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State of Rhode Island Long-Term Economic Development Strategic Plan

May 22, 2024

Rhode Island lighthouseThe Challenge

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation sought to develop an economic development strategic plan that achieved multiple goals:

  1. Fulfill requirements for a statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to ensure the state met US Economic Development Administration (EDA) criteria for future funding
  2. Align with Governor McKee’s RI2030 and obtain State General Assembly approval
  3. Serve as the economic development element of the State Guide Plan, with assistance from the Division of Statewide Planning

Because the planning process spanned the entire state, it was important for data collection, engagement, and strategies to be geographically representative and comprehensive in terms of topics addressed.

The Solution

Camoin Associates collaborated closely with Rhode Island Commerce Corporation on a nine-month process that engaged over 150 stakeholders and culminated in the final strategy, Ocean State Accelerates.

Under the guidance of a 27-person Economic Development Steering Committee and Planning Council, Ocean State Accelerates honored the multidisciplinary nature of economic development by organizing strategies into three priority areas: strong communities, increased prosperity, and sustainable growth. Within each of those areas, Camoin Associates identified a priority objective that would be core to advancing Rhode Island’s economic development.

Camoin Associates also highlighted three “stretch objectives” — innovative and aspirational initiatives that have large economic development potential for Rhode Island but will be more difficult to fully achieve.

The Impact

The EDA approved Ocean State Accelerates as a statewide CEDS document to guide Rhode Island for the next five years. While the 12 priority objectives and three stretch objectives exist to help Rhode Island Commerce Corporation move the needle on economic development, the full report contains 42 actionable objectives that build on the work of RI2030. Ocean State Accelerates culminates in an Action Plan Matrix that details metrics, potential partners and funding sources, and a recommended implementation timeline for each objective.

Camoin Associates also developed a PowerBI dashboard to help Rhode Island Commerce Corporation track its implementation progress and impact.


Services Provided:

  • Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan (CEDS)
  • Economic base analysis
  • Workforce analysis
  • National indicators analysis
  • Sustainable growth and economic resilience analysis
  • Small business analysis
  • Community development analysis
  • Steering committee engagement
  • Stakeholder interviews and focus groups
  • In-person and digital public meeting facilitation
  • Action Plan Matrix
  • PowerBI dashboard for performance tracking