General Electric is slated to bring hundreds of jobs to Rhode Island for a new GE digital information technology center, starting with 100 in the near future.
Governor Gina Raimondo cited the news as a sign that Rhode Island is gaining recognition and moving in the right direction. She said GE will bring the initial 100 jobs to the Ocean State -- to an as-yet-undisclosed Providence location -- and then more in future years. The governor said she expects hiring to begin in the near future.Listen to Governor Gina Raimondo and Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor's news conference on GE bringing jobs to Rhode Island.
"This is real validation that the steps that we've taken to improve our business climate, to tackle tough issues like pensions and Medicaid, and to invest in skills, are paying off," Raimondo told reporters during a Statehouse news conference. "This is recognition that Rhode Island is on the move, and that one of America's greatest companies has chosen to invest here and to grow here."
Raimondo called the news of the GE a team effort with the General Assembly, the federal delegation, and the mayor of Providence. "This is what happens when Rhode Island pulls together and puts it best foot forward," she said. "Good things happen."
Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said the expected cost in state incentives for those initial 100 jobs is $5.65 million, over 10 years. Pryor and Raimondo said the economic return in taxes paid by employees and other benefits will be far greater.
The governor said no incentives will be paid out until actual jobs are created. She said the jobs planned by GE in Rhode Island will be new ones, not jobs being moved from somewhere else.
GE announced plans in January to move its longtime headquarters from Connecticut to Boston. At the time, the company said Rhode Island made one of the strongest pitches of any state, and Raimondo said she remained in talks about attracting some GE jobs.
Raimondo said the new Providence-based office will be responsible for developing new software applications and driving innovation in High Performance Computing.
"Our top priority is putting people back to work, so I'm thrilled that GE Digital is planning to bring hundreds of new high-paying jobs to Rhode Island over the next several years," said Raimondo. "This will create a meaningful opportunity for hundreds of Rhode Island families, and it was made possible by working together with the Speaker, Senate President, the Congressional delegation, and the business community."
Chris Drumgoole, GE vice president and chief technology officer, said, "We needed a place that had a strong tech talent pipeline, top-tier university partnership opportunities and great quality of life. With its unique location along the northeast corridor, Rhode Island gives us access to many of the assets we need for success," said "It has been a pleasure collaborating with Governor Raimondo, Secretary Pryor and their team to make this new office possible."
The governor's office said GE intends to apply for incentives under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Act and the First Wave Closing Fund. GE anticipates the Rhode Island center to employ 100 people in the near term, with the aim of expanding its presence over the next several years.
This post has been updated.