There’s no sense in pretending that everything will magically get better overnight. But some recent economic reports bode well for the U.S., Rhode Island, and Providence. By bringing Rhode Island’s leading academics and entrepreneurs together under one umbrella, OSCAR is looking forward to being a part of the solution.
At the start of this month, the Federal Reserve released its “Beige Book survey,” forecasting a steadily improving economic recovery in New England. And nationwide, February marked the 12th consecutive month of growth in the private sector, with companies adding 222,000 jobs–expansion that the Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein labeled “the best jobs report in three years.”
Closer to home, exports are quickly rising and according to Providence Business News, “consumers and business leaders are growing confident that the economic rebound will continue in 2011.” Although it’s still too early to make any predictions, Rhode Island’s new governor Lincoln Chafee is holding a tough but optimistic line. In his budget address earlier this evening, Chafee said, “All of our challenges are made easier by a growing economy. If we demonstrate fiscal discipline, our economy will prosper…The many challenges facing our state are intimidating, but not insurmountable.”
That’s all well and good. But there’s still a long, tough road ahead.
As the Providence Journal recently pointed out, the city has not faced such a tough fiscal climate since the dire days of the early 80s, when budget deficits made bankruptcy a very real threat for Mayor Cianci during his first stint at City Hall. Our new mayor Angel Taveras has shown a real commitment to addressing the city’s economic woes, but there are no simple or easy fixes to be made. Progress is still slow and tentative, and more than ever, Providence needs a plan for sustainable growth that will cement it as a modern urban center of innovation and creativity.
That’s where OSCAR comes in. We’re coordinating the state’s diverse resources like no one ever has before, and directing their efforts towards the grand challenges that truly make a difference. Through projects like Green the Knowledge District, the potential for improvement is vast; our mantra is “catch the wave of innovation,” and we hope you’ll join us as we ride it into a smarter, brighter future.