Above: A look inside an Amgen manufacturing facility in the Netherlands. Amgen is among the world's latest independent biotech companies with a major presence in Rhode Island (Photo courtesy of Amgen)
Historically a textile-manufacturing state, today Rhode Island boasts a very diverse set of manufacturing companies, from major defense contractors to toy and game producers to biotech companies. The state’ workforce is among the most educated in the nation, and a focus on innovation has drawn many advanced manufacturing enterprises to its borders.
This article will explore the latest facts on the state’s industrial sector and provide details on the top manufacturing companies in Rhode Island.
According to MNI, compiler of the industrial information that powers IndustrySelect, Rhode Island is currently home to 1,353 industrial companies employing 53,662 workers.
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According to MNI, North Kingstown is Rhode Island’s largest city based on number of industrial jobs, with 7,558 workers.
Read more: Top Manufacturing Cities in the U.S.
Other top cities in Rhode Island include
• Providence (5,491 jobs)
• Pawtucket (5,191 jobs)
• Cranston (4,532 jobs)
• Warwick (4,307 jobs)
Providence County is Rhode Island’s largest in terms of manufacturing jobs, home to 30,162 workers. This is followed by Washington County with 11,326 workers, Kent County (9,446 jobs), Newport County (3,754 jobs) and Bristol County (1,789 jobs).
The miscellaneous manufacturing industry ranks as Rhode Island’s largest industrial sector based on number of jobs, employing 12% of the state’s industrial workers. This industry includes items such as athletic and sporting goods, artists’ materials, jewelry, toys and musical instruments. Rhode Island’s jewelry sector is particularly significant.
Transportation equipment and fabricated metal products each account for 10% of Rhode Island industrial workers, according to MNI data. This is followed by industrial machinery and equipment with 9% and instruments/related products with 8%.
MNI reports there are 3,983 executive contacts among Rhode Island’s manufacturing companies, including 981 presidents, 392 owners and partners; 550 vice-presidents and 380 sales, marketing and purchasing executives.
Other facts to know about Rhode Island manufacturers, based on IndustrySelect’s advanced criteria available to subscribers, include ownership, distribution and other trends. Let’s take a look:
• 3% of Rhode Island manufacturers are women-owned
• 6% are publicly owned companies
• 15% import raw materials
• 32% distribute their products internationally.
These statistics reveal that more Rhode Island manufacturers distribute products internationally, compared to the national average (32% versus 29% nationally) and more import raw materials (15% in Rhode Island compared to 11% amongst U.S. manufacturers as a whole). Additionally, Rhode Island runs ahead of the national average in the number of women-owned companies (3% versus 2% nationally).
Next, we’ll take a look at the state’s top companies.
|Electric Boat Corp.||4,500||North Kingstown||RI|
|Raytheon Technologies Corp.||1,200||Portsmouth||RI|
|Amgen, Inc.||1,000||West Greenwich||RI|
|Schneider Electric IT America Corp.||1,000||West Kingston||RI|
|Toray Plastics (America), Inc.||600||North Kingstown||RI|
|Teknor Apex Company||551||Pawtucket||RI|
|Taco Comfort Solutions®, Inc.||512||Cranston||RI|
|Amtrol, Inc.||500||West Warwick||RI|
|International Game Technology Lottery||500||Providence||RI|
1. Electric Boat Company (North Kingstown, RI)
Employing 4,500 workers at the Quonset Point Facility in North Kingstown, Electric Boat Company is Rhode Island’s largest industrial employer. Also known as General Dynamics Electric Boat Co., this massive, 1.4 million square-foot shipbuilding facility makes submarine components for the U.S. Navy.
2. Hasbro, Inc (Pawtucket, RI)
A maker of beloved products such as Monopoly, Nerf and G.I. Joe, Hasbro is a major producer of toy, games, and sporting goods, established in 1923. The company’s Pawtucket location serves as its corporate headquarters and employs 2,000.
3. Raytheon Technologies Corp. (Portsmouth, RI)
Employing 195,000 around the world, Raytheon is a giant in the global aerospace and defense industry. The company’s Portsmouth location produces naval sonar systems at this 769,000-square foot facility and employs 1,200.
4. Amgen, Inc. (West Greenwich, RI)
Amgen, Inc. is a major multinational biopharmaceutical company operating out of a 208,000 square-foot facility in West Greenwich, RI. The company is among the world’s largest independent biotech companies and specializes in a limited product line of human therapeutics designed to treat illnesses such as osteoporosis, cancer and low white blood cell counts. The company’s West Greenwich facility employs 1,000 Rhode Island workers, ranking it among the state’s top industrial employers.
5. Schneider Electric IT America Corp. (West Kingstown, RI)
Schneider Electric is a major energy management and automation producer, employing 130,000 around the globe and 1,000 at this West Kingston location. This facility functions as the company’s divisional headquarters and produces uninterruptible power supplies, surge suppressors and precision cooling equipment, as well as cable assembly and power conditioning equipment.
6. Toray Plastics (America), Inc. (North Kingstown, RI)
Employing 600 in North Kingstown, Toray Plastics (America), Inc. is a manufacturer of oriented polyester and polypropylene films that used by companies in the magnetic tape, food packaging, capacitor and industrial markets.
7. Teknor Apex Company (Pawtucket, RI)
A thermoplastic compound solutions provider, Teknor Apex operates ten plants in the United States and several more in Europe and Asia. The company’s 500,000 square-foot facility in Pawtucket employs 551 and manufactures flexible and rigid vinyl and thermoplastic elastomers, as well as specialty chemicals and hoses.
8. Taco Comfort Solutions, Inc. (Cranston, RI)
This third-generation family-owned manufacturing business produces a wide range of heating, cooling, plumbing, and irrigation systems. The company’s Cranston, RI plant functions as its corporate headquarters and produces commercial and residential heating and cooling equipment, systems and accessories. Established in 1920, the company distributes its products internationally and employs 512 in Cranston.
9. Amtrol, Inc. (West Warwick, RI)
Occupying a 450,000 square foot facility in West Warwick which serves as its company headquarters, Amtrol produces plumbing and heating equipment as well as disposable gas containers. The company distributes its products internationally and employs 500.
10. International Game Technology Lottery (Providence, RI)
International Game Technology Lottery in Providence is famous for its gaming equipment supplies, such as electronic lottery terminals and slot and electronic card game machines. The company’s Providence location operates as its headquarters and reports sales of $6 billion per year.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2023. It has been updated to reflect new statistics and trends in the state of Rhode Island.