Early Christmas for workers

Clearing land for highway project

Thirty previously unemployed people are getting a little extra Christmas cash in their pockets in the lead up to the big holiday. 

The ForCayman Investment Alliance and the Cayman Islands Government are working to get people back to work, provide opportunities for local businesses and stimulate the economy. 

The temporary work involves the clearing of Dart owned land in preparation for the northward extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, which is just one of the alliance’s West Bay Corridor Projects. The Highway will be extended from its current terminus northward to Batabano Road and Reverend Blackman Road will be extended so that it becomes a connector road between the highway and Willie Farrington Drive. 

“This work has been an enormous blessing for my family,” said Tekeisha Manderson, a mother of five girls whose husband is battling Leukemia and has been out of work for almost two years. 

“I am so grateful for the work as I can now buy Christmas presents for my girls,” she said.  

Tekeisha said projects like the ForCayman Investment Alliance are good for the country – anything that provides Caymanians with jobs is good for the country and much-needed. She fully supports the initiative and hopes that she will receive full-time work as a result of the signing of the Agreement. “It’s been so hard for my family, as their father is unable to work because he is ill and every day we struggle to make ends meet. We have had to rely on our family’s help and the hope that God answers our prayers.” 

Workers were found through a Rally for Work held earlier this year. Also, at each ForCayman Investment Alliance District meeting, people who were looking for work had an opportunity to sign up. Individuals looking for work also contacted the ForCayman Investment Alliance directly. All their names and contact details were entered into a database, which was used to identify those who were out of work. 

While there are no plans to hire any more workers for this particular project, Dart Realty will continue looking for projects that can be worked on in advance of signing the agreement. 

With the signing of the ForCayman Investment Alliance, it is estimated that up to 400 jobs will be made available across the various projects.  

Dart is picking up the tab for these workers’ wages. And in addition to pay, the workers are provided with a hot lunch each day, as part of the remuneration. They are also each given a pair of steel-toe safety boots for the job, which then can then keep. 

In the short term, the highway extension will provide employment for local businesses, contractors, truckers, labourers and heavy equipment operators, and these new jobs will collectively boost the economy. In the long term, the extension will greatly improve access between West Bay and George Town; significantly reduce traffic congestion on West Bay Road; and decrease the probability of damage to the road from storms (hurricanes and nor’westers).  

“There are a lot of people in the country that are crying for work and as a father of three it means so much to me to be able to make some money before Christmas. The Government and Dart need to work together so we can have more jobs for the people of Cayman,” said another worker, Brian Parchment. 

pre-Christmas road clearing

A small group of the 30-strong workforce working on clearing land in preparation for the northward extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. – Photos: Submitted

1 COMMENT

  1. You can give them hats, shirts, gloves, boots, and machetes, but you have NOT given them sustainable jobs.

    This is not the 1940’s when trails had to be cleared by hand through the buttonwood forests.

    With all of the huge excavators lying idle somewhere in Cayman, only a fool would imagine this to be anything other than political patronage.

    Most Caymanians understand the need for jobs, but please don’t pee on our backs and tell us it’s raining.

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