Goldman Sachs helped cripple the American economy in 2011, when the housing and financial markets crashed, and then the Wall Street bank helped cripple Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president in 2016, when news leaked of a high-paid speech she gave company executives. Never mind that no fewer than three former Goldman execs currently have high ranking positions in President Donald Trump’s administration. It’d be fair for any Democrat to find politically toxic the company Rolling Stone once described as “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”
Not Governor Gina Raimondo or Senator Jack Reed though.
Both Rhode Island Democrats appeared on stage – along with the mayors of Warwick, Woonsocket, and Central Falls – to sing the praises of the company’s $5 million partnership with Rhode Island.
In what Reed called “in essence, a public-private partnership,” the Goldman Sachs Foundation gave the state of Rhode Island and RISD $5 million over five years to help administer its 10,000 Small Businesses training program for the first time on a state level. Today, the third class from the program celebrated their graduation at the Park Theater in Cranston.
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Goldman Sachs Executive Vice President John Rogers told the graduates that Raimondo is responsible for bringing the program to Rhode Island. “We’re only here because of her stalking us,” he said.
Raimondo didn’t seem to mind taking responsibility. She praised the program with Rogers along side of her just as she did last year with former Goldman COO Gary Cohn, who has since gone on to be Trump’s economic adviser, by her side.
“I’m so excited to have played a role in bringing the 10,000 Small Businesses program to Rhode Island,” she said. “In fact, I’m confident … that over time this program alone will help create hundreds if not thousands of jobs in Rhode Island.”
To date, the program has held three classes in Rhode Island – it has office space at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick – and produced some 75 graduates, many of whom said the program helped grow their businesses.
Karina Holyoak Wood, who runs the program at CCRI, said the program has been very successful. Business owners described the program as helpful and said there was no pressure to take a business loan from Goldman Sachs.