One island helps another

They are two Commonwealth Islands, separated by 3,700 kilometers of water, with one nearly at the Arctic Circle and the other close to the equator. But in an office in downtown Summerside, PEI, staff is busy helping a Barbados company manage and organize their employees’ vacation, sick time, benefits and pay.

For the past few years, Worklinks has been working hard to establish trust and rapport with several Caribbean countries where the PEI company is expanding its reach.

Its latest client, Williams Industries, is based in Barbados, owning 20 companies across the island in industries ranging from manufacturing to retail.

“A lot of these countries haven’t automated their HR processes yet, and we can help with that,” said Worklinks Sales and Marketing Director Nancy Gaughan. “The ultimate goal is to enable a paperless office, which is good not only for these companies, but for the environment.”

Barbados wasn’t on Worklinks’ radar until the PEI government connected them with the country’s High Commission and provided the opportunity to visit the island, through the support of ACOA, Innovation PEI and the Trade Team PEI via the trade mission initiatives. Thanks in part to the success of these missions, there are now eight staff at Worklinks, and they’re planning to hire more.

Barbados is a good fit for PEI, Gaughan said. “We’re both English speaking islanders, linked to Britain as part of the Commonwealth. Plus most Barbadians have family or friends in Canada, and lots of Canadians visit Barbados regularly.”

Many global companies have operations in Barbados due to the availability of a highly educated population and the government’s efforts to ensure enough good jobs to keep them there.

“We’re expecting to land more sales as a result of the latest mission; our repeated visits to the island are a signal that they can trust us, that we’re there to stay,” Gaughan said. “Our efforts there are really starting to gel.”

Prince Edward Island is the Mighty Island - we may be small, but we make big things happen.
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