December 22, 2022

Whitehouse Delivers $87.2 Million Direct Investment in RI Via Omnibus Funding Bill

Whitehouse-supported Congressionally Directed Spending requests to create jobs, improve quality of life in RI were successfully included in Omnibus

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that more than $87.2 million will soon be on its way to Rhode Island to support a total of 78 projects that will help grow the local economy and improve the quality of life for Ocean State families.  Whitehouse successfully included the Congressionally Directed Spending requests in the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which funds the federal government through September.  The Senate approved the Omnibus today, and it is expected to become law.

“I’m thrilled to bring more than $87 million home to create jobs and make Rhode Island a better place to live and work,” said Whitehouse.  “From replacing lead water pipes to expanding mental health services for children to supporting entrepreneurs, these investments will make a difference in every corner of the state.”

Whitehouse-backed requests include:

$200,000 for RI AFL-CIO to develop climate jobs workforce training initiative

The AFL-CIO’s Just Transition Project will deploy these funds to develop and implement a workforce strategy and programs.  The programs will focus on career services for union members in occupations vulnerable to the transition to a net-zero emission economy and those underrepresented in the workforce, including women, people of color, indigenous people, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, and people living with disabilities.  The Just Transition Project will also implement training programs for workers looking to enter into the net-zero emission economy by developing new programs and leveraging partnerships with the state of Rhode Island and within trade union training and apprenticeship programs.

“We are very excited about this incredible opportunity and thank Senator Whitehouse for his efforts to secure this funding,” said Pat Crowley, Secretary-Treasurer of the RI AFL-CIO.  “Rhode Island is a national leader when it comes to the renewable energy economy.  As we continue to shift to an economy less reliant on fossil fuel, we will need a trained and ready workforce to help the state ensure a just transition to a carbon free economy.  This funding will help that process.”

$300,000 for Community Music Works to support music education

The funding will support free music education and mentoring for 60 students from low-income neighborhoods.  Funding will cover the cost of educational materials and instruments for students, as well as programming administration.

“We are so grateful for this funding, which will support the expansion and deepening of free chamber music education programs in urban communities in Providence and Newport led by Community MusicWorks and our partner organization, Newport String Project,” said Sebastian Ruth, Founder and Artistic Director of Community MusicWorks.

$750,000 for the Rhode Island Quality Institute to upgrade public health infrastructure

The Rhode Island Quality Institute operates CurrentCare, Rhode Island’s health information exchange.  This investment will allow the Rhode Island Quality Institute to purchase hardware that will increase patient data capacity and support the conversion and incorporation of electronic health data, while ensuring patients can opt out if they choose.

“The best health care is built on reliable access to trusted health data.  This funding will enable the upgrade of essential health data infrastructure to ensure the highest quality of care for all Rhode Islanders,” said Neil Sarkar, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Quality Institute.

$300,000 to Polaris MEP to launch a work-based manufacturing training program

The funding will support Polaris MEP’s implementation of a customized work-based manufacturing training program to train job candidates to operate highly specialized equipment, setting them up for successful careers with local manufacturers and limiting disruption to companies.

“Thanks to Senator Whitehouse and the Rhode Island federal delegation for again supporting growth of the critical manufacturing industry in Rhode Island,” said Christian Cowan, URI Research Foundation and Polaris MEP Executive Director.  “These funds will be a direct investment into workforce training based on industry needs to grow good high paying jobs in machine operator and automation.  Polaris MEP is thrilled to partner with the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network and the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association to ensure these funds have the largest impact on growing manufacturing in Rhode Island.”

$152,000 for Village Common of RI to provide community-based services for aging adults

The Village Common of Rhode Island is a non-profit, volunteer-driven membership organization that provides resources to support seniors who wish to grow older in their own homes.  The funding with support the expansion of The Village Common’s services across the state.

“This community grant will help The Village Common of RI continue to grow and benefit more older adults in communities across the state, providing them with supports that help them remain healthy, living at home, and socially engaged.  We thank Senator Whitehouse for believing in our mission and work,” said Caroline Gangji, Executive Director of The Village Common of Rhode Island.  “As our older population grows, providing funding for volunteer-driven programs such as TVC assists individual seniors and supports families as well.”

A full list of Whitehouse-backed CDS requests that were funded is available here.

Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921