Home News Local news UVI UNVEILS PLANS FOR TECHNOLOGY PARK

UVI UNVEILS PLANS FOR TECHNOLOGY PARK

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June 20, 2001 — University of the Virgin Islands officials have submitted legislation to the Senate that would set in motion plans for a state-of-the-art technology park on St. Croix.
At a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Frederiksted on Tuesday, Dr. Orville Kean, UVI’s president, unveiled a plan aimed at attracting "information-age job opportunities" to the territory. The research and technology park proposes to create a Silicon Valley-type community where off-island tech businesses would hire locals and improve the overall economy of the territory, Kean said.
The development would be financed by companies seeking to do business in the Virgin Islands and federal funds for operating expenses. It would be managed by a public corporation with a board of directors, according to the proposed bill.
The cost of the project would be about $50 million over about three years, with no funding coming from the government’s general fund. Kean said the proposed technology park, which would work in tandem with UVI on job training and placement, will create about 200 jobs in the first three years and some 2,000 jobs in the next 10 to 15 years. He said there are companies ready to begin construction by the end of the year.
Finance Committee chairwoman Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen, who will sponsor the technology park bill, said the return on the initial $50 million investment over ten to 15 years will be about $500 million.
"This rate of return on any investment is fantastic," she said. "But even more significant is the jobs to be provided by the ancillary businesses, such as banking, that will result from activities at the research and technology park."
There are two reasons for developing the park on St. Croix, Kean said. The island’s economy is weaker than St. Thomas, and there are two fiber-optic systems – Global Crossing and AT&T – that run through the island.

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