An air of employment positivity descended upon Athlone on Friday afternoon with a formal announcement by DPD Ireland of plans to create 150 jobs at their state-of-the-art headquarter base in the town.
DPD Ireland, which is the country’s largest parcel delivery company, is also investing €1 million in its automation and routing systems within the central hub facility.
The company, as the year concludes, will additionally employ 550 drivers and operational personnel to meet the incessant demand created by consumers who are increasingly utilising online purchasing in the presence of Covid-19.
The creation of additional employment within the Athlone central hub will increase the number of staff at the facility to 750 personnel.
Formally welcoming the news, Town Mayor, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke, noted that the jobs created would be significant boost for Athlone.
“I would like to warmly welcome the news that DPD are to add 150 new jobs at their distribution facility in Athlone. It really is a great news story for the town, especially at a time when our local economy is experiencing such widespread uncertainty with the prospect of job losses as the virus continues to keep so many businesses shut.
“DPD is a great employer in Athlone and they operate a very impressive and successful business model from their hub on the Dublin Road. Their state-of-the-art facility in Athlone is at the leading edge of parcel sortation and distribution.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Directors and management team at DPD Athlone for the success they have made of the Athlone Hub and thank them for their very important contribution to employment within the town and the Midlands region,” Cllr. O’Rourke remarked.
Echoing similar sentiments, Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, stated that the employment announcement complemented the progress which DPD continues to make from its central hub in Athlone.
“To the fore as the country’s largest parcel sortation and delivery company, DPD continues to go from strength to strength from its base in Athlone and is a major employer within the Midlands region. I know of many individuals from my own community who are employed by the company and this announcement is a morale boost for the town at the present time,” Cllr. Dolan asserted.
Longford-Westmeath Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Deputy Robert Troy, noted that the employment announcement was an endorsement of Athlone and the Midlands region as an excellent location in which to conduct business.
“The Midlands region has had to face a difficult transition with the decline of peat production and like every other region is now experiencing the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The announcement by DPD Ireland today however demonstrates that economic renewal and growth is possible despite these challenges. I want to congratulate DPD Ireland management and all of its employees for creating this success story in Athlone,” Deputy Troy enthused.
Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, afforded his positive thoughts upon announcement of the employment expansion at DPD Athlone.
“This major expansion also highlights the huge potential there is for local business to start trading online with a 90 percent grant available to set up a website or to make online sales.
“This Christmas season more goods than ever before will be sold online because of Covid-19 restrictions and that is why we are witnessing a further major expansion of the DPD operation in Athlone.
“This should not be viewed as a threat to local businesses as this presents an ideal opportunity not only to sell to their traditional customer base but also to sell to customers throughout the country and even globally,” Deputy Naughten emphasised.
Confirming that recruitment for the positions to be filled within the company is currently ongoing, DPD Ireland Chief Executive, Des Travers, confirmed that the company has experienced a phenomenal increase in demand due to the presence of Covid-19.
“Our services have played an important role in these unprecedented times, with consumers ordering more online due to Covid-19 concerns. The new jobs will increase our workforce to almost 2000 personnel, enabling us to continue to meet customer demand.
“The additional roles provide a glimmer of light against the bleak backdrop of the Coronavirus crisis and we hope the expansion of our business will help boost the economy within the Midlands region and the nation as a whole,” Mr Travers concluded.