The East Greenwich Pendulum: EG Fire Dept. gets $88,191 grant

By GABRIELLE FALLETTA

EAST GREENWICH- The local fire department is the recipient of $88,191 in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, money that will allow the department to purchase new safety equipment.

The grant is a portion of $160,000 in federal funding that is being dispersed to both the East Greenwich Fire Department and Portsmouth Fire Department as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. In East Greenwich, the fire department will use the funds to purchase a rapid escape system for each member of the department.

“In today’s tight fiscal environment this grant comes at a great time,” said East Greenwich Fire Chief Russell McGillvary in a statement. “This award will provide the firefighters of the East Greenwich Fire Department with a much needed piece of life safety equipment.”
The rapid escape systems will allow firefighters to safely descend from burning buildings and help rescue residents inside, by giving firefighters a tool that can anchor to another structure and allow them to escape from a high point on a building. In addition, the EG Fire Department will purchase several pairs of turnout pants that will be fitted with the appropriate gear to support the escape systems.

“Our firefighters work hard to keep Rhode Island communities safe,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in a statement. “Given tight local budgets, it’s important for the federal government to pitch in and help Rhode Island cities and towns afford the training and equipment firefighters need to do their job. I’m glad to see these grants headed to Portsmouth and East Greenwich.”

In Portsmouth the fire department will use their $71,896 grant to create a Rapid Intervention Team training program, a team that is dedicated solely to search and rescue of seriously injured firefighters.
“I am thankful for the outstanding work our firefighters do each day. These funds will enhance public safety and ensure our firefighters have the most up-to-date equipment and rescue training available,” said Senator Jack Reed in a statement. “It has been a pleasure to work with these fire departments and communities to help secure these competitive grants.”

The two grants add to the total of over $2.5 million in AFG funding in 2016 to help 13 fire departments throughout Rhode Island. Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state successfully secure over $27.3 million in AFG grants to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.

“I am always thrilled to see federal funds used to enhance public safety and protect the well-being of Rhode Islanders,”said Congressman Jim Langevin in a statement. “It is especially exciting in this case to see the implementation of equipment and training that can make the difference between life and death for the firefighters who put their lives on the line for us every day.”

The Westerly Sun: Hopkinton Democrats endorse Langevin

HOPKINTON — The Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee has endorsed U.S. Rep. James Langevin, D-2nd District, in his bid for re-election. “Jim shares our priorities, as well as our hopes for a stronger Rhode Island, a more equal nation, and a more peaceful world,” said committee Chairwoman Gloria Rhodes. “We’re proud to have him by our side as we all work together for the good of our state.” Langevin was elected to his first term in 2000, and currently serves as a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees. “I am as focused and enthusiastic as ever about serving the people of Rhode Island, and it means so much to have people like Chairwoman Rhodes and the Hopkinton committee members supporting me in my efforts,” Langevin said.

Latino Public Radio: Langevin Visits Edesia

By: Reynaldo Almonte

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI – Edesia was honored to welcome Rhode Island Congressman, Rep. Jim Langevin, to its new state-of-the-art 83-000 square foot facility today. The Congressman, who represents North Kingstown,
was given a tour of the factory and Edesia Founder and CEO Navyn Salem shared with
him an update on her company’s lifesaving work to combat malnutrition on a global
scale. “We were thrilled to have the Congressman come visit Edesia again but this
time in our new factory situated in the town he represents,” said Salem. “The
Congressman had the opportunity to see just how much we have increased production of
Plumpy’Nut and our other ready-to-use foods to keep up with the rising global
demands.” “After a month of fascinating business visits, constituent meetings and
conversations with community leaders, Edesia was the perfect way to end my
#LangevinRhodeTrip,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “The important work Edesia is
doing represents both the entrepreneurial spirit and the kindness and generosity of
Rhode Islanders, and I am so grateful to Navyn and her team for hosting me for a
fantastic visit.” Contact: Dee Dee Edmondson, RDW Group c) 617-835-3272 e)
dedmondson@rdwgroup.com FOR A PDF OF THIS RELEASE CLICK HERE About Edesia: Edesia
is a nonprofit organization on a mission to help treat and prevent malnutrition in
the world’s most vulnerable populations. Edesia specializes in the manufacturing of
peanut-based, ready-to-use foods that change lives. To read more about their story
and the people they serve, click here. Each year millions of “miracle packets”
leave Edesia’s Rhode Island factory and are delivered into the hands of malnourished
children all over the world by humanitarians working in the hardest-to-reach and
most inhospitable places on the planet. Since it was founded in 2009, Edesia has
helped reach more than four million malnourished children in over 48 countries
across the world. Edesia proudly partners with USAID, UNICEF, the World Food
Programme, and many more humanitarian organizations working to end malnutrition.
Connect with Edesia – www.edesianutrition.org

Westerly Sun: Langevin ‘Rhode Trip’ stops in Hopkinton

Westerly Sun: Langevin ‘Rhode Trip’ stops in Hopkinton

By Cynthia Drummond – Sun staff writer

HOPKINTON — Festival Farm owner Jay Gray was putting up a scarecrow as he awaited the arrival of U.S. Rep. James Langevin Thursday. Gray and his wife, Judy, own the 2-acre farm, which includes a petting zoo of 50 assorted animals, fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs, and a small gift shop.

