Quonset complex could add thousands of jobs in next 14 years

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A new study from Bryant University shows the Rhode Island economy is reaping significant benefits from Quonset Business Park and the investments that the state and federal governments have made there over the years.

In the next decade and a half, the complex could add 6,000 on-site jobs, as well as an additional 6,000 off-site, the study authors said.

The study was released Monday morning at the State House in Providence. Researchers found that Quonset supports more than 21,000 “full-time equivalent” jobs in Rhode Island, or one in 23 jobs in the state. Economic output from the complex totaled $2.85 billion, with $1.26 billion in labor income, and $113.1 million in tax revenues for Rhode Island.

“The success we have seen at Quonset cannot be sustained unless we have the skilled workforce to help businesses meet their growing demands,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo at the study presentation. She noted her administration’s launching of the “Real Jobs RI” initiative is working to bolster jobs; her staff has also been working to stimulate a strategic plan with Electric Boat.

The study was done by the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant and the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies, looking at 2015 data. The Chafee center’s director, Raymond Fogarty, said his group’s findings show more training and education in manufacturing is critical for future generations to continue the growth.

14 percent of manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island, about 5,700 workers, are housed at Quonset, and the average private sector jobs pay 8.3 percent higher wages ($56,524) than the state’s annual average ($52,196).

Right now, more than two hundred companies employ nearly 11,000 people at the Quonset Business Park complex itself, and the Port of Davisville is one of the top ten auto importers in North America.

By 2030, the study projects, the complex will grow to produce $4.5 billion in output, $2 billion in labor income, and $180.8 million in tax revenues in the state, and support a total of 33,700 “full-time equivalent” jobs.

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