In US history, "Kitchen Cabinet" was a popular name for the group of intimate, unofficial advisers of President Jackson. Early in his administration, Jackson abandoned official cabinet meetings and used heads of departments solely to execute their departmental duties, while the policies of his administration were formed in meetings of the Kitchen Cabinet.
RADE’s Kitchen Cabinet, comprised of key partners from each of the four initial states, is aiding in the identification of stakeholders in their state, helping to coordinate cluster activities, and informing decisions about infrastructure and administration of the cluster. As we pursue partnerships with New Hampshire and Vermont, we will add two new members from those states as well.
Carmen Molina-Rios is a Business Development Project Manager for the State of Connecticut, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). She has over 25 years’ experience in economic and community development at the city, municipality and state level. Carmen was the state’s lead policy analyst in its implementation of industry cluster based strategic economic development. She currently leads the department’s federal grant development function, coordination and execution supporting the DECD’s mission and vision. Carmen is the DECD RADE project manager for the OEA grant, with responsibility for overall project and budget oversight. She is also the fund administrator for the $25 million Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
Lisa Martin s Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of Maine (MAMe) and has over 20 years in economic, workforce and business development. She directs the association with emphasis on economic development, membership growth and liaisons with associations, government, business leaders, legislature and state and national agencies on behalf of the manufacturing sector. Lisa chairs the Precision Manufacturing Technology Board at the Maine Technology Institute; she is also a member of the UM Advanced Manufacturing Center Board of Advisors, the University of Southern Maine’s Board of Visitors, the Robotics Institute of Maine Board, the Maine Heritage Policy Center Board of Advisors, and an alumni of the Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine Mu Class.
Matthew McSwain is the Project Manager of Defense Sector Initiatives for the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment). Matt is a 22 year Air Force veteran whose assignments included helicopter pilot, procurement, and contract management. His primary focus at MassDevelopment is on defense sector issues, including outreach to defense companies, redevelopment of federal surplus properties, and work with Massachusetts military installations. Matt is Project Manager for the MassDevelopment OEA grant for the Defense Industry Transformation effort now underway, as well as the Department of Energy Resources Clean Energy Assessment Team exploring ways to reduce energy intensity and increase renewables at all Massachusetts military installations.
The defense sector in Massachusetts is a $13.9 billion industry employing over 130,000 people. There are over 2,500 businesses tied to Defense and Homeland Security through 17,042 contracts. The overall economic impact of the sector exceeds $25.8 billion. The MassDevelopment OEA project seeks to develop a proactive response that will significantly mitigate the potential catastrophic impact of federal defense budget cuts and sequestration on an industry which has become increasingly dependent on defense contracts. The project will map a strategy to capitalize on the Commonwealth’s competitive advantage within its defense industry, conducting a comprehensive economic diversification study and developing an implementation strategy to create an economic base that becomes increasingly less dependent on defense contracting. MassDevelopment proposes to utilize OEA grant funds to:
The study will be conducted in two distinct yet interdependent phases. Phase I, Setting the Stage for Action, will address the assessment and economic diversification approach while Phase II, Taking Action, will address the implementation strategy and sustainability.
John Riendeau is the Director of Business Development with the RI Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI). He is responsible for administering, planning, coordinating, and supervising activities pertaining to the corporation’s Large Business Development and business attraction efforts; federal grant writing and management; export development; research efforts; and performs other related work as required. John was the Corporation’s lead in the BRAC 2005, 1995, 1993, and 1991 processes, coordinating the State’s response with businesses and the RI Congressional Delegation. He has secured and managed 3 DOD ONR grant projects totaling $5M in collaboration with RI Businesses and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center; 3 DHS Port Security projects totaling $2.8M; and currently managing a MARAD Port project totaling $21M.
The defense sector in Rhode Island represents $3.7B in direct and indirect economic activity and supports approximately 32,993 jobs. As DoD projects decreased budgets over the foreseeable future, we recognize that we must not expect business as usual but should aggressively prepare our manufacturers and our communities for adjustment and economic diversification. Commerce RI is pursuing an approach to support that preparation under their OEA grant called STEMengine. In the fall of 2013 RI received an Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership planning grant. These funds have enabled the state to develop a plan for the creation of a center for industrial design and manufacturing. “STEAMengine” is a reference to our manufacturing legacy and our state’s future in STEAM education and companies.
The STEAMengine Defense Industry Economic Diversification initiative intends to conduct the following tasks in support of the development of an economic diversification strategy:
These tasks will allow Commerce RI to develop a thorough strategy to support our defense manufacturing industry and communities during this time of transition.