“I’m going to tell him how tough it is for the little guy,” Gray said. “I don’t know what help he can give me, but I’ll show him around.”

Langevin, who represents the state’s Second Congressional District, chose the farm on Route 3 in Hope Valley as one of the stops on what he calls his summer “Rhode Trip.”

“This is one of my 21-city-and-town tour,” he said. “I’m going to different communities in my district, and it’s an opportunity while I’m home during the district work period over the summer to stay in touch with my constituents and to get to parts of the community that I don’t often get to.”

Gray, a longtime employee of Electric Boat in Groton, bought his farm seven years ago and began transforming it into a family attraction. As Langevin toured the property, visiting goats, donkeys, assorted sheep and a jersey calf, Gray explained what had made him decide to turn the farm into an old-fashioned roadside attraction.

“All the small, family places in Rhode Island, where families would go to, they’ve all disappeared,” he said. “People think doing something with your kids now is going to Walmart. That sounds terrible, but that’s the way I feel.”

Gray told Langevin that he started by growing and selling pumpkins, but it wasn’t long before he started acquiring animals.

“I said ‘we’re going to try and grow some pumpkins to offset the taxes,’ and we started growing pumpkins, and I had no animals at that time, and I saw a couple of alpacas and said ‘it really wouldn’t hurt to buy an alpaca or two. We’ve got the room. I’ll build a pen.’ I started thinking, if those kids are going to come get a pumpkin, we’ve got to have something special for them to see.”

The tour ended in the gift shop. As a farm cat named Snickers watched from a perch high above the counter, Langevin and his staff enjoyed cold drinks and picked up jars of homemade jam.

“We wanted to come here, to a local farm, and they’re doing important work here,” Langevin said. “It’s important to support local growers. We have small farms popping up all over the state, and we should encourage them.”

The Grays said they had enjoyed the opportunity to meet Langevin and talk to him about their biggest concern: high taxes.

“He seemed truly interested, and that’s awfully nice,” Judy said.

“He’s down to earth,” Jay said. “Just a regular guy.”

Cranston Herald: Langevin ‘Rhode Trip’ stops at Taco in Cranston

Cranston Herald: Langevin ‘Rhode Trip’ stops at Taco in Cranston

By Kelcy Dolan

As part of a tour through the Second Congressional District, U.S. James Langevin recently made a stop in Cranston to visit Taco’s facility.

The “Rhode Trip” has Langevin making a stop in every community in the district to take part in meetings with constituents, attend public events, and tour businesses.

Langevin stopped in at Taco on Aug. 17 to discuss the company’s work. Joining him were owner and CEO John Hazen White Jr., executive vice president Robert Lee, and field application engineer Joseph Mattiello.

During their meeting, the group discussed Taco’s interest in both cybersecurity and improvements to career and technical education (CTE) throughout the country. Both are issues in which the congressman is deeply involved.

Lee said as Taco expands and its jobs become more sophisticated, training and education are going to be crucial. That can get expensive, however.

“Our challenge is finding people and programs that match where we want to be in three to five years as we keep raising the bar,” he said. “That’s why CTE is something important to us. Most people come here for a job and get a career.”

Hazen White said there is often a “stigma” surrounding the trades, but Taco tries to change the perception of manufacturing – that it is not done in the “dusty, old, and dangerous” factories of old, but rather on the cutting edge.

Taco is considering a program that brings in high school students and their families to see the drastic change manufacturing has made over the last decade to hopefully inspire students to see a future in the trades.

“College is not always the right option for everyone. The trades are a great path,” Hazen White said.

He explained that a company like Taco offers opportunities for higher education right through the company. This allows Taco to keep on more staff with less turnover.

“We offer education programs not only because it betters productivity, but it also betters lives,” he said. “My passion is people, and when you do the right thing you get the right results.”

Langevin has proposed legislation to encourage and strengthen CTE programs nationwide and support apprenticeships. He has also worked with German business leaders to study their models.

