Publishing company announces 100 new jobs for Waterford

By Conor Kane

A publishing company which has over one million readers around the world has provided a major employment boost today with the announcement of 100 jobs for Co Waterford.

Agora Incorporated is setting up a multilingual contact centre and technology services centre in Portlaw. The 100 new roles will be established within the next three years, with support from IDA Ireland.

It’s the first significant jobs announcement for Portlaw in many years, following the closure of its previous industrial powerhouses at the local cotton mill and tannery.

The Agora companies have been publishing their International Living magazine in Waterford since 1998, employing 33 people in Elysium House in the city.

President of Publishing Services Daryl Berver was in Waterford for this morning’s announcement and said the new investment “allows us to meet the demands of our growing business and take advantage of the high quality of talent available”.

Minister of State for employment, Damien English said the news was a vote of confidence in Waterford and the region.

“The decision to site an international multilingual contact centre and a technology services centre here reflects the strength and depth in the offering of our educated and skilled workforce in the southeast," he said.

IDA CEO Martin Shanahan said achieving increased levels of investment in regional locations is an important focus of IDA’s new strategy ‘Winning – Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019’ and the announcement of 100 jobs for Co Waterford is “an important step in that direction”.

Fine Gael TD John Deasy said this morning that the announcement, and other recent employment improvements in the area can be attributed to January’s appointment of an IDA regional manager specifically for the southeast.

“I spent several years arguing for an IDA manager in this region and it’s now bearing fruit following the recent arrival of Anne-Marie Tierney-Le Roux who has been doing excellent work,” Mr Deasy said.

His party and constituency colleague, Minister of State Paudie Coffey, said the news is an example of “the Regional Jobs Plan working” and said it’s proof that the economic recovery is taking hold in rural towns and villages across Ireland.

Agora publishes over 300 books and 120 newsletters across the world and is investing €4.4 million in Portlaw to refurbish the historic Woodlock House, a 19th century building constructed originally by the Malcolmson Quaker family.

“This is a significant investment for the area and I have no doubt that Agora will be a huge benefit to the town and the environs of Portlaw and will be welcomed and supported by the local community,” Paudie Coffey said.

The minister added that 97,100 jobs have been created since the government came to power in 2011, with one in four of these positions established in the southeast region.

Agora’s Portlaw service centre will provide multilingual customer support via phone, email and other electronic means to customers in the United States and other countries.

The company will be based in temporary accommodation in Waterford city until the Woodlock House development is complete, when all of the jobs will then relocate to Portlaw.

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