Continuing his Rhode Island Skilled Economy (RISE) Tour, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) visited ShapeUp, a small business that started six years ago in Providence with the aim of connecting colleagues through health and wellness. The company works with businesses around the world to help their employees become healthier and reduce the costs of health care.
During his RISE Tour, Langevin has been addressing the importance of encouraging entrepreneurs to innovate in Rhode Island. He highlighted ShapeUp and its cofounder and CEO, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, as a Rhode Island success story. In the last three years, the company has increased its size from 12 employees to 60. ShapeUp now has clients in all 50 states and more than 90 countries.
Among the topics discussed during today's tour was the importance of building up a skilled workforce in the state to make it easier for companies to startup, hire and expand. Langevin has emphasized the importance of increased collaboration between our businesses and our education and job training programs. Recently, The Providence Sunday Journal noted that the pervasive "mismatch between the skills that workers have and what employers need has held back the Rhode Island economy," particularly in high-skilled, growing industries.
"As I visit businesses throughout my District, particularly in sectors of the economy with the most growth potential, I repeatedly hear about struggles to find qualified workers to fill available positions, even in a time of high unemployment," said Langevin, who co-chairs the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus. "We can only develop more companies like ShapeUp, which is fast becoming a Rhode Island-based international leader in health care, if we listen to people like Rajiv and his staff and work to meet their needs, whether it's training a skilled workforce or providing better access to capital."
Founded on the basic premise that people are more likely to succeed at reaching their goals when they work together with the people they care about, ShapeUp has remained focused on uniting people to improve their health. ShapeUp aims to build the largest platform in the world that unites individuals with their entire health care ecosystem, creating a simple, central place to connect with the activities, information, ideas, and people that can lead us to better health. For more information, visit http://www.shapeup.com/about/.