(Jamaica Gleaner) WESTERN BUREAU: Fortune 500 company Convergys, one of the largest ICT organisations worldwide, will open a Jamaican call centre in Montego Bay, creating an initial 1,000 jobs with a footprint to expand to 3,000.
The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company, which is the second-largest single employer in the Philippines, made the announcement at the ‘ICT Round-table’ session at the Jamaica Investment Forum last Thursday at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
“They will start construction this year and have decided that they want to have a strong presence here, developing their own ICT centre,” president of JAMPRO, Sancia Templer, told The Sunday Gleaner. She added that Convergys usually starts in one city and expand to others.
Encouraged by the fact that they will construct their own building, the JAMPRO president said it shows evidence of a long-term commitment. “When you put brick and mortar in a country it means you are in that country for the long haul,” she said.
According to Templer, the new centre should commence operation early 2013.
The move has been described by Barnett Tech Park developer, Mark Kerr-Jarrett, as extremely significant, particularly to the ICT industry which currently employs approximately 10,000 persons, generating J$3.1 billion in payroll and consumption taxes annually for the Government.
“It further confirms Jamaica’s strategic advantage to service this industry due to its location, English-speaking population, cultural similarities to North America, highly educated population and First World telecoms infrastructure,” Kerr-Jarrett stated.
Extremely passionate about the subject, he says Jamaica need to continue to build on the advantages promoted by ministers Anthony Hylton (Industry, Investment and Commerce) and Phillip Paulwell (Energy and Telecommunications). “There is tremendous benefit to be had through employment tax generation, and the real winner here is wealth creation, which is the only way we will overcome poverty in this country,” he noted.