Puerto Rico’s Road To Recovery After Hurricane: Manufacturing & Technology

Photo by Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa on Unsplash

With Puerto Rico still recovering from the devastating effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the locals are turning their attention and efforts to two budding industries to aid in its recovery: manufacturing and technology. The island has become known as a popular travel destination, littered with hidden gems and tourist attractions. However, the Caribbean country has so much more to offer in terms of its industrial potential. Manufacturing now accounts for over 46 percent  Puerto Rico’s GDP with steady growth predicted. Combined with the government’s support of technological innovation, the country is in the midst of a transformation as it beckons new talent and growth.

Medical Technology Funding Continues To Bloom

Recently, Medtronics announced a $50 million investment and expansion plan for its operations in Puerto Rico. The company stated that the capital influx is aimed at increasing its manufacturing capacity and also expanding its cardiovascular and orthopedic product range. More specifically, the company facilities located in Juncos and Villalba are set to be upgraded. With the impending expansion and vote of confidence from Medtronic, Puerto Ricans can look forward to more jobs opening up in the company’s manufacturing plant. In fact, Medtronic’s VP of Puerto Rico operations estimated that the expansion will create an additional 500-600 jobs, mostly in the next two years.

The Technology-Driven Partnerships In Energy And Telecommunications Continue

Thanks to government backed initiatives, the technology sector is also on the fast track for Puerto Ricans. Following the hurricanes, the government partnered with industry giants such as Tesla, SunRun and Google on energy and telecommunications projects. Tesla’s partnership sees the country’s agenda for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This highlights another key sector in which we will witness job growth, as engineers, companies and government officials attempt to improve Puerto Rico’s electrical grid post-disaster season. The hurricanes affected almost 40 percent of the country’s 334 substations and 25 percent of its transmission towers, many of which are still being rebuilt. As we rethink Puerto Rico’s future, ideas for a decentralized power grid is being considered, along with the manifestation of its plans for renewable energy. These discussions have also opened up opportunities that construction and machinery providers can take advantage of like the need for a Bronto skylift, Boom lift and other high rise aerial work platforms or equipment. There is also the accompanying training to ensure the safety of its operators, including the 2-day Bronco Skylift Operator License and Aerial Stimulator Training.

Housing And Construction Industry Slowly Regaining Momentum

The construction industry was one of the hardest hit by the recession. With the major damage done to the country’s infrastructure and the resulting approval of both federal and private funding, construction is set to rebound and can prove to be a key employment opportunity for Puerto Ricans. Also, the recently passed opportunity zone legislation, which encourages investment and development in distressed areas around the country provides a well-needed gateway for investors (both local and foreign) to capitalize on the need for housing and infrastructural construction projects.

All of these individual sectors and their plans for development paint a positive picture for both the local workforce and Puerto’s place on the global economic index. Providing that these plans go off without a hitch, we can expect to see an explosion of jobs for the Puerto Rican population, and the dawning of a new age for the country.

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