Finally some good news on the jobs front with announcements in the past few days from Glanbia and SkOUT regarding significant investments in Laois.
The Glanbia Cheese investment of €130 million in a mozzeralla cheese facility at Togher in Portlaoise is the largest of its kind in this area in living memory.
It's represents a huge vote of confidence in the county, and by a multinational, and acknowledges all the positive factors which Laois possesses and makes it ideal for the siting of industry and companies here.
As the Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane pointed out, in addition to the 78 jobs, there will be a considerable downstream effect to the siting of this company here, with knock on benefits for the wider economy.
The construction phase itself will entail 250 jobs.
And similarly with cyber security firm SkOUT with their decision to open their headquarters in Portlaoise and create 30 jobs.
The location of this company here, which has its origins with local man Aidan Kehoe, will hopefully boost the area's credentials with other IT companies.
Such factors such as access “to highly skilled technical talent, the cluster effect of related businesses and the ease of doing business,” were all cited as contributing factors when deciding to locate here.
Laois' advantages in terms of its central location and access to infrastructure have been argued here and elsewhere for sometime, and particularly when decrying the lack of industry and jobs coming into the county.
It's a theme that comes through very much in ourfeature on Portarlington this week, in which many of the businesspeople interviewed drew on location as been a significant determinant of working and trading in Laois.
The axis most definetly tilted in the past week in favour of the county.
The hope now is that this is only the beginning and that the county can push on and attract even more companies here.
There will after all be two good examples and models to point to and there is no reason why others shouldn't take advantage of our location and situate themselves here.