“As I mapped out my ‘Langevin Rhode Trip’ of visits to all 21 cities and towns that I represent, I had to make a stop in Cranston for an update on Taco’s exciting work,” he said. “Taco is a business success story all its own, but what continues to impress and inspire me is John Hazen White Jr.’s commitment to his employees. Taco offers exceptional education and training opportunities, and that investment is returned in the form of highly skilled, satisfied workers who take pride in their work. As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I believe Taco sets the example for workforce development and employee training, and I really appreciate John and his team taking the time to show me around and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing them in the industry and in Rhode Island’s business landscape.”

Westerly Sun: Whitehouse, Langevin tour job-skills center, health facilities in Westerly

Westerly Sun: Whitehouse, Langevin tour job-skills center, health facilities in Westerly

By Dale P. Faulkner – Sun staff writer

WESTERLY — Two members of the state’s congressional delegation toured three facilities that could soon work together to help boost the local economy by providing job training and new employment opportunities.

The two Democrats, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and 2nd District Rep. James Langevin, started on Railroad Avenue, where the Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center is under construction. They then moved to Westerly Hospital, where they learned about a proposed collaboration between the hospital and Wood River Health Services. A tour of the South County Health Medical and Wellness Center, near Dunn’s Corners, followed.

While Electric Boat will serve as the initial anchor tenant of the education and jobs skills center, the facility will offer training opportunities related to other endeavors. James Purcell, state commissioner of postsecondary education, said medical coding and related training is likely to be offered eventually, as well as more generalized computer classes. “We want to address the health care worker shortage,” he said.

In some cases, Purcell said, the center will serve as an intermediary step between high school and the workforce.

“I think it’s going to create a community of workers,” he said.

John P. Casey, executive vice president of Electric Boat’s Marine Systems group, said finding trained workers is critical to the company’s ability to meet the demands of a contract with the U.S. Navy that calls for the construction of 10 Virginia-class attack submarines by 2023. About 3,000 additional workers will eventually be needed at the company’s Quonset Point location.

Joining the tour were other Electric Boat officials, state Sen. Dennis Algiere, R-Westerly, and state Rep. Sam Azzinaro, D-Westerly.

Charles Royce, whose Royce Family Fund contributed $1.7 million toward the estimated $4.5 million cost of the project, said offering a range of training opportunities will sustain the center.

“There’s a little bit of ‘build it and they will come,’ but because we’ve created it to be multipurpose and we do use other institutions, I think we’ve created the right mix,” Royce said.

The state Office of the Post-Secondary Commissioner will lease the facility from the Royce fund.

The center is expected to partially open in mid-November. The Community College of Rhode Island is working with Electric Boat to develop a curriculum for students. The University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College are expected to use the facility as well.

Bruce Cummings, L+M Healthcare president and chief executive officer, said he had instructed his staff to work with Amy Grzybowski, the center’s executive director, to match the hospital’s need for employee training with services the center might be able to offer.

Electric Boat is expected to use 14,500 square feet of classroom space, but another 20,000 square feet will be available for other uses.

At Westerly Hospital, Langevin and Whitehouse received a briefing on an application filed with the federal Health Resources Services Administration for $900,000 to establish a satellite office of Wood River Health Facilities at Westerly Hospital. If approved, the Hope Valley-based health center would offer urgent care, primary care, and behavioral health services at the hospital. The services are planned for the hospital’s former Women’s Health Center, which closed in 2013 when L+M Healthcare purchased Westerly Hospital.

Patients are more likely to make use of behavioral-health services when they are integrated along with other medical services, said Michael Lichtenstein, Wood River Health Services president and chief executive officer.

Westerly Hospital and the health center have a longstanding collaborative relationship, Cummings said. Many of the center’s doctors are on the hospital’s medical staff. The proposal is similar to L+M’s Connecticut physicians’ group offices, which offer behavioral-health services, Cummings said. “Our physicians find this to be extremely valuable,” he said, adding that studies show about 40 percent of patients seeking medical care are also in need of behavioral health care.

Whitehouse said he periodically spends an evening in the emergency department at Rhode Island Hospital to get an on-the-ground understanding of health-care issues. He said he has often seen police accompany ambulances carrying patients who are need of medical and behavioral health care.

The two-story, 30,000-square-foot South County Health medical center offers a range of services under one roof, including urgent and walk-in care, primary care, women’s health services, ob/gyn, 3D mammography, X-ray services, ultrasound and cardiology. Most of the services are provided by doctors, nurses and other providers who work under the South County Health system umbrella, which includes South County Hospital in Wakefield. Bryan Liese, the system’s physician practice administrator, and Lou Giancola, South County Health president and chief executive officer, gave Whitehouse and Langevin a tour of the facility.

