PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says she won’t thank Republican President Donald Trump for a design and innovation hub opening in the state, as the state Republican Party wants her to do.
Raimondo told WPRO-AM Nov. 29 it would be “ridiculous” to thank Trump for information technology outsourcing firm Infosys planning the hub.
The Rhode Island Republican Party says without Trump’s efforts to reform work visa programs, India-based Infosys and other outsourcing companies use, the Bangalore-based wouldn’t be bringing 500 design jobs to the state.
Trump has blasted a visa program tech companies have heavily relied upon to bring in foreign temporary workers at lower wages.
Raimondo says companies want to be in Rhode Island because the state is investing in job training, rebuilding infrastructure and moving forward despite Trump’s “harmful policies.”
Rhode Island state officials said Infosys is eligible for an estimated $10 million in various state incentives and the average annual salary of the jobs in the state would be $79,000.
“Five hundred good-paying jobs, well above the average salaries in Rhode Island,” Raimondo said. “Good-paying, family-supporting jobs. I have a feeling there’s much more in store. They’re starting with 500, but it’s on us to make sure they fall in love with Rhode Island.”
Raimondo said jobs would be at every level, with and without a college degree.
Infosys president Ravi Kumar said the company chose Rhode Island because of factors including its academic ecosystem and design focus, location near many of its clients in the northeast, and economic incentives.
One of the world’s most prestigious design schools, the Rhode Island School of Design, is located in Providence, but Kumar also cited the state’s community college network and the University of Rhode Island and Brown University.