Providence, RI (October 7, 2016). At its September meeting, The Providence Foundation’s trustees voted unanimously to support Question 4, Leveraging Higher Education to Create 21st Century Jobs, on the November 8th ballot.
Question 4 is asking for $45.5 million, including $25 million to rebuild University of Rhode Island College of Engineering’s Bliss Hall, which will allow for an increase in enrollment. Engineers have the highest starting salaries in STEM fields, and URI has already grown its engineering enrollment by 50% since 2003. Continued growth will have a positive impact on the state’s economy. Phase 2 of the bond issue will dedicate $20 million to URI innovation campuses, which must be matched by the private sector. Innovation centers will become magnets for students and faculty to co-locate with companies, and ultimately, create new spinoff businesses. The trustees see particular potential for the location of the innovative campuses in downtown Providence.
The Providence Foundation is a not-for-profit, private sector organization supported by more than 140 leading corporations and institutions. The Foundation’s core purpose is to create an environment that is conducive to growth and sustained investment making Providence, particularly downtown, the premier mid-sized city in the country.