Providence, RI — The Rhode Island Commerce Corp., along with Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, announced that United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), a natural foods distributor, will be expanding its production in Rhode Island, which will create job growth of 100 new full-time positions by the end of 2018 with a total of 150 new full-time positions by the year 2020.

"We've long been proud that UNFI calls Rhode Island home, and today we're pleased that it's decided to grow here," Raimondo said. "The business climate we've worked to foster over the past couple of years is one that's mutually beneficial for businesses and our residents, and we're careful to ensure that the opportunities we create pay off in both the short and long terms."

Tax credits under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Act program could be beneficial towards the establishment of a Providence metro-area site, which would accommodate the new employees it intends to hire.

"We look forward to expanding our presence in Rhode Island with the opening of our shared services center, which will enable us to drive greater efficiencies and improve the customer experience as we further simplify and standardize our supplier and customer interactions," said Steven L. Spinner, UNFI president, CEO and chairman of the board. "At UNFI, our people are our most valued asset, and we are committed to working with our associates to ensure a smooth transition as we position UNFI for continued growth.”

Rhode Island’s annual GDP could expect an increase of $9.7 million when all 150 new employees are hired. A third-party analysis also projects that a net increase of $4.8 million in personal income as well as corporate and sales tax revenues over a 12-year period could occur.