Raimondo Rising

We had lunch with Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo at the New England Council today. She's very good.

Raimondo outlined her "vision" for Rhode Island," a place she describes as "a small state that plays big." She lamented that Rhode Island's median income is far too low and indicated that the state covets much higher-quality jobs. Gone are the glory days when, for example. Rhode Island was a national capital for the jewelry business. Gone are some 80,000 manufacturing jobs over the past several decades, too.

Still, despite having among the oldest state populations, Rhode Island has the greatest number of college graduates per capita among all the states. Such is the power of Brown, RISD, Johnson & Wales, URI and Providence College as well as the nature of being such a small state. Rhode Island's challenge is that they can't keep their graduates who see brighter futures in New York, Boston and elsewhere, the Governor said.

Raimondo seems to be tackling these issues head on, describing herself as "relentlessly outcomes oriented." She conveys a direct, no-nonsense approach that values understanding the specific needs businesses have for talent and a willingness to move fast to meet those requirements.

With her considerable background in business and the law, and her early progress on the job, here's a rising star on the political scene. She's smart, gracious and effective, which are qualities in short supply among politicians these days. 

Image courtesy of www.ginaraimondo.com