Fortune 500 behemoth General Electric Co. plans to bring 100 advanced-industry jobs to Rhode Island with the opening of a digital information technology center, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced.

The new Providence-based office will be responsible for developing software applications and driving innovation in high performance computing, Raimondo said in a statement Thursday.

Technology has been a centerpiece of Raimondo's efforts to revive Rhode Island's sagging economy since she took office in January 2015. Rhode Island has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates.

"We needed a place that had a strong tech talent pipeline, top-tier university partnership opportunities and great quality of life. With its unique location along the northeast corridor, Rhode Island gives us access to many of the assets we need for success," said Chris Drumgoole, GE's vice president and chief technology officer.

Five months ago, GE announced it would move its world headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston. The move triggered debate within Connecticut about that state's shaky economy and a perceived inhospitable business climate.

GE, with more than 300,000 employees and $115 billion in revenue, envisions that the new Rhode Island unit will advance the company's digital and Industrial Internet platforms.

Rhode Island has long sought to build out its tech presence. Critics of the 38 Studios bond financing fiasco, with stranded the state with roughly $116 million in moral obligation debt after former baseball pitcher Curt Schilling's video-game company collapsed, argued that Rhode Island made too generous an offer to Schilling out of desperation

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