PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Irish prepared foods maker Greencore Group said Tuesday it plans to build a new sandwich factory at Rhode Island's Quonset Business Park and hire 370 people.
It also will close facilities in Newbury and Brockton, Mass., which employ around 700 people, although a company spokesman said it will offer new jobs in Rhode Island to the Massachusetts workers. Spokesman Michael Evans did not respond when asked in an email whether there would be a net loss in jobs.
The Dublin-based company is a leading manufacturer of convenience foods in the United Kingdom and the United States and employs more than 10,000 people. Greencore supplies convenience stores, grocery stores and small shops with ready-made meals, desserts and other foods. It says it makes 430 million sandwiches per year.
The company says the new factory will better enable it to serve existing markets in New England, as well as develop opportunities in New York. The factory is scheduled to open in spring 2015 at the industrial park, which is owned by the state of Rhode Island.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee called the news "a good day for Rhode Island," which has had one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation for years. It stood at 9.2 percent in January.
Greencore agreed to a 50-year lease at Quonset and plans to build a more than 100,000-square-foot factory. The governor's office said the company will receive discounts on its rent in return for the long commitment and for creating jobs.