Rhode Island State House

The Rhode Island Defense Economy Planning Commission will meet at a Middletown information technology company this week for updates from the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA), the Department of Labor and Training and Electric Boat.

The commission is co-chaired by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) and Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton).

The meeting is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m. at Rite-Solutions, 1 Corporate Place, 2nd Floor, MiddletownRite-Solutions is an award-winning software development, systems engineering, information technology and learning development firm. The firm is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business with over 200 employees.

The agenda includes an update from SENEDIA Executive Director Molly Donohue Magee on highlights from the Report on Economic Impact of the Rhode Island Defense Cluster and Defense Innovation Days, as well as an update on the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium.

There will also be an update from Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Director Scott R. Jensen on Real Jobs RI for the manufacturing/defense industries.

Finally, Anthony Paolino, Military & Veterans Affairs Liaison for General Dynamics Electric Boat, will present highlights from Electric Boat and its plans for growth, and efforts in Rhode Island around veterans hiring and services initiatives.

“I’m looking forward to our next DEPC meeting at Rite-Solutions in Middletown, which is one of the many companies on Aquidneck Island that serves the defense industry,” said Co-chairwoman Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown). “Some 30,000 Rhode Islanders earn a living in this industry, and with the 12 percent growth in the defense industry, it’s an important economic and employment opportunity. This meeting will focus on, among other things, the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium and an update from DLT on Real Jobs RI for manufacturing and defense.”

Said Co-chairman DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton), “Given the current state of international uncertainty, the defense industry is more important than ever. When, not if, the next Base Realignment and Closure process occurs, it’s imperative that we are fully prepared and strategically poised to not only sustain Rhode Island’s defense industry — including Navy Station Newport, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center there and the Naval War College — but make it grow as we did during the last BRAC.”