One week ago today, in his first jobs announcement since becoming governor after former governor Gina Raimondo became the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced that Fidelity Investments will create 500 new jobs at their Smithfield campus as part of a new Regional Center for Fidelity's Personal Investing business. “Fidelity Investments is excited to grow our footprint and expand our existing regional site in Rhode Island," said Mark Barlow, senior vice president of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments. “Expanding in Rhode Island gives us access to a talented and educated workforce in the Ocean State to fill these positions that are new to this market for us.” The company already employs 3,200 in the state.
“Over the last year Fidelity Investments has grown significantly, earning more than 8.6 million new customers since the start of 2020,” said Rick Metters, vice president of public affairs at Fidelity Investments. “With that, our interactions and engagement with clients have surged and supporting our customers and our associates who help them is a top priority, and Rhode Island will play an important role.”
On the same day as the above announcement last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Ochsner Health President and CEO Warner Thomas, SafeSource Direct CEO Justin Hollingsworth and other officials to announce the development of two manufacturing facilities for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the Acadiana Region. The two projects will create a combined 1,221 new direct jobs. Louisiana health care leader Ochsner Health, which employs 32,000, has partnered with Trax Development on a joint venture to create SafeSource Direct LLC, which is investing $150 million to develop the facilities — $73 million to retrofit an 80,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Lafayette Parish that will also house its headquarters, and $77 million for the development of a new 400,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in St. Martin Parish. “COVID-19 brought to light our nation’s dependence on foreign countries, primarily China, for PPE,” Hollingsworth said. “By manufacturing right here in Lafayette and St. Martin parishes, and selling directly, SafeSource Direct will be positioned to eliminate the lag times, uncertainty and frustration that plague international manufacturing and shipping. Our hope is that these facilities will lay the foundation for more independently sustainable health systems in the U.S.” Incentives from Louisiana Economic Development helped cinch the two deals.