While Rhode Island and its residents continue to face economic, business, and social challenges, there is hope in the vibrant partnerships emerging between Rhode Island's colleges and universities, private companies, the state, and its communities. That was the message that Dr. David M. Dooley, President of the University of Rhode Island, brought to a breakfast roundtable for state legislators recently hosted by KVH.
"Don't give up on manufacturing in Rhode Island," Dr. Dooley urged. "Innovation is a key factor that can be found in businesses throughout the state," citing KVH and its rapid ascent in the global SATCOM industry as a perfect example.
"Companies are looking for talented graduates from Rhode Island institutions. These students are highly skilled and committed to the region. At the same time, higher education in Rhode Island needs to prepare students for the global economy to provide those skills to Rhode Island businesses and to succeed in a global, competitive world."
Anyone spending any time at KVH will see exactly what Dr. Dooley described in living color throughout our headquarters. Our longstanding university internship program has given engineering, marketing, and communications undergrad and grad students real-world experience as they dive right in and play valuable roles in the development and testing of new products and getting KVH's message out to customers and the press. The mutual investment in time and effort pays off handsomely as many of those interns return to KVH eventually as full time members of the KVH team.
Wrapping up his comments, Dr. Dooley laid down a challenge for URI itself and by extension, the legislators and business members in the room.
"We need to figure out how URI can be a partner with the state government, community organizations, and the private sector to make Rhode Island a place that people and businesses want to come to to ensure a bright future for our state. Working together, we can achieve that goal."
URI President David M. Dooley addressing state legislators, business leaders, and KVH executives
(l to r) KVH co-founder Rob Kits van Heyningen, Newport Bancorp Director Don Kaull, Dr. Dooley, KVH CFO Pat Spratt look on as senior network technician Jeff St. Pierre demonstrates some of the capabilities of KVH's network operations center
KVH CFO Patrick Spratt discusses the company's global operations while giving URI VP Bob Beagle a tour of the manufacturing floor
KVH Director of Marketing Chris Watson answers a question posed by Rhode Island Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed during the tour of KVH's headquarters
(all photos courtesy of URI and Nora Lewis)