Design, Food, & Custom Manufacturing | Key Industries in RI


Rhode Island faces exciting growth opportunities in some of its most unique sectors: The state is an epicenter for design trends and new developments in manufacturing.

Design:  Design is in Rhode Island’s DNA: Institutions like Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Rhode Island College have helped shape the state’s reputation as a leading producer of top industrial and graphic design professionals. Companies seeking to staff in these areas can draw on the sizeable and constantly growing talent pool in the Providence area.

Manufacturing:  Rhode Island was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution; today it is an emerging leader in manufacturing innovation, with companies like General Electric coming to the state to join venerable Rhode Island manufacturers like Electric Boat, Raytheon, and Textron. The Brookings Institute ranks Rhode Island first in New England for advanced industries job growth, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Rhode Island is the second-best state in America for innovation and entrepreneurship. The state offers exciting new opportunities for funding, partnership, and support in advanced manufacturing.

The burgeoning maker movement is reshaping product development by lowering the barriers to designing and manufacturing goods. Particularly strong opportunities for Rhode Island involve the development of small batch, local, and traceable products.

Key Facts

Manufacturers in Rhode Island account for 7.59% of the total output in the state, employing 8.46% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $5.28 billion in 2021. In addition, there were an average of 41,000 manufacturing employees in Rhode Island in December 2021, with an average annual compensation of $80,640.18 in 2021.

Source: National Association of Manufacturers

The industry concentration for Jewelry and Silverware Manufacturing in Rhode Island is nearly 26 times greater than the national average.

Rhode Island’s Ship Building and Repairing industry concentration is over 10 times greater than the national average and employment in the industry has grown 3.7% annually for the last five years.

Research and Development in Biotechnology (except Nanobiotechnology) has grown 31.4% annually over the last five years.

Source: JobsEQ

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