- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Defense is awarding Rhode Island a one-year, $1.57 million grant to help boost the state’s economy and help it diversify.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation and Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced the funding from the department’s Office of Economic Adjustment Monday. They say it will help the state better prepare manufacturers and municipalities for the challenges and opportunities ahead as defense spending is cut.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation will analyze risks and opportunities for defense companies and pilot a market diversification program for defense-related manufacturers.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says the state is taking a coordinated, analytical approach to strengthening the economy.

A recent report says the defense sector employs nearly 16,000 workers and accounts for $3.7 billion to the state’s economic output.

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