Foster welcomes investment by leading US IT firm

Arlene Foster is pictured with Kevin Flynn, Vice President, Olenick & Associates Inc., Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive Invest NI, Tom Olenick, President and Founder of Olenick & Associates Inc; and Rick Lesley, Vice President.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed today's announcement by US company Olenick & Associates Inc to establish a new IT facility in Belfast creating 55 high value jobs.

Olenick is headquartered in Chicago and is a specialist provider of quality assurance, software testing, project management and IT infrastructure consulting services to major international organisations.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered £355,000 of support for setting up the operation and a further £134,000 towards training.

Announcing the investment, Arlene Foster said: "Olenick & Associates is a high calibre, progressive company and is a very welcome addition to the vibrant IT industry in Northern Ireland. Once again our well-educated, cost competitive workforce, excellent telecommunications infrastructure and pro-business climate have attracted a top notch company.
"The new jobs created as a result of this project will generate over £2.3 million a year in salaries which will have a very positive knock-on effect in the local economy."

Emphasizing the importance of the ICT sector the Minister continued: "ICT is a priority sector for Invest NI as it has the potential to drive economic growth, and so it is important that we continue to attract this kind of high quality inward investment. The skills that will be developed in Olenick's new Belfast facility will be an important boost to the overall capability in our ICT community.

"As a specialist in quality assurance and software testing, Olenick and Associates was especially encouraged by the Software Testers Academy initiative which was launched last year as part of a collaborative effort by government, the software sector and academia to deliver new software testing talent in Northern Ireland. The initiative has proven such a success for both participating companies and candidates that a second phase of the programme is planned for 2012."

The company's new Belfast operation will trade as Olenick Global Limited and will provide advanced technology solutions to its existing US and a new European client base.

Tom Olenick President and Founder of Olenick & Associates Inc said: "The Belfast centre fits with our strategic aim of offering a wider breadth of service options to our client base and will provide the platform for longer term new market development in the UK and Europe.

"We were impressed by the quality of the available ICT workforce in Northern Ireland and by the support offered by Invest NI, and are confident that we will quickly see the benefits of deciding to locate here. We are excited by initiatives such as the Software Testers Academy and look forward to getting involved with the second phase of this programme. "