“We’re bringing these groups of providers together in an effort to coordinate care,” Liese said.

Dr. James McCormick said he has gained about eight new patients per week since the facility opened in May. Overall, Liese said, new patients have so far made up about 50 percent of the patient pool seen by the specialists who practice at the center. “There is definitely a demand in the community, so we are happy we are here,” Liese said.

Langevin said the center is an example of what legislators hoped would develop as a result of federal health-care reform efforts.

“Ultimately the hope is better care and lower costs in the long run,” Langevin said.

Seapower Magazine: Strategic Planning Underway for National Undersea Technology Hub

Originally Published by Seapower Magazine

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — The Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA) is developing the Undersea Technology Innovation Center, a Rhode Island-based hub for national undersea technology excellence, SENEDIA announced in an Aug. 16 release.

The Undersea Technology Innovation Center will promote advanced learning in the undersea sector and the rapid development, testing and commercialization of innovative undersea technology for commercial, academic and defense organizations.

“As the Brookings report noted, our maritime sector is one of the Rhode Island economy’s true strengths, a competitive advantage, and an industry growth area that we should continue to invest in,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said in the release, referring to the January report “Rhode Island Innovates: A Competitive Strategy for the Ocean State,” written by the Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro and Bruce Katz. “SENEDIA is one of our Real Jobs RI job-training partners, our industry partner for the P-TECH cybersecurity program, and a recipient of a Commerce Corporation Industry Cluster Grant. SENEDIA’s Undersea Technology Innovation Center is an exciting and very promising development for Rhode Island defense industry employers and the prospect of creating high-value, high-wage STEM jobs.

“I want to ensure Rhode Island remains at the forefront of undersea technology and this new center has the potential to bring top naval suppliers together with academic and government leaders to develop cutting-edge capabilities, concepts, and technologies for our forces,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The Undersea Technology Innovation Center can also give Rhode Island companies a platform to collaborate and showcase their work.”

“Between our geographic advantage and the tremendous public and private resources we already possess in the national security and defense realms, Rhode Island is perfectly positioned to emerge as a leader in undersea technology and innovation,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee who sits on the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee. “I applaud SENEDIA for their vision in making our state a center of excellence, and I look forward to working with the stakeholders involved in this initiative.”

“There could be no better place than the Ocean State to host a national hub for the development of cutting-edge undersea technology,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. “Thanks to SENEDIA and its Rhode Island partners for their commitment to excellence in this area. Your work will keep Rhode Island at the forefront of maritime innovation.”

“Rhode Island is home to a wealth of undersea capabilities,” said Molly Magee, executive director of SENEDIA.

In June 2016, SENEDIA was awarded a grant by the van Beuren Charitable Foundation to begin the strategic planning to formalize Rhode Island as a national leader in undersea technology. The development of the innovation center is one part of that effort. Initial steps will be to develop a virtual undersea technology innovation center. This will be followed by establishing the physical center.

State leaders representing the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Raytheon, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, General Dynamics Electric Boat, and Salve Regina Pell Center, in addition to SENEDIA leadership, have already come together to kick off the center’s planning, and have committed their support and advocacy in setting the direction of the organization. The steering committee will continue to evolve as it looks to welcome key members of the Rhode Island commercial and small business markets.

“SENEDIA looks forward to collaborating with all the companies, organizations, academic programs and others that have a role in undersea technology to make this center the leading hub of undersea technology innovation,” Magee said.

SENEDIA is Southeastern New England’s catalyst for thought leadership and innovation in undersea technology, cybersecurity and defense technologies. The organization is focused on providing its members and the region with the latest information about opportunities in the defense and homeland security sectors and facilitating the associated workforce development efforts. SENEDIA has over 90 members from the region with 15 new members and 76 renewal memberships since January 2016.

Providence Journal: CCRI gets grant for low-income, first-generation students

By G. Wayne Miller

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $781,718 grant to the Community College of Rhode Island to further the school’s efforts to support low-income and first-generation students who are pursuing postsecondary education and training.

The grant, for CCRI’s Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center, was announced Tuesday jointly by the four members of the state’s congressional delegation.
“I am pleased CCRI is receiving this important funding to help students broaden their horizons and help the state build a stronger workforce,” Sen. Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing federal education programs, said in a media release.

“Expanding access to affordable higher education is one of the best ways to create economic opportunity for young Rhode Islanders and strengthen our local economy,” said Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the House Community College Caucus.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, congratulated CCRI and its contribution to building Rhode Island’s workforce, as did Rep. Jim Langevin, who called the community college an “agent of social mobility for so many adults.”

