CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order giving a one-year extension to a working group that helps minority and women-owned construction businesses.

Raimondo announced the extension for the Working Group on Diversity in Construction Monday at New England Highway Technologies in Cranston. The Democrat created the group last year to ensure all businesses get a fair opportunity to participate in the state's public construction projects.

The working group has identified multiple target areas, met with focus groups and created legislative proposals. The members have also streamlined a certification process for participating businesses.

Raimondo says diversity is one of Rhode Island's strengths. She says she's committing to making "progress towards equity."

The number of minority and women-owned businesses in the state has increased by 33 percent since 2015.