Jamaica based outsourcing firm itelbpo has unveiled what it says is the Caribbean’s first COVID-19 ready BPO facility. The modern building will open in Kingston in June of this year while itelbpo’s facility in Saint Lucia will be upgraded this month with a second building and outdoor dining and recreation area, both designed and built around COVID safety protocols and requirements.
The mammoth 80,000 square foot facility new facility is located on Molynes Road in the Jamaican capital of Kingston and will be the largest of any single itelbpo facility so far. Already granted Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status by the Jamaican government, it is designed from the ground up for COVID-19 risk mitigation, adapting to the changing business environment while remaining true to the company’s objective of filling 5,000 additional seats in 5 years.
“It will enable safe scalability as we maintain the trust of both existing and new employees and clients. The company has been agile and nimble amidst the COVID-19 crisis and this is just another opportunity for us to stay ahead of the game,” commented itelbpo founder and chairman Yoni Epstein.
The outsourcing and shared services sector in Jamaica generates an estimated $700 million USD annually while employs over 40,000 people. The resort destination of Montego Bay and the surrounding St. James parish has traditionally been the epicenter of BPO activity on the island, but the capital of Kingston, with its larger population and strong pool of university-educated talent offers expansion opportunities for continued growth of the sector. “We expanded our Kingston facility over three years ago and began making long-term plans to establish a larger footprint in the capital. After COVID hit, we went back to the drawing board and redesigned the approach to our new facilities, both in Kingston and Saint Lucia, to meet COVID safety requirements,” added Epstein.
According to itelbpo, the new facilities are designed with employee comfort and safety as a priority. “The facility is being structurally designed to the specifications of established COVID-19 guidelines. These include a built-in HVAC system, general seating arrangements to allow excess space for social distancing between employees well within 6 feet distance of each other, two (2) feet directional walkways so team members & guests won’t come into contact with each other while traversing the building or production spaces and cubicle partitions at a minimum of 36 inches, which is higher than normal, just to name a few,” said Epstein. “Given that we have built it to spec with the COVID-19 virus in mind, we can actually operate onsite at a safe capacity while protecting the health and wellness of our team.”
The building is a Chalmers Commercial development and is a joint venture between Musson (Ja) Ltd. and Mayberry Investments. This is itelbpo’s newest venue following the opening of its 6th location in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, last June, and regional expansion into Canada early last year.