The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) announced today that more than 13,000 people now work at Quonset Business Park.

Governor Dan McKee, Senator Jack Reed, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joined state and local officials to mark the major milestone for Rhode Island at one of the nation’s leading business parks.

Quonset is now home to 228 companies with 13,033 people working in every sector of the economy, according to a press release from the Quonset Development Corporation.

The Business Park is also home to the Port of Davisville, one of the Top Ten auto importers in North America. On an annual basis, Quonset says that it generates $4.27 billion in economic output for the state, $1.28 billion in household income for Rhode Island families, and $128.8 million in tax revenue. 

“Quonset is one of our state’s signature hubs of economic activity, and a perfect example of the economic momentum we’re seeing all across Rhode Island,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Thanks to the investments we’ve made, Quonset continues to be a jobs engine. Today’s announcement marking the milestone of 13,000 jobs reinforces Quonset’s status as a destination for growing companies with good-paying jobs and careers.”

The announcement was held at the headquarters of REGENT Craft, a Quonset-based business building high-tech sea gliders – described by the company as “pioneering the future of sustainable maritime mobility, building a new category of electric vehicle that will transport commercial passengers.” Founded by MIT and Boeing engineers, REGENT manufactures sea gliders for aircraft operators, ferry companies, and government organizations. 

Maddie Macfarlane of Providence, who was recently hired by REGENT, was recognized at the event as Quonset Business Park’s “13,000th Employee.” A Navy veteran, Macfarlane attended the U.S. Naval Academy and received her commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy in 2014. She went on to serve as a Surface Warfare Officer on USS Shoup (DDG-86) and USS Portland (LPD-27). In her current role she serves as REGENT’s Executive Assistant to the Engineering Organization, and has been directly involved in establishing their new headquarters at Quonset. 

“This is a big day for QDC, but it’s also an important day for the State of Rhode Island,” said Steven King, P.E., Managing Director of QDC. “Since 2005, the Business Park has generated $1.3 billion in private investment that has helped create 7,000 jobs, including one of every six manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island.”

“It took years of hard work, perseverance, and wise investment at the state and federal level to transform Quonset into an engine of economic growth. Today, the economic impact and community benefit of Quonset is undeniable. And we must continue working to sustain this growth, attract new jobs and investment, and help ensure Quonset is well positioned to compete, both now and in the future,” said Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee who has been working for decades to direct more than $415 million in federal funds to upgrade Quonset.

“The delegation has secured major investments to improve the Port and support new business growth at Quonset. This milestone is a strong indication of more good jobs to come,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. 

“The Quonset Business Park is one of the most vibrant economic jewels in our state. Celebrating the 13,000th job is yet another example of the momentum we continue to experience under the leadership of Steve King and the board of the Quonset Development Corporation. The House is proud to make the appropriate investments in the park’s infrastructure, including the $81 million ongoing modernization of the pier at the Port of Davisville,” said House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi.

“Quonset Business Park is a model of economic growth for Rhode Island. Quonset achieving 13,000 jobs is a testament to the dedication and stewardship of Managing Director Steve King, and the staff that helped the Business Park become one of the nation’s best. The Rhode Island Senate has been proud to support the Park since its inception, and we congratulate Quonset on this significant milestone for the future of our state,” said Senate President Dominick Ruggerio.

“Supporting Rhode Island’s natural environment and expanding Rhode Island-based manufacturing is vital to our state’s economic prosperity,” said Congressman-elect Seth Magaziner, currently serving as RI General Treasurer. “I’m proud to have supported bonds that have updated the world-class infrastructure at Quonset Business Park and made today’s 13,000 job milestone possible. I’m looking forward to more progress at Quonset where companies like REGENT will put Rhode Islanders to work in good-paying jobs that also improve our natural environment by helping to reduce carbon emissions.”

“Quonset Business Park has long served as a foundational, job-creating hub of economic activity in Rhode Island,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. “This outstanding milestone is a prime example that our statewide efforts to build a diverse, sustainable economy are paying off. I congratulate Steve King and his team at QDC, and thank our federal delegation and statewide elected leaders for continuing to invest in Rhode Island’s proven assets.”

“REGENT is a proud Rhode Island company and we’re honored to celebrate this milestone with the Quonset Development Corporation. Steven King’s forward-looking vision for the Quonset Business Park has made it an ideal home for REGENT and the development of our all-electric seagliders,” said Billy Thalheimer, Co-Founder & CEO of REGENT. “We’re excited to continue to draw high caliber talent to the State and further establish Rhode Island as a leader in sustainable maritime transportation.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...