Chamber’s Higher Education – Business Partnership to Explore Further Development of Transatlantic Educational and Economic Development Opportunities with Northwest Ireland

WORCESTER, MA – As a result of the peace process in Northern Ireland, an area that for generations had previously been ravaged by war and sectarian violence, a new, cross border stability is taking root. This new stability has resulted in cross border economic development and educational opportunities including international partnerships with institutions and businesses here in Central Massachusetts.

In 2008, in his former role as Lieutenant Governor, Tim Murray (currently of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce) along with then State Representative Marty Walsh (currently mayor of Boston), were instrumental in launching the Donegal Diaspora Project at the Massachusetts State House. This partnership between the Donegal County Council and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was initiated to pursue the goal of establishing economic development, educational and cultural exchanges between Donegal and Massachusetts. As a result, meaningful partnerships have been created between Worcester and Northwest Ireland.

The Higher Education – Business Partnership, at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, has helped to facilitate student and faculty academic exchanges between Worcester State University, Becker College, and the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT). Additionally, dialogue around transatlantic economic development opportunities between the Donegal County Council, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Worcester continue to take place.

To further build on relationships that foster economic development and educational opportunities, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel discussion with the presidents of Becker College, Worcester State University, and the Letterkenny Institute of Technology along with officials from Donegal, Derry, Ulster, and Worcester.

PHOTO: (L-R) Paul Hannigan, President at Letterkenny Institute of Technology;  John Kelpie, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council; Councillor Ciaran Brogan, Mayor of Donegal; Edward M. Augustus, Jr., Worcester City Manager; Councillor Elisha McCallion, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane; Seamus Neely, Chief Executive at Donegal County Council; Dr. Malachy Ó Néill, Head of School, School of Irish Language and Literature, Ulster University