By SCOTT JACKSON
Representatives from County Cork, Ireland, were in Quincy Tuesday to sign an agreement meant to bolster economic development between the two polities.
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch signed the pact Tuesday in the Great Hall of the McIntyre Government Center. Declan Hurley, the mayor of County Cork, and Tim Lucey, the chief executive of the Cork County Council, signed it on behalf of the county of more than 540,000 in the south of Ireland.
The four-page agreement outlines benefits to both Quincy and County Cork in the areas of business, academia and tourism.
The pact notes Quincy and County Cork share mutual areas of strength across a variety of industries and sectors, including life sciences, marine renewable energy, technology and financial services.
To help foster business growth in the two regions, Quincy will be presented as a region of investment for Cork companies. Quincy companies looking to expand into Cork will be provided access to economic development programs via the county council and would be provided with shared workspace. The Cork County Council, Cork Chamber of Commerce and related entities would also help Quincy stakeholders looking to enter the broader European market.
Companies based in County Cork would be offered support services by the Quincy Chamber of Commerce and office space in the chamber’s Quincy Center for Innovation.
In the area of academia, Quincy College graduates will benefit from the ability to matriculate into Cork’s third-level institutions offering four-year degree programs; graduates of the school’s biotech and good manufacturing programs could also be placed into jobs with Cork-based bio-manufacturing companies. As part of the deal, a partnership between the culinary program at Quincy High School and hospitality and tourism program at academic institutions in Cork would be explored.
In the future, Cork’s third level institutions could be promoted to American high school students, and access to Quincy College’s summer biotech program could be offered to secondary students in Cork. Also under consideration would be cultural exchange programs and sporting tournaments between secondary school students, and shared business and history curriculums for secondary school students.
In the area of tourism, Quincy will be marketed directly at Cork Airport – Ireland’s second-busiest airport. Tour operators in Cork will also provide Quincy tour packages.
The Cara Travel Group and others based in Quincy would promote Cork tourism initiatives, including the Wild Atlantic Way, a 1,500-mile tourism trail on Ireland’s west coast; Ireland’s Ancient East; and Spike Island in Cork Harbor, which was named one of Europe’s best attractions at the 2017 World Travel Awards.