Minister Mitchell O’Connor at Fitbit EMEA HQ for official opening and jobs announcement

 

Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE: FIT), the leader in the connected health and fitness category, today announced the opening of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and appointed a new Managing Director, Des Power. Ireland’s reputation for being a centre of innovation and providing top technology talent were important factors for Fitbit and will enable the company to further expand in the region as part of its global growth strategy.

Making the announcement this morning Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said: This is further recognition of Ireland’s appeal as an international hub for successful companies such as Fitbit. Fitbit is one of the world’s most popular and fastest growing health and wellness companies, and I am delighted that they have selected Ireland as the location for their EMEA headquarters as it will provide exciting employment opportunities for our skilled workers. I wish Des Power and his team the utmost success in the coming years.”

The new Dublin office will serve as Fitbit’s EMEA headquarters and will house the strategic business functions for the region, including senior management roles, sales, marketing, operations, finance and customer support staff, which will provide targeted support to the millions of Fitbit users across the region. The company hopes to grow to approximately 50 people by the end of the year and has room for up to 100 by the end of 2017. With 150% year-over-year revenue growth in the European region in Q2 2016 compared to Q2 2015 and the ability to support five European languages across the Fitbit platform, the company’s new Dublin office comes at an ideal time to support Fitbit’s rapid growth and expansion while taking advantage of the highly skilled labour market in Dublin.

Speaking today at the opening of Fitbit’s new EMEA headquarters location on Baggot Street in Dublin “We’ve seen Dublin become a strategic hub for the technology industry as a centre for innovation and sourcing top talent in the region, and we look forward to building a strong team here to complement our offices around the world,” said Fitbit CEO and Co-Founder, James Park. “I’m excited to welcome Des to the team and back to his native Ireland. I have great confidence in our ability to further expand our business and help people across EMEA lead healthier, more active lives.”

As part of his new responsibilities, Des Power is tasked with expanding the company’s presence across the region. Des brings over 30 years of experience of leading teams and driving strong regional and global performance across Europe, the Americas and China. Previously, Des held various leadership roles at Philips and Harman International, and spent much of his career driving regional and global strategies across a range of popular consumer products from flat screen televisions to consumer audio products.

Fitbit pioneered the connected health and fitness market starting in 2007, and since then, has grown into a leading global health and fitness brand, shipping over 48.7 million devices globally as of Q2 16. As part of the Fitbit platform – consisting of devices, apps, social and motivational features, advice and personalized coaching – the company’s products help people lead healthier, more active lives by making behavioural changes such as exercising more, eating smarter, tracking their sleep and managing their weight.

About Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE: FIT)
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in the connected health and fitness

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor opens SE2 Waterford Office

se2 3

The Minister announced 65 new jobs in se2, the leading third-party administrator for the North American life and pensions industry, in Waterford, IDA’s Technology Park. The company has an existing fulltime team of 70 and hope to fill out its 135 seat office space over the next 3-4 years. There are currently opportunities to join the existing team for both experienced professionals and for those wishing to start a career working on se2’s award winning technology platforms.

The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland.

Speaking at the event, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said: “It is great to see se2 growing its company and expanding its workforce in Waterford. I am delighted that this project is supported by my Department through IDA Ireland. The South-East is now the fastest growing region outside of Dublin. As Minister, my priority is to ensure an environment for job growth is developed right across the country and in particular in the regions of Ireland. Having such a highly regarded company as se2 in Waterford is a great boost to the region and will help us attract other high growth tech companies here. I want to wish all at se2 continued success.”

Photos from the opening below:

se2 1 se2 2

200 New Jobs and €10,000,000 Investment for Carrick on Shannon

Photo Today, VistaMed, the leading Irish catheter and extrusion provider to the global medical device industry, announced the creation of 200 new jobs at the official opening of its new state-of-the-art Research and Development facility in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The announcement is part of a new investment programme of more than €10million, supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

This will bring the total number of jobs at the medical device company to 525 comprising a mix of positions, from engineering staff to product builders. VistaMed is also expanding its current manufacturing facility in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim by a further 45,000 square foot.

Recruitment for the 200 positions is ongoing with 37 of these jobs now in place. All positions are expected to be filled by the end of 2018.

Welcoming the announcement in Co. Leitrim today, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “Today we see the evidence that a rural county such as Leitrim can be home to successful international companies like VistaMed and can provide them with the community, infrastructure and resources that they need to thrive and grow their businesses. To announce 200 jobs for an Irish-owned, highly innovative, global supplier of medical technology out of County Leitrim, sums up why we can be ambitious – indeed, must be ambitious – in our plans for regional development and job creation. This is a further sign of a momentum for job creation in our regions following recent regional jobs announcements” .

