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.”

Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee Endorses Langevin for Congress

The Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee endorsed Jim Langevin Thursday night in his reelection bid to represent the Second District in the United States Congress.
“It was wonderful to have Jim at our meeting so we could offer our full support of his campaign for reelection. Jim shares our priorities, as well as our hopes for a stronger Rhode Island, a more equal nation, and a more peaceful world,” said Chairwoman Gloria Rhodes. “We’re proud to have him by our side as we all work together for the good of our state.”
Langevin started his career in public service in 1986 when he was elected to the state’s Constitutional Convention. He later served as a State Representative and was then elected Secretary of State in 1994. Langevin was elected to the United States Congress in 2000, and currently serves as a senior member of both the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees.
“I am honored and humbled to add the endorsement of the Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee to the list of organizations supporting my campaign for reelection,” said Langevin. “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.”
In the 2016 election, Langevin has already received endorsements from the Rhode Island Democratic Party State Committee; the Rhode Island Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs; Democratic Town Committees in Burrillville, East Greenwich, Exeter, Johnston, North Kingstown, Providence, and Warwick; and from the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council.

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.