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Raimondo Announces 500 New Jobs For R.I., Some Thank Trump Instead

Raimondo Announces 500 New Jobs For R.I., Some Thank Trump Instead
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo

The Ocean State is continuing its momentum of luring and growing companies within its borders, one year after being ranked the worst state in the U.S. to do business. But not everyone can agree on who is behind the latest job creation.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Monday software company Infosys will open a new office in Providence that is expected to employ 500 people by 2022. The company will be eligible for state incentives due to the jobs created at its Rhode Island “Design and Innovation Hub,” WPRI reports

Hiring for the new office will begin immediately and a location decision for the office is expected shortly, according to Infosys President Ravi Kumar. The company already employs between 300 and 400 people in Rhode Island. 

Raimondo’s administration is often cited for turning around Rhode Island’s business climate. She noted the business momentum underway in the state as well as its rising business-friendly rank (a Gallup poll now ranks the state as 28th in the U.S. for job growth) at an October Bisnow event in Boston. GE Digital, Virgin Pulse and Johnson & Johnson have all relocated or expanded into Rhode Island since Raimondo took office in 2015. 

But not everyone in the state thinks she should take full credit for Infosys. 

The company has been chided for its outsourcing of labor and agreed in 2013 to pay $34M after the U.S. investigated other alleged labor issues. Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon Bell thinks pressure from President Donald Trump’s administration that led to Infosys announcing it would hire 10,000 American workers over two years is driving the new office in Providence. 

“Without the Trump administration’s efforts, Infosys would not be bringing jobs to Rhode Island,” Bell said in a statement to WPRI. “Raimondo likes to blame President Trump for Rhode Island’s failures under her leadership. Maybe Raimondo can give at least some credit to President Trump for these new Rhode Island jobs.”

Kumar said the Trump administration was not a leading factor in his company’s plan to boost its presence in Rhode Island.