The new investment programme is in response to increased demand in the global medical device market for services provided by VistaMed.

Managing Director of VistaMed Patrick Mulholland said: “VistaMed was founded on being a solution provider for technically challenging Catheter and Extrusion products for a worldwide medical device market. This new Research & Development facility will allow us to further enhance the rapid project ‘turnaround’ times currently experienced by VistaMed’s global customer base. Combined with the addition of sophisticated equipment, this will enable us to continue to offer a world class service to the global medical device industry and expand our talented technical resources”.

The 45,000 square foot expansion of the Carrick-on-Shannon facility includes 22,000 square foot of cleanroom. This will facilitate the growing demand for diverse braided catheter systems, together with the expansion of the existing area providing thermoplastic extrusions which is recognised as best-in-class for the stringent catheter tubing requirements for today’s challenging minimally invasive applications.

Tom Kelly, Head of Division, Industrial, Lifesciences & Consumer, Enterprise Ireland said: “Ireland is home to leading world-class medical technology companies like VistaMed who will be joining us on our Lifesciences Trade Mission to the US in September. The medtech sector in Ireland has evolved and grown dramatically over the last two decades and employs close to 27,000 people. Enterprise Ireland is committed to continued growth and creating jobs in this dynamic and innovative sector”.

Peter Barry RIP

Peter Barry

 

 

 

 

It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of former Tánaiste, Minister and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael, Peter Barry, who passed away in Cork this morning.

My thoughts at this time are with Peter’s family who have lost such a dear loved one. To his children Deirdre, Tony, Donagh, Peter Junior, Fiona and Conor, his brother Tony, and to all their families I send my deepest condolences and sincere sympathies. May he rest in peace, reunited with his late wife Margaret.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

 

Two million people now in employment in the State

Red dress desk

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (Tuesday) welcomed the latest Quarterly National Household Survey figures from the Central Statistics Office, showing that for the first time since Quarter 4 2008 there are now two million people employed in the State.  All regions of the country saw a fall in unemployment in the past year. Since 2012 when the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched 176,000 more people are at work.

The figures from the CSO also show that there is strong and continued employment growth in all regions of the country.

Employment has grown in 12 out of 14 economic sectors with largest increases recorded in construction, manufacturing and accommodation and food service activities.

Speaking today, Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said:

“These figures today from the Central Statistics Office are very encouraging and continue to show that the numbers of people employed in full time jobs is increasing steadily and I am particularly pleased to see that all regions of the country are seeing employment growth.  Having two million people now at work will also give a boost to the State as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.  

My role as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is to ensure that this positive job growth continues and I am determined that we continue to put in place the right conditions for employment to grow across all counties in Ireland.”

Search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor has launched the latest search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). With a €2 million investment fund available, the enterprise initiative from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.

Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are now being encouraged to apply, before the closing date of Friday, October 14th 2016.

Announcing the start of this year’s programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said:

“The quest to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is one of the most exciting initiatives to create new businesses and new jobs in recent years. IBYE generates that “can-do” spirit in which young people excel.  I want to foster that spirit and to demonstrate that there is help out there for any young person that wants to take a risk and start their own business. The first-stop-shop to get advice and support on starting a business is your Local Enterprise Office.  I want to congratulate the Local Enterprise Offices on rolling out IBYE and I look forward to meeting Ireland’s young entrepreneurs up and down the country.   I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35 to talk to their Local Enterprise Office about the IBYE programme and discuss their business ideas.”

The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. A total of around 450 applicants, across every Local Authority area, will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November, to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an available IBYE investment fund of €50,000 each, every Local Enterprise Office will award six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners at county level will progress to Regional Finals early next year and the national IBYE finals will be held in March 2017.

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices explains: “The substantial investments available under IBYE are a very important part of the programme and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE. Last year, 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners. Taking part in IBYE will help Ireland’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at.”

IBYE is now in its third year and last year’s winners were James Foody of Ayda in South Cork (Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015 and Best Start-Up Business), Blaine Doyle of GlowDX in Kilkenny (Best Business Idea) and James Wood of Rathwood in Wicklow (Best Established Business). The inaugural winner of the competition in 2014 was Eamon Keane of Xpreso Software in South Dublin.

To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 inclusive are being asked to visit the IBYE website at www.ibye.ie, to submit their entry online. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 14th 2016 and there is no entry fee. Further information and details are also available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.

