The announcement was made yesterday by Waterford-based vice president Tony Hanway, and coincided with a visit by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Mary Harney, who performed the official opening of the IDA’s new offices located in the Waterford Technical Park on the Cork Road.
The 125 jobs at AOL UK will primarily be in technical support, sales, and customer services areas.
Recruitment begins immediately. When the call centre was opened in September 1998, 25 people were employed, and with that total now set to spiral to 650 within the next 12 months, it has proven to be one of the most spectacular industrial success stories in the south east. “Our Waterford expansion is testimony to the growth of the AOL business, the success of our new broadband product, and our commitment to providing members with the best possible service,” Mr Hanway said. Speaking at the official opening of the new IDA office, Ms Harney said the expanded AOL centre will make it the company’s largest facility in Europe. She said the new IDA office was a continuation of the IDA’s relocation of some of its activities to the regions and is in line with the State’s national development plan. The office will stimulate further economic development across the whole south east region. The Tánaiste said the next step in the economic development of the south east has to be the attraction of further new investment from the knowledge-based and high-skilled companies of the future.
She said over the past five years, 3,000 new jobs have been negotiated in 17 IDA-supported projects in the south east region which now has a mix of steady development, declining traditional industries, and models of real leadership and initiative.
“The challenge now is to spread the success right across the region and to position the south east as a location of choice for new high skilled industry,” Ms Harney added.