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South West Local Authorities Appoint Former Cork Chamber Director of Policy to Manage South West Action Plan for Jobs

Local authorities in the South West region have appointed Ms. Alma Murnane as the Programme Manager to lead the implementation of the South West Action Plan for Jobs (SWAPJ), which is chaired by Mr. Bob Savage, General Manager, EMEA Centres of Excellence for Dell EMC.

A highly experienced public policy professional and economic development strategist, Alma was most recently Director of Policy & External Relations at Cork Chamber. While there, she was instrumental in the development and implementation of the economic policy and research programme, in addition to the development & co-ordination of strategies and policies in the areas of stakeholder engagement and public affairs which underpinned and informed the strategic interventions of Cork Chamber.

Prior to Cork Chamber, Alma worked with the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), where she represented the needs and interests of a variety of food and drink industry sectoral associations at a national and international level. In her role she managed multiple policy oriented and strategic communications campaigns while interacting with all levels of Government and the EU Institutions.

Mr. Bob Savage, Chairman of the South West Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee said, “I am delighted to welcome Alma to this new role, leading, co-ordinating and managing the implementation of the South West Action Plan for Jobs in the South West region. With nearly 15 years experience in the areas of economic development, policy formulation, strategic communications and stakeholder collaboration across public and private sectors at a regional, national and international level, I am confident that she will make a major contribution to realising the ambitious shared vision of this plan”.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms. Murnane said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with all stakeholders involved in the South West Action Plan for Jobs who are collaborating for competitiveness and accelerated regional economic growth.  There are no limits to what a precious mix, such as this, of public and private sector stakeholders working together can successfully achieve, continually building on our credentials as the region with the second highest Gross Value Added per worker in the State after Dublin. After many years of developing and influencing for pro-enterprise policies on behalf of the business community, this is a fantastic opportunity to work with such a respected network of economic-decision makers in implementing this policy instrument to support enterprise growth and job creation in our region, address regional challenges and capitalise on our regional strengths and opportunities”.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “I wish Alma every success in her role in leading the implementation of the South West Action Plan for Jobs.  I believe Alma will bring strong leadership qualities and expertise in economic development to her new role. 

I am delighted to report that the South West region has seen strong jobs growth in the past 4 years, which has seen unemployment in the region fall from 14.3% in 2012 to 6.4% in Q3 2016.  I am confident that under Alma's leadership, this momentum of job creation announcements will continue and that the enterprise agencies, Local Authorities and other Government bodies will continue to work collaboratively to create the right environment for jobs growth."

Mr. Savage, concluded by saying, “I would also like to acknowledge the joined-up strategic vision and collaborative nature of Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Kerry County Council in coming together to fund the position of Programme Manager South West Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee for the benefit of all stakeholders in the South West region”.

From Cork, Alma holds a BSc, MSc from University College Cork, a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Ulster and a Certificate from the Boston College Center for Irish Programs in Sustainable Civic Government.

For further information, please contact Alma Murnane, Programme Manager, South West Action Plan for Jobs, 087-7972839

Photographs Available from Clare Keogh on  or +353 87 763 7524

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