After two years, Red Hat’s expanded facility on Littleton Road was officially opened in a ceremony led by Governor Deval Patrick and other dignitaries.
The $52 million expansion, which will serve as an Engineering, Research and Development wing for the company’s Westford campus, more than doubles the facility’s size.
It is also expected to host an additional 181 new high tech jobs over the next five years in addition to the current 233 jobs on the site.
Governor Patrick told an assembled crowd that the day’s event was just one of many had attended recently, accumulating into a trend that was bringing higher employment rates than the national average.
“Massachusetts is a premier destination for major high tech corporations thanks to our growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure,” said Patrick. “We look forward to working with Red Hat Inc. as they expand and create new jobs here in the Commonwealth.”
The expansion became possible thanks to a Tax Increment Financing plan approved by Westford voters, leading to $30 million of investment by Red Hat into the Massachusetts economy.
Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technology, was the company’s first employee in Massachusetts in 2001 when he rented an office near Flint’s Corner in Tyngsboro.
Over the past 13 years, the company has grown to over $1 billion and is now used by 90 percent of all Fortune 500 companies.
The fact that the company has had a presence in the area was part of that growth in the eyes of Cormier.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been a key part of Red Hat’s success, providing us with a strategic and valuable home for our research and development headquarters, as well as a deep pool of talented and innovative associates,” he said. “We are proud to continue building our company here in Massachusetts and look forward to a bright future together.”