US telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has announced plans to expand its operation in Ireland by setting up a new global centre of excellence in Limerick city in early 2024 that will employ more than 400 workers over the next two years.
Verizon has been active here since 2006 and employs about 1,000 workers in Dublin. This latest investment has been supported by IDA Ireland and the company has already begun recruitment for positions in Limerick.
It is understood that the number ultimately employed at the Limerick facility could potentially be much higher, depending on demand for its services and the company’s ability to attract staff in a tight Irish labour market.
Verizon has taken 10,000sq m of space at the new 1BQ riverside development in Limerick with developers Kirkland Investments expecting the new offices to be available to Verizon in the first quarter of next year.
Based in New York and listed on the Nasdaq exchange, Verizon was formed in mid 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. It generated revenue of $136.8 billion in 2022 and offers voice, data and video services and solutions to consumers and businesses.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Craig Silliman, president of Verizon Global Services, said the company was attracted to Limerick by the availability of a “robust talent pool” there.
“We’ve been in Dublin for a number of years and we’ve been very happy with our centre of excellence on sourcing there, so we know the Irish talent pool and we know the wider environment. Dublin continues to be a great market for us but we are seeing a little more tightness in the Dublin labour market, which is why we were interested in expanding geographically in Ireland.
“As we began to look westward we were very impressed with the teamwork across Government, academia and the business community. We’ve worked with the IDA, with the University of Limerick and other universities and the Chamber of Commerce in Limerick and what we saw was an ecosystem where the totality of those players were focused on training talent ... to give them all sorts of skill sets.
“We are starting with a supply chain centre of excellence [in Limerick] but we will be open as time goes on to a variety of other roles to support Verizon globally based on the talent we can find coming out of the university community and the existing talent pool there. ”
Mr Silliman said Ireland was chosen ahead of locations in a “broad range of countries” in Europe, Latin America and Asia. “We have a presence in 45 countries ... but Ireland compared very favourably for a variety of reasons with the other countries that we looked to expand into.”
Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Simon Coveney said the investment represented a “significant commitment and endorsement” of Ireland by Verizon. “We should never take for granted an announcement like this one. One of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services has chosen Limerick for their new global centre of excellence. More than 400 jobs will be generated from this announcement.”
IDA chief executive Michael Lohan said Verizon’s decision to expand its presence here demonstrated its “confidence in Ireland”.