The grant arrives via the Department of Education’s Educational Opportunity Centers grant program, which supports counseling and guidance on college admissions to individuals seeking postsecondary education. The EOC also helps improve participants’ economic and financial literacy, and assists in finding financial aid.

“In its 37-year history, the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center program at CCRI has helped thousands of Rhode Islanders improve their lives through postsecondary education,” said CCRI president Meghan Hughes.

“We are thrilled RIEOC has been funded for another five-year cycle so it can continue providing vital services to over 3,000 adults each year, most of whom are the first in their family to attend college.”

The Coventry Courier: Langevin visits Coventry, touts grants

By Kendra Leigh Miller

COVENTRY — As part of his summer road trip through Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, Congressman Jim Langevin made a stop at the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) Family Health Services of Coventry Wednesday morning to talk about the needs of the health care center within the community and talk about the $2,988,180 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for facility renovation and expansion and the $1 million for dental service expansion in Coventry.

“Community health centers provide comprehensive, coordinated and affordable care to our communities and to the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders, in particular,” said Langevin. “Building health center capacity and expanding services for these individuals and families that need it most, will increase access to preventive treatments and other critical health care services and will foster healthier communities.”

The CCAP provides comprehensive, quality, affordable health dental and behavioral health care for the entire family. Their board-certified doctors, nurse practitioners, dentists, hygienists, licensed clinical social workers and other healthcare professionals are knowledgeable, caring, understanding and dedicated to getting people healthy and keeping them healthy.
“We are extremely excited about receiving this grant and want o thank our entire federal delegation for their continued support,” said Joanne McGunagle, president and CEO of the CCAP. “This funding will allow CCAP to expand much-needed quality and affordable dental services at our Coventry health center.”

Part of Wednesday’s conversation with the CCAP staff focused on ways to get word out to the community that the health care service is there in Coventry and offers a full array of much-needed services. Some services are taken care of, in part, through health coverage while other needs are provided for on a sliding scale.

“The work you’re all doing here speaks for itself,” Langevin said, in response to the staff thanking him for his help at the federal level. Langevin felt it was important to make this one of his many stops as he makes his way across the state, so he can see first-hand the work that is being done throughout the state in so many areas, healthcare being just one of them.
According to a press release, his tour began Aug. 1 and will take him through a series of business tours, constituent meetings and public events. He’s calling it his summer “Rhode Trip.”

“Being accessible to the people I represent and to all Rhode Islanders has always been a top priority,” he said. “Whether it’s an in-person town hall meeting or at my first-ever Twitter town hall in May or just in the local coffee shop, I encourage my constituents to reach out and connect with me and my office to share concerns, ask questions and give feedback on the challenges and opportunities that are facing our communities.”

Langevin said Rhode Island is the smallest state, but its population is very diverse. The CCAP is now accepting new patients at their center, located at 191 MacArthur Blvd in Coventry.

WPRI 12: RI to receive federal funding to fight Zika

By Stephanie Johnston

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Congressmen have announced Tuesday that the state will receive $200,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight the Zika virus.

The money will go towards enhancing efforts to better detect microcephaly and other negative birth outcomes cause by the Zika virus infection.

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline have secured the funding for Rhode Island just weeks after the first cases of locally-transmitted Zika were identified in Florida, according to a joint announcement.

In the statement, Senator Jack Reed stressed, “the presence of the Zika virus in Florida is an alarming development, and as reports of Zika continue to increase in the continental United States, it’s critical that we are vigilant in our efforts to contain the virus and ensure the health and safety of our state and nation.” Reed is a member of the Appropriations Committee, who is working to ensure the $1.9 billion emergencysupplemental funding request President Obama set forth in February to combat the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, since February, the number of countries reporting cases of Zika has grown from 26 to 55. In Rhode Island, there are 21 cases of Zika, and more than 1,600 confirmed cases across the country, stated the news release. These cases have all been linked to international travel.

‎“This federal funding will help our state promptly identify expectant mothers and infants who may be infected with Zika, so they get the health care they need as quickly as possible,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

The funding is set to be administered through the Rhode Island Birth Defects Program at the Rhode Island Department of Health, according to a news release.

“I am glad that the CDC has made these funds available so that Rhode Island can continue its surveillance, prevention and response efforts to combat the spread ofZika,” said Congressman Jim Langevin in a statement Tuesday. Langevin, along with all other Rhode Island Senators and Representatives, believes more needs to be done by Congress to address the disease.

Congressman David Cicilline stated, “Although this is an important first step, it’s critical that we do more. I will continue fighting in Congress for robust funding that vigorously addresses this public health crisis.”