And the figure is heading higher this week as Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Michael Martin, visits Washington D.C., New York and Boston for a series of engagements and announcements of the latest round of Irish company purchases on U.S. soil.
The largest of the latest batch is a $330 million investment on the part of the Irish company Airtricity that will involved the purchase of wind turbines from GE for use in renewable energy production, primarily in Texas.
“This is just another sign of the changing relationship between Ireland and the United States,” minister Martin told the Echo is a phone interview from Washington Tuesday.
In the past, he said, that relationship had traditionally rested on U.S. companies investing in Ireland.
With Airtricity, which has its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, and other ventures being announced this week, the full extent of the change was becoming clear, the minister explained.
“This is a very good week from our perspective,” Martin, who will be hosting investment forums in New York and Boston before week’s end, said.
Martin said that the Irish companies making investment inroads were not only from the consumer goods sector but also medical devices and pharmaceuticals sector, software and renewable energy was the case with Airtricity.
Minister Martin said that in the Software sector in particular, there had been a change in the U.S. mindset. Ireland, he said, was now recognized in the U.S. and globally as a leader in that market.
This, he said, was in part due to the development of an entrepreneurial class in Ireland where the business mindset had itself dramatically changed over the last twenty years.
Martin’s visit to the U.S. is being organized by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish state development agency that works to aid and promote Irish companies planning to invest outside Ireland itself.
AS of this week the top five Irish employers in the U.S., according to Enterprise Ireland are: CRH, HM Riverdeep, Kerry Group, IAWS and the Irish Dairy Board.
The largest number of jobs as a result of Irish company investment are to be found in Florida where the total is now 9,400. The next four top states are Massachusetts, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.