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Company creating food service jobs in Rhode Island

Posted on March 3, 2017

One company has announced its expansion and creation of more food service jobs in Rhode Island.

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) intends to significantly expand its footprint in Rhode Island, with plans to hire 100 new full-time employees by the end of 2018 and a total of 150 new full-time employees by 2020.

UNFI is a leading natural, organic and specialty foods and nonfood distributor with more than 9,800 employees and 34 distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada. Named one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune, one of the Top Green Providers by Food Logistics and repeatedly among the Healthiest Large Employers by Providence Business News, it has since 2009 maintained its corporate headquarters in Providence and currently has over 450 employees in the state.

“We’ve long been proud that UNFI calls Rhode Island home, and today we’re pleased that it’s decided to grow here,” says R.I. Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “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.”

UNFI is working toward a long-term lease at a Providence metro-area site and anticipates investments in the property to accommodate the new employees. UNFI intends to apply for tax credits under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Act program.

“UNFI is an outstanding social enterprise, and we’re proud that the company has such an important and growing presence in Rhode Island,” said Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce. “UNFI is a terrific addition to the list of existing Rhode Island companies that, with support from our economic incentives, are expanding right here in our state.”

Based on third-party analysis, these 150 new jobs are projected to realize a projected net increase of $4.8 million in personal income, sales and corporate business tax revenues over a 12-year period. We can also expect an increase of $9.7 million in Rhode Island’s annual GDP once all 150 hires are in place.

“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.”

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