RI Foundation to invest $1M to boost economy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Foundation plans to spend $1 million on economic development initiatives brainstormed during a summit last month on ways to fix the state's struggling economy.

The foundation said Monday the money will be spent "at its discretion" over the next year on ideas that grew out of the "Make It Happen RI" summit.

A report released Monday highlighted six themes that emerged from the event, including creating jobs, closing the skills gap, promoting Rhode Island within and beyond its borders and better connecting the unemployed with available jobs.

Foundation CEO Neil Steinberg says the next year is critical and that "we cannot afford to wait."

Some 300 people from the private sector attended the summit.

The state's unemployment rate of 10.7 percent is the nation's second highest.