NEW: Middletown’s Crewtoo Networking Website Tops 100,000 Members
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The site's rapid rise has exceeded the expectations of even those who began the company. "Our original aim when we started Crewtoo was to have 6,000 members by the end of 2012, and we ended up with more than 22,000. Now, just one year later, we have 100,000 members, and more seafarers are joining every day," said Mark Woodhead, who is managing director of KVH Media Group, which is part the Middletown-based global corporation KVH Industries. "The shipping industry has never seen anything on this scale before. It's particularly satisfying to us that the members range from captains to able seamen, with nationalities that span the globe."
A Rapid Rise With More to Come
The online network gives those involved in the marine economy worldwide to post comments and photographs from their vessels, converse with colleagues on other ships, look for or advertise jobs, take part in seafarer-related polls, and keep up with maritime news. KVH calls the Crewtoo site "the voice of the seafarer." To date, Crewtoo has received more than half a million unique visitors. Crewtoo also has an active presence on Facebook, with 85,000 followers and counting.
In the coming months, KVH expects Crewtoo to progress to expand and change. "First Crewtoo grew its audience, and now we plan to expand services based on what seafarers say they want," says Woodhead. Crewtoo will continue to work closely with the other services that KVH offers on seafaring vessels, which include commercially licensed movies, TV, sporting events, broadband, and more.
Related Slideshow: 7 Strategies for Rhode Island Economic Development in 2014
What will it take to move the Rhode Island economy forward in 2014? GoLocal talked with elected officials, candidates, and leaders for their economic development plans in the coming year.
Below are key elements of the economic priorities for Governor Lincoln Chafee, Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, House Minority Leader Brian Newberry, gubernatorial hopefuls General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Ken Block, and RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity's Mike Stenhouse.
Governor Lincoln Chafee
Speaker Gordon Fox
"Among the many pieces of legislation the House will address will be issues of higher education affordability, expanding apprenticeship opportunities, and offering help to our manufacturers. We will also look closely at our tax structure to make sure we are competitive with our neighboring states, including the corporate tax and the estate tax, and I will carefully review the recommendations of the commission studying our sales tax.”
Senate Pres. Paiva-Weed
Greg Pare, spokesperson for the Senate President, said that the Senate is planning to issue recommendations soon on workforce development initiatives to address the skills gap among Rhode Island job seekers.
"An example of a proposal anticipated in that report is the elimination of state’s Indirect Cost Recovery on the Job Development Fund, which is about $1.2 million this year. Those funds would be directed towards job training and skills development programs to provide immediate impact and help workers gain the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy."
Gen. Treasurer Raimondo
"To grow our economy, we need to make Rhode Island a leader in manufacturing again. Great things can happen at the intersection of government, higher education, and the private sector. Rhode Island is lucky to have thriving institutions in each of these three sectors, and we need to foster collaboration among them to find solutions to our challenges, and spark our economy.
By promoting partnerships in high-growth areas, [Rhode Island Innovation Institute] will help grow our manufacturing base, and create new, high-quality jobs."
"First, we need to fix Rhode Island’s broken Unemployment Insurance program. The state’s Unemployment Insurance tax, paid by employers, is ranked worst in the country by the Tax Foundation. It is one of the factors that makes Rhode Island an uncompetitive place to do business. Also, it is inherently unfair that a large group of businesses are effectively subsidizing the payrolls of a small group of businesses who misuse the system. There is a simple change to state law that can fix this problem."
"Rhode Island’s temporary disability tax (TDI) is broken, and places an unnecessarily high tax burden on Rhode Islanders. This tax, paid for by employees, will be reduced by changing the way we manage the program. As Governor, I will substantially reduce the cost of purchasing this insurance by requiring that Rhode Island’s program adhere to national norms."
"To best encourage new job creation, I propose the following tax incentive: exempt from future capital gains taxes any new investments in Rhode Island-based businesses. This change would create a powerful incentive for investors who are deciding where to locate a new business, or where they relocate an existing one. This proposal has the potential change the economic playing field for Rhode Island."
Minority Leader Newberry
“It would be overly ambitious to set being #1 as a goal right now, but we think 25, the middle of the pack, is a reasonable goal to set, one we think we should pursue, and one we can achieve,” said Newberry. "One of the initiatives is a requirement that every bill receive a fiscal evaluation before it can be heard by committee, better insuring that legislators know the real cost of the legislation they are acting on."
"Another proposal would exempt social security income from RI state income tax, making Rhode Island more tax-friendly for our seniors and keeping them here rather than migrating to more tax-friendly states."
“Strong action is way overdue here. Nearly 60% of Rhode Islanders now believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction. We think they’re right, and our central goal is to get it turned around."
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