 

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Enterprise Office

Phone: (01) 204 7083

Address:
First Floor, 1 Harbour Square
Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9:00 – 5:00
Friday: 9:00 – 4:30

Lunch 1.00-2.00

Saturday-Sunday:
Closed

 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces €45,000 funding for micro-enterprises in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown

Minister-Mitchell-O-ConnorMinister Mitchell O’Connor announces €45,000 funding for micro-enterprises in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown

A reallocation of funding ensures Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown is receiving €45,000 for LEO clients

 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor today welcomed the announcement that Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown will be receiving a further allocation of €45,000 in capital funding to assist micro enterprises in creating local jobs. The funding is part of a further allocation of €1.85m in Capital funding for 15 LEO offices throughout the country. These funds are being made available to meet identified demand for financial assistance for projects that can be initiated this year.

 

The funding will be available for use by LEO Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown to provide direct Capital grant assistance to micro-enterprises within the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown area. These supports are aimed at assisting enterprises to start-up or expand their business. It is expected that the funding will assist micro-enterprises to create or sustain jobs across the Dun Laoghaire area. Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown LEO supports almost 229 clients which last year created 164 new full and part-time jobs.

 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the announcement stating that: “I am pleased to be able to further support enterprise development in Dun Laoghaire, through my Department. The LEO Dun Laoghaire has identified a pipeline of demand for financial assistance from people who want to start a business or grow an existing one. This €45,000 in funding has the potential to support additional jobs within the area. It’s another example of how well the Local Enterprise Office in Dun Laoghaire has been working to promote entrepreneurial activity at local level around the area. I would encourage all interested businesses contact the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown LEO office”.

 

ENDS

Good News from Local Enterprise Offices’ Food Academy Programme

Food Academy 1

Food Academy 2

A survey by the Local Enterprise Offices shows that 281 small food and drink producers, members of the Food Academy Programme who employ 1,131 people, have made the break-through into the retail market. Those same businesses expect to create a further 373 jobs over the next 12 months, bringing the total number of jobs supported to just over 1,500 across the country.

At an event organised in Dublin by the Local Enterprise Offices today, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. met with food producers from eight different regions, who are among the 281 producers to have successfully made the break-through into the retail market. Run over a series of workshops, the programme is an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu to nurture new start-ups in the food and drink sector and it focuses on areas such as business planning, understanding consumer trends and raising finance.

Minister Mitchell O’ Connor met with producers from Cork, Donegal, Limerick, Kildare, Westmeath, Galway, Tipperary and Dublin at a Food Academy Start showcase in Dublin’s City Hall, where she encouraged more ‘early-stage’ food and drink producers to apply for the programme. The Minister said: “The Food Academy Programme has been running very successfully for the last three years by the Local Enterprise Offices in partnership with Bord Bia and SuperValu. This programme has already enabled almost 300 small food businesses to start and grow, creating valuable jobs across every county and region. One of my priorities as Minister is creating an environment where job growth can thrive, particularly in rural Ireland. I want to thank Bord Bia and SuperValu for their support and I want to thank the LEOs for their endeavours in developing this opportunity”.

The businesses receive one to one mentoring and also pitch for a chance to trial their products in a SuperValu store. Since the programme began in 2013, over 1,100 products have been successfully trialled and are now on sale through the Irish supermarket chain. According to SuperValu, consumers in Ireland are expected to spend €25 million on Food Academy products in their stores in 2016.

Start-ups and small businesses in the food and drink sector are supported by Local Enterprise Offices through measures such as financial assistance, mentoring and on-line trading supports. Oisin Geoghegan of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “By equipping owners and managers of food businesses with industry knowledge and skills, they have a better chance of succeeding in business. The goal of the Food Academy programme is to help more food producers to start selling through supermarkets, as well as through farmers’ markets and to provide them with the supports, information and advice to scale up and achieve this retail break-through. According to research undertaken by the Local Enterprise Offices, the Food Academy producers already support 1,131 jobs across every region. Over the next 12 months, these producers are planning to create an additional 373 new jobs.”

Aidan Cotter, the CEO of Bord Bia highlighted how the programme helps new food producers understand market positioning and ‘Unique Selling Points.’ He said: “Bord Bia is delighted with the success of the Food Academy programme. The partnership approach with the Local Enterprise Offices and SuperValu has created a real opportunity to cultivate sustainable small food companies by supporting them through the initial challenging phases of growth. These small innovative and dynamic food businesses play an important role in Ireland’s agri-food sector both locally and nationally. The producers receive a combination of commercial and marketing insight from Bord Bia as well as expert advice in branding, market research, distribution and business development, which arms them with the tools to strengthen their chances of future success. The programme has consistently delivered tangible benefits resulting in job creation and sustainable local food businesses.”

