Monday 26 August 2019

More new jobs for Dundalk

At the beginning of February there was good news for Dundalk with the announcement of 100 jobs at SalesSense, a cloud based customer engagement centre, on the Finnabair Industrial Estate.

Now this week two months later we learn that Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD will announce further good news for the town tomorrow morning (Wednesday) with a further 40 jobs at Prometric.

Neither of these two announcements were of the scale of previous eBay or PayPal announcements but as we learned from bitter experience with Xerox, perhaps it is better not to have all your eggs in one basket and having an existing company such as Prometric grow from within may well prove more sustainable in the longer term.

Jobs are jobs however and Dundalk is scoring well on IDA projects in recent years and a key factor is DkIT and our proximity to Dublin.

Having Dundalk Institute of Technology has proven to be an invaluable anchor for employment in the town since it first opened its doors in the early 1970s and you fear what would have become of the town's workforce over the past forty years without it.

Although the railway closed in 1958 Dundalk still was a big industrial town during the 1970s and 1980s with PJ Carrolls, Clarks Shoes, Harp Lager, Macardle Moore Brewery and Ecco employing thousands in their heyday.

However all those traditional industries - brewing, footwear, railway, tobacco - have now gone and while there certainly were dark days in the 1980s and again in recent years, Dundalk has always managed to attract new industries.

There is no doubting that the presence of DkIT has been a feather in our cap, for our county neighbours in Drogheda have never been as successful in attracting new industries to the town, despite being even closer to Dublin and the airport, another factor which weighs in Dundalk's favour in comparison to many other towns around the country.

The forty new jobs in Prometric to be announced tomorrow are understood to be in the research field and they are unique in having a link with both DCU and DkIT.

Once again DkIT comes up trumps for the town.

Irish Independent