Infosys forms community college partnership in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, center, and Infosys CEO Salil Parekh, holding scissors to her left, cut a ribbon to formally launch the company's design and innovation center, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2019, in Providence, R.I. Infosys, an Indian digital design and technology company, also announced a new partnership with a community college in Rhode Island to develop workers for digital jobs. (AP Photo/ Jennifer McDermott)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Technology company Infosys announced a new partnership with a community college in Rhode Island to develop workers for digital jobs on Tuesday, with the goal of forming similar arrangements elsewhere in the country.

Infosys, an Indian digital design and technology company, formally launched its design and innovation center in Providence. Company executives said they're dedicating a lab there for employees to work with Community College of Rhode Island students.

College President Meghan Hughes said students will explore ways to work with new technology, learn marketable skills and build a professional network. She said Infosys understands the talent that community college students represent and the role the schools can play.

Infosys CEO Salil Parekh and Infosys President Ravi Kumar said they'd like to eventually form partnerships with community colleges near the company's other U.S. hubs in Hartford, Connecticut, Indianapolis, Indiana and Raleigh, North Carolina, and near new centers in Arizona and Texas. Parekh said the company is committed to workforce development and wants to recruit students from all walks of life.

"It's something Infosys is extremely proud of doing, and wants to do more," he said.

Kumar said the lab is an experiment that can be scaled up nationally.

Infosys already has a partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the world's most prestigious design schools. New designers at Infosys complete a strategic design program at the design school.

The company also announced Tuesday it has created 7,600 U.S. jobs and will soon hit its goal of 10,000 jobs. When that's accomplished, they'll announce a more ambitious goal, Parekh said.

Infosys has hired about 100 people in Providence to help clients design how their technology is experienced. It pledged in 2017 to create 500 jobs over five years in the capital city to get $9 million to $10 million in tax incentives from the state.

Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said it's a good investment— he expects Infosys to pay about $18 million over 12 years in taxes and contribute $60 million annually to the state's gross domestic product once the Providence center is fully staffed.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said at the center's opening she's thrilled that Infosys is "putting deep roots in Rhode Island." She said the state and colleges in Rhode Island want to continue working with the company as it grows.

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