Keeping talent helps to grow jobs in R.I.

The surest way to combat the “brain drain” that is costing the state so many of the talented graduates from local colleges and universities is to create jobs for them when they are done with school. More

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PBN Editorial

Keeping talent helps to grow jobs in R.I.

Posted 11/28/11

The surest way to combat the “brain drain” that is costing the state so many of the talented graduates from local colleges and universities is to create jobs for them when they are done with school.

Better yet, how about helping them create their own jobs here? In large measure, that is exactly what a new program involving Providence and three private organizations dedicated to starting and growing businesses in the region are hoping to do.

The Providence Innovation Investment Program is funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In short, the city will loan a startup that promises to locate within Providence for a year $50,000 at favorable terms, with an option for the city to convert the debt to equity down the road.

Tethered to the program are Betaspring, the private startup-accelerator program, the state’s Slater Technology Fund and Cherrystone Angel Group. The three groups occupy slightly different spaces in the business-investment ecosystem, with Betaspring being the touchstone to more businesses through its 12-week mentorship program. In fact, the 11 companies that went through the program this summer are eligible for the loans, and a number of them are negotiating right now for the loans.

Along with the $2 million that Betaspring and $9 million that Slater received earlier this fall through the U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, Rhode Island finds itself better positioned to grow businesses – and create jobs – than ever before. Perhaps it’s time to come up with a new nickname for the state. How does Startup Central sound? •

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stevenmedeiros@mac.com

This article is great. These are the types of things we need to be doing to get our state back on track. We need to work our assets to our benefit. We educate so many yet retain so few. That said, we should note that we also need to add an initiative to get many locals to leave Rhode Island...as so many threaten to do yet fail to accomplish. A lot of what is wrong with this state is the mentality of the under-educated local populous. They are an embarrassment to us and serve no useful purpose in society. I say we should shift the drain from sucking out the best and brightest to refocus it to remove much of our local scum. They are very easy to point out. They are full of negative opinions and no facts, do not work hard, apply for jobs for which they have no qualifications and have a very oversized sense of self worth. I'm sure you can name two or three of them in your own circumstances right off the top of your head. They must go.

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