Virgin Pulse plans major Rhode Island expansion

By: The Associated Press/ABC6 News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An employee well-being company owned by British billionaire Richard Branson says it will expand its tiny Rhode Island branch into a major office and add nearly 300 new jobs there over the next five years.

Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo and Virgin Pulse president and chief operating officer David Osborne announced the expansion Thursday at the State House.

When asked what attracted Virgin Pulse to Providence, Osborne says the city has a “really cool downtown, train station, and great schools.”

The state says the company is eligible for $2.9 million in tax credits if it creates the new jobs.

The company is also asking for $3.2 million in tax credits to help it build a 90,000-square-foot office in downtown Providence.Virgin Pulse is based in Framingham, Massachusetts, and is part of Branson’s Virgin Group.

The company in February acquired Providence-based corporate wellness program startup ShapeUp Inc. and kept about 65 employees there.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2016