In an event in Middletown on Monday, Senator Reed helped launch the Rhode Island Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). Earlier this year, Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, helped secure $250,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Veterans Business Development to expand the VBOC program in Rhode Island. Housed by the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), Rhode Island’s VBOC will support veterans and transitioning service members by providing free one-on-one business counseling, training conferences, and business workshops. Each year, the SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, and National Guard and Reserve service members, and military spouses start and grow their small businesses.? This year the SBA selected Rhode Island and five other states for new VBOCs, bringing the nationwide total of these programs to 19 sites.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that Serve Rhode Island and five local service-oriented organizations will receive $2,195,439 in federal AmeriCorps funding.
Rhode Island organizations that won competitive AmeriCorps grants this year include City Year Providence, The Learning Community, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, Brown University, and the Providence Children’s Museum.
Last year, when Congressional Republicans threatened to cut federal funding for CNCS by more than 30 percent, Reed successfully rejected the cuts and passed a significant increase for AmeriCorps and other CNCS programs.
These new federal grants will support AmeriCorps members across Rhode Island as they provide services to youth and families in need and help disadvantaged students. Additionally, AmeriCorps members who complete their 1,700 hours of service may earn a $5,750 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award that can be used for continuing education and vocational needs or to pay back student loans.
Senator Reed spoke at the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of a new community center for Amos House, a nonprofit organization that provides hospitality and other services to Rhode Island’s homeless and works in tandem with other agencies to address hunger, addiction, and poverty in the state.
Construction on the four story, 29,000 square-foot building began in December of 2014. The new building will feature a soup kitchen with a large dining hall, classrooms, community rooms, training centers and office space for staff. As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Senator Reed successfully secured nearly $6 million in Continuum of Care (CoC) for Rhode Island homeless assistance programs this year, including nearly $90,000 for Amos House.
Senator Reed joined the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Curt Spalding at Festival Pier in Pawtucket to announce over $1 million in EPA brownfields grants that will help assess and clean up contaminated sites in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is receiving a revolving loan fund grant from the EPA to help clean up sites with contaminated substances, while the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is recieving two assessment grants to address contamination from both hazardous substances and petroleum. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees federal funding for all EPA programs, Senator Reed has worked for years to help deliver necessary funds to clean up Rhode Island’s brownfields. In 2002, he helped pave the way for this project and others like it by working to pass the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, enabling states and communities around the country to clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.
Senator Reed greeted attendees and marched in the 39th annual Rhode Island Day of Portugal Parade and Festival to celebrate the heritage, culture, and accomplishments of Portugal and Portuguese-Americans. Reed serves as co-chair of the Friends of Portugal Caucus in the U.S. Senate. The annual parade will begin at the State House and continue to the Alex & Ani Center in downtown Providence. This year’s parade featured João Luis Morgado Pachedo as Grand Marshal.
Senator Reed and the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation joined Governor Raimondo, Mayor Elorza, and other state leaders in the 51st Annual Gaspee Days Parade. Each year, the parade celebrates the 1772 burning of the hated British revenue schooner HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay by Rhode Island colonists, known as the “First Blow to Freedom” in the lead up to the American Revolutionary War. The parade began on Narragansett Parkway in Warwick and continued through Pawtuxet Village to Broad Street in Cranston.
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