A young woman’s love for welding since school days has made her a professional and a well respected worker in the construction field.
Welding for over 13 years, 31-year-old Jamaican, Suzette Samuels, lends her skills to the Cayman construction industry.
Each day this young woman risks falling from high buildings, eye injuries and burns, but that does not stop her from doing her job.
‘I love what I do,’ she said, ‘the job is exciting and challenging and working along with the men is good. They respect and treat me well and I share my knowledge with them.’
Dressed in hardhat, boots and harness straps Ms Samuels says, ‘Like any other job it comes with its dangers, you just try to be very careful. Because of safety I have only received a few minor burns since I started the profession.’
‘What made me first decide on a career in welding was the idea of having a trade. Further encouragement from my vocational teacher Mr. Reid at Clarendon High, who saw a high potential in me becoming a welder, made me pursue the profession much harder. Plus I just liked it.’
‘At first my father was not too impressed with the idea and warned me of the dangers in welding. He said that sparks from the torches could cause serious eye injuries. But after seeing me working so professionally he quickly became confident in my ability.’
Ms Samuels said her chance to work in Cayman came through a friend who found her a job with the company Donalds & Sons, since that time she has worked with company for the past six years.
‘When Ms Samuels came to me she was well trained already. From my experience in welding, because I am a welder myself, I know a good welder when I see one and she has proven herself to be one of the best on the island,’ said employer Mr. Kingsley Donalds.
‘Ms Samuels has proven to be industrious and courageous; whatever we do she is there, whether it is climbing the heights, lifting material, or moving equipment, anything the men are doing she is willing to help out.
‘She is very professional in doing her work and very dependable.
‘She meshed right in with the guys and finds no problems working with them. She is well known since she has been working for the company,’ he said.
‘Where women are concerned if they show the initiative and want to learn welding I am willing and she is willing to train them and give them the experience only if they want to.’
Mr. Donalds said he was appealing to young ladies on islands to pursue whatever career of their choice. ‘If you want to do it, you can do it.
Ms Samuels’ young brother, Baron Stewart, said he was very proud of his sister. ‘When I see her climb to such heights to work, I feel very proud. Sometimes I am a little afraid for her but she knows what she is doing, so that makes me feel OK. She just likes what she does.’