Major investment by US pharmacy firm

Mar 22, 2012

Picture by Harrison Photography

Pictured making the announcement today are Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry, Stephen Wrenn SVP, CVS Caremark, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI.

US-owned CVS Caremark Corporation is to set up an Information Systems Development Centre in Belfast that aims to create 50 high quality jobs.

The joint announcement was made today by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry.

A Fortune 50 company with approximately 200,000 employees, CVS Caremark, is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the U.S. The Information Systems Development Centre will be a best practice centre for the development of leading edge software for the company.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered £300,000 of support. A further £200,000 of support has been offered under the Department for Employment and Learning’s Assured Skills Programme.

Announcing the investment Arlene Foster said: “Over the past two years, Invest NI has worked closely with the CVS Caremark team to secure this project for Northern Ireland.

“CVS Caremark considered several locations across the globe for its investment but was particularly attracted here by the availability of highly skilled IT professionals, our reliable, high speed and cost-effective telecoms infrastructure, and the very competitive operating cost environment.

“ICT is a priority sector and one that has huge potential to drive economic growth. When fully in place these jobs will generate £1.5 million a year in salaries that will feed into the local economy.”

CVS Caremark plans to collaborate with the higher- and further-education sector in Northern Ireland to design and deliver new training programmes and develop business relevant curricula.

Employment Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “Under the Assured Skills Programme we are able to put together a custom built training package which assures newcomers to Northern Ireland – as well as growing indigenous businesses -that the skills they need to make their investment a success can be found here. This relatively new programme is already playing a strong role in growing our economy and providing employment opportunities for our workers and I plan to build on this successful work.

“It is essential that Northern Ireland strengthens and grows those industries which the future economy is likely to be based around, whilst also seeking to expand in new emerging industries.”

Stephen Wrenn, senior vice president, enterprise IT services of CVS Caremark Corporation, said: “We recognise that to continue to be the leading pharmacy health care provider in the United States, we need to have leading-edge information technology systems.

“The combination of excellent IT talent on offer in Northern Ireland and the business-friendly environment including the support from Invest NI and DEL, have led to our decision to establish a presence in Northern Ireland and we look forward to getting the project underway.”

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