Blackstone Valley

Raimondo, legislative leaders discuss future of Hasbro

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP/WPRI) -- Gov. Gina Raimondo and legislative leaders say they will do everything they can to help prevent toy maker Hasbro from leaving the area.

Raimondo, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio met Tuesday to discuss Hasbro's future.

Pawtucket-based Hasbro Inc. employs about 1,000 area residents, but recently announced that it anticipates laying off a percentage of its worldwide workforce after poor third quarter results.

A Hasbro spokeswoman said the company was in the process of evaluating several options for updating its corporate headquarters.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa called on state lawmakers to help prevent Hasbro from leaving.

Raimondo, Mattiello and Ruggerio said in a joint statement after their meeting that they'll work with the company and city of Pawtucket.

"As Hasbro looks at its options, we will all work together - with Hasbro, the city of Pawtucket and local leaders from across the state - to do everything we can to keep Hasbro and Hasbro's jobs in Rhode Island," the statement reads.

Ruggerio tells Eyewitness News Hasbro is critical for Pawtucket, particularly in the wake of the PawSox announcing plans to move to Worcester and Memorial Hospital closing its doors, but said the first priority is to make sure Hasbro does not leave Rhode Island.

He said he thinks Hasbro should consider taking over the Apex site.

"I don't know what discussions have taken place so far with Hasbro, I think that would be a great site for Hasbro to move their corporate buildings and structure there," he said.

Meanwhile, an economic impact study was conducted to show what would happen if Hasbro did leave Pawtucket.

According to the study, Pawtucket, Central Falls and East Providence would lose more than 1,500 jobs and more than $60 million in earnings.

Another part of that study will examine the impacts on property values and nearby businesses, but that is still being finalized.

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