Jamaican outsourcing firm itelbpo officially launched operations at its new Vieux-Fort office in Saint Lucia last Wednesday, July 15th, with an official opening ceremony and two job fairs.
Over 650 applicants from around the Eastern Caribbean island were present to explore job opportunities with the global services provider at the newly developed 22,000-square-foot facility — a brainchild of itelbpo and Invest Saint Lucia.
At the ceremony were Saint Lucia Prime Minister Alan Chastanet; itelbpo Chairman and CEO Yoni Epstein, who flew in to mark the occasion; Minister of Commerce, Industry, Enterprise Development, and Consumer Affairs Bradly Felix; and Roderick Cherry, CEO, Invest Saint Lucia.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Epstein stated, “What this pandemic has done for us and this region is to show our clients that you cannot always rely on the bigger boys. You have to diversify locations and vendors. Therefore, our existing clients have asked us to put some of their business in Saint Lucia in order to diversify.”
He continued: “We have more clients looking to reap the benefits and opportunities in Saint Lucia, and we’re confident that our Saint Lucian team can achieve this because I’ve seen it done before and I know that we have the support of the Government and local private sector. itelbpo is a business of the future and that future is today.”
itelbpo’s first batch of employees at the Vieux-Fort location began training on June 30th, and the company is aiming to hire a total of 150 new team members by the end of the summer. Though the initial target was to fill 200 positions in Saint Lucia within one year, the company has adjusted this figure to 750 jobs by Q1 2021.
According to Prime Minister Chastanet he identified the business process outsourcing sector has “…tremendous potential for job creation in Saint Lucia, especially amongst the youth.”
At the launch the prime minister emphasised that young people should be proud to secure a position at itelbpo’s “world-class” facility.
“Vieux-Fort is going to be an engine of economic growth on the island. We want to make Vieux-Fort competitive on a global scale. It’s not just about creating jobs. It’s creating world-class jobs. We are going to make the new frontier a reality, ” Chastanet declared.
The opening of itelbpo’s new outsourcing centre comes at a time when the Caribbean is grappling with the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and, moreover, the expansion into St Lucia will have a significant impact on the island’s economy.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony also allowed the officials to tour the new facility.