Economic Development Director Jim Bennett Returns to Private Sector

Economic Development Director Jim Bennett Returns to Private Sector

Providence, RI –
James S. Bennett, Director of Economic Development for the City of Providence, Wednesday announced his plan to return to the private sector.

Bennett has agreed to continue serving in the position early next year, until a new Economic Development Director has been named by Mayor-elect Jorge O. Elorza.

Bennett was selected to lead the City's economic development efforts in the summer of 2011. During his tenure, Providence has frozen its commercial tax rate three years in a row, completed the first comprehensive rewrite of its zoning code since the 1950s, brought permitting online, and invested in a plan to remake Kennedy Plaza as a cultural destination for residents, commuters and visitors. Construction and investments worth about a half billion dollars have been completed, and the City has worked to restore life to the Arcade, the Providence G, the Arnold Building, the Dean Hotel and most recently the South Street Power Station. Providence's unemployment rate is the lowest since 2009.

In his prior career, Bennett created three startup companies, ran large corporations and organizations, founded publicly traded companies and worked in the highest levels of state government.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Office of Economic Development as the Taveras administration has worked successfully to create jobs and grow Providence's economy in the wake of the Great Recession,” Bennett said. “I am very proud of all we have accomplished to position our capital city for the future, and feel the time is right to return to the private sector, where I have spent the majority of my career.”

“Jim Bennett has been a passionate and optimistic champion of Providence during a time of great challenge for our city,” Mayor-elect Elorza said. “I thank Jim for his tireless efforts on behalf of our city and state, and have no doubt that he will continue to positively impact our community in his future endeavors.”

(release from City of Providence)