US ambassador promises to help ARC Manufacturing with finding markets in US
Company praised for maintaining staff levels in spite of COVID-19Sunday, April 26, 2020
BY DURRANT PATE
Building supplies manufacturer and distributor ARC Manufacturing has won the support of US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia who has committed to assisting the company with identifying markets in America for its products.
The US ambassador made the announcement following an interview with the Jamaica Observer's Sunday Finance following a tour of the company's 14 Bell Road, Kingston 11, plant on Thursday. ARC Manufacturing is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium-quality building materials in Jamaica.
Its range of products and services include wire and steel products, chain-link fencing, aluminum-steel roofing tiles and more. The 18-acre plant features seven factories, including a state-of-the-art lumber treatment plant.
The courtesy call by the US ambassador was driven by his desire to see how manufacturing companies in Jamaica are weathering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador Tapia told Sunday Finance that he is impressed with ARC's operations.
TAPIA COMMITS TO HELP
He emphasised that despite the challenges faced by the company with COVID-19, “the future looks bright, and I think that together we might be able to open up some markets in the US that he [Norman Horne, ARC's chairman] has not been into”. Ambassador Tapia made the point that COVID-19 is a problem for all countries, especially their manufacturing sector.
“What I am looking forward to is talking to Mr Horne on what we can do to help exporting. We need to raise the export into the US or the export of Jamaican products into the US,” the US ambassador explained. Tapia also promised to assist ARC to get an audience with industry players “and put something together so he [Horne] can start exporting products that he is actually manufacturing here.”
AMBASSADOR PRAISES ARC FOR NO LAYOFFS
Turning to the issue of staff retrenchment given the impact of COVID-19, Ambassador Tapia heaped praises on ARC for keeping staff levels constant in spite of the fall-off in business as a result of COVID-19. “The thing that impresses me is during COVID-19 that he [Horne] is doing everything possible to maintain the number of employees that he has…that's huge for somebody to step forward and try to maintain every employee.”
Horne, who led the tour, told Sunday Finance that they both would be having extensive discussions about COVID-19 and its impact on the business.