location at Quonset has been integral to their growth during his presentation to the QDC Board.
"Many people tried to steer me towards other locations in other states when we first began our company," Silkes said. "But I knew the location at Quonset was too valuable for both its location on the water and proximity to the major cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC markets where we send trucks every day. We've been here for a long-time now, and we have no intention of ever going anywhere else." 
North Kingstown Honors Melvoid J. Benson
Hon. Melvoid J. Benson
State and Congressional leaders paid tribute to the Hon. Melvoid J. Benson at the dedication of the North Kingstown Post Office yesterday. Benson was one of the first African American women to be elected to the Rhode Island Legislature and was active on many boards and organizations within Rhode Island. As a former board member for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), Benson was instrumental in planning and transforming Quonset Business Park.
A longtime teacher in North Kingstown schools, Benson represented North Kingstown for seven terms as a State Representative and also served for several years on the North Kingstown School Committee. In addition to her contributions to Quonset and the RIEDC, Benson served on the board of Rhode Island Family Services, the NAACP, and others.
Among friends and family, guests at the dedication included Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, and North Kingstown Town Council President Kerry McKay, and Quonset's Managing Director Steven King, to name a few. 
Melvoid Benson passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the age of 86. The North Kingstown post office dedicated in her honor will be the first post office in Rhode Island to be named for an African American.

Quonset Development Corporation | 95 Cripe Street | North Kingstown | RI | 02852