This week we had three great announcements that will have a profound impact on the future of our city. On Monday, Senator Reed announced a $7.5 million workforce development grant that will be used to train Rhode Islanders for jobs in the IT industry. I also had the great pleasure of joining with state officials as well as the presidents of Brown University, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island to break ground at the former South Street Power Station. The South Street Landing Project will be the site of a new joint nursing program between the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, with Brown University also occupying space in the building.
This project brings together three universities, the state, the city of Providence, a private developer, and National Grid to transform an old power station into an important asset for Providence and our growing meds and eds economy. Together with Brown University's medical school, Johnson & Wales University's physician assistant school, and our surrounding hospitals this new joint nursing school will be transformational, helping to further solidify our city as a center for health, education and research.
Today I was also able to join Roger Williams University President Donald Farish to announce that Roger Williams University will be leasing space at One Empire Plaza – more than doubling its footprint in Providence. When renovations are complete in May 2016, the building will provide expanded space for RWU's School of Law, School of Continuing Studies and a growing array of outreach and engagement programs, including the Latino Policy Institute, HousingWorks RI and the Community Partnerships Center.
This is wonderful news that will bring almost twice the number of RWU students, faculty and staff into our city. It will breathe new life into One Empire Plaza, benefit our local businesses and provide students with an opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge with RWU’s emphasis on community-focused, project-based learning.
Beyond the immediate jobs to be created as a result of construction, these projects will bring more people, more commerce and more life into our city and come on the heels of our recognition as America’s Favorite City. We are a much stronger, more vital city than we were four years ago and these academic institutions recognize that. I welcome them and the bright future that our city has ahead of it.