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, SuperValu Managing Director said: “As the number one supporter of the Irish food industry, we are committed to sourcing from local suppliers and helping to create the next generation of Irish food entrepreneurs. By supporting these Food Academy producers, we are bringing community based start-ups to market and providing them with the potential to grow their business as well as providing employment within the local community. We are proud to nurture the energy and passion of these entrepreneurial producers, which in turn contributes to the prosperity of local economies across Ireland.”

At the Food Academy showcase today, the Minister met with the producers behind eight different Irish brands including Emerald Oils – Tipperary, Kilbeggan Organic Foods – Westmeath, Wellnice Pops – Limerick, The Galway Food Company, Irish Fish Canners – Donegal, Loughbeg Farm Foods – West Cork, Nutraplenish – Kildare and HiRó by Róisin – Dublin City.

The Food Academy Start programme is delivered through the Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities and details around the next programme are available through www.localenterprise.ie

Article from Business World on my visit to announce 150 new jobs at Sigmar Recruitment

Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor arrives at Sigmar offices in Dublin 2

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor arrives at Sigmar offices in Dublin 2

Job Announcement

Sigmar Recruitment yesterday announced the creation of 150 new jobs to service its new Centre of Excellence.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.

These new positions will more than double the workforce by the end of 2018. Sigmar Recruitment is on track to deliver 50 of these new jobs by the end of this year, with another 50 by the end of 2017 and a further 50 by the end of 2018.

The jobs are in recruitment, sales and digital marketing at both experienced and graduate levels with a significant number of positions available in locations outside of the capital to include Cork, Galway and Kerry.

The new positions are announced as part of the company’s expansion plan to deliver a wider portfolio of services globally and will bolster the position of the company as Ireland’s leading independent recruiter.

The establishment of the Centre of Excellence is largely due to an uplift in demand for talent by US companies who are expanding internationally from Ireland.

Successful candidates will be eligible for the company’s own Recruitment MBA, which is run in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin and Notre Dame, the first transatlantic executive programme of its type in the country.

According to Sigmar CEO Adie Mc Gennis the net effect of this announcement is far greater than the 150 jobs, he commented, “As recruiters by their very nature have a huge impact on job creation, the end effect of a creation of 150 jobs will have an enormous effect in terms of the actual number of jobs being created in Ireland over the next number of years. Everyone at Sigmar is proud and excited to share our expansion plans. We have experienced very strong growth and this confirms our confidence in the recruitment sector, the Irish economy and most importantly in all of our people to continue Sigmar’s success.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor added, “These new jobs will contribute greatly to the prosperity of communities across the country. Sigmar is a great example of the type of company Enterprise Ireland is working with. I warmly congratulate Adie and his team and wish them continued success for the future.”

Source: www.businessworld.ie

 

 

 

 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor receives the Low Pay Commissions Recommendation on the National Minimum Wage

 19th July 2016

The Low Pay Commission is recommending an increase in the national minimum wage of 10 cents per hour. In its second report a majority of the members of the Commission recommend that the appropriate rate of the national minimum wage should rise to €9.25 per hour.

The current rate of the minimum wage is €9.15. The minimum wage was last increased on 1st January 2016, following Government acceptance of the Low Pay Commission’s first recommendation, made in July 2015, that the rate increase by 50 cents an hour from €8.65.

In a report submitted to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, the Low Pay Commission sets out a range of data it has considered in recommending the increase. The Commission also sought submissions from interested parties and consulted directly with workers on the minimum wage and employers in relevant economic sectors. The Report relies on data available in the period up to 1 July 2016.

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD said, “I also welcome the Report and would like to thank the Commissioners for their service in producing a full and comprehensive report.   I look forward as well to receiving the Reports from the Commission later in the year on the ‘Related Matters’ which they have been asked to study, namely the appropriateness of the sub-minima rates, which have not been reviewed since their introduction, and the reasons behind the preponderance of women on the NMW.

Both Ministers expressed their full support for the independent work of the Commission both in terms of the work it undertakes on an annual basis in relation to making a recommendation on the appropriate rate for the NMW and also for the work it is undertaking on related matters.  They also thanked all who had responded to the Commission’s call for submissions on the NMW, and those who had shared their experiences of employing minimum wage workers, or living on the minimum wage, in meetings with members of the Commission.

The report can be found on the link below

http://www.lowpaycommission.ie/here-.pdf