Vice President Harris, Secretary Raimondo visit Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Vice President Kamala Harris and Commerce Secretary and former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo visited the Ocean State on Wednesday in a whirlwind five-hour trip to promote the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan.
Harris arrived in Rhode Island just after 11 a.m. at T.F. Green International Airport. The pair then headed to Providence for two events, but not before stopping at a book store in Wayland Square.
The vice president picked up three books.
“I’ve been wanting to read all three of these, and I’m gonna find the time to do that,” she said to press on her way out.
The pair’s first official stop was to Social Enterprise Greenhouse where they spoke to entrepreneurs alongside the state’s congressional delegation.
“The vast majority of Americans work for small businesses, and so we have to help stand up the ones that have gone out of business, and sustain the ones that exist,” Raimondo said at the event.
“When I think of our small business leaders, I think not only of business leaders but civic leaders, community leaders. It is you who are involved and engaged in the community, a reflection of the best of the community,” said Harris.
“I wanted her to see Rhode Island and see our entrepreneurs and our small businesses and how great Rhode Island is and our small businesses,” Raimondo said, “but also people are still struggling.”
Harris and Raimondo got to speak with those struggling Rhode Islanders during their stops. The second, at CIC Providence for a roundtable discussion with women-led small business owners.
“It’s amazing to hear their stories of struggle, and it just reminds me that we have a lot of work to do to be there for businesses and people as they’re recovering from COVID,” said Raimondo.
The pair drew crowds everywhere they went Wednesday and arrived to cheers at each stop.
“She’s been really influential for our family and for our lives this past year so we wanted to just be able to show her support,” Lauren D’Ambra of Providence said about Vice President Harris.
D’Ambra brought her two young sons to the first event to hopefully catch a glimpse of Harris. She said she’s grateful they made a stop in Little Rhody.
“I think that we are kind of a fantastic blueprint for what America is, right? We have these small businesses, we’re so family-oriented. To have that type of support here is really important.”
After the events, Harris departed for Joint Base Andrews from T.F. Green Airport.
This visit comes a day after Raimondo visited Groton, CT. where she spoke about investing in America and putting Americans in high-paying jobs in clean energy, renewable, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.
“The reality is that today in order to get a decent job, you need some degree or credential or skill or trade past high school. That’s a fact of our economy. And you saw the folks that got hurt the most during the pandemic or those that ran the, the lower wage, lower skill jobs. So in order to do that, we’re going to have to really invest in job training and apprenticeship,” Commerce Secretary Raimondo said. “Exactly as you have been doing here, investing in our workforce is critical to give Americans a shot and to improve our American competitiveness, which is what I’m focused on as commerce secretary. Now, fortunately, we have a president who knows that and a president who’s going to be there investing in American workers.”