A familiar refrain among the disenchanted these days centres
around the suggestion that Caymanians aren’t being employed by the developments
Two of their favourite whipping posts have been The
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the Dart Group, but some have already expressed
similar sentiments about Cayman Enterprise City and the Shetty Hospital, the
latter having not even started.
People complain developers say before they build that they
will hire Caymanians but in the end, few are hired. The problem with these
statements are that they simply aren’t true.
For instance, as of mid-April The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
employed nearly 200 Caymanians, while the Dart Group of companies employed 290
Caymanians, making these entities two of the largest private sector employers
of Caymanians in the territory.
What’s more, the operations of both of The Ritz-Carlton and
the Dart Group require goods and services of scores of other local companies,
leading to the employment of many more Caymanians. Indeed, if The Ritz-Carlton
and all of the Dart Group of companies were to cease operations here, not only
would nearly 500 Caymanians lose their jobs working for those companies, but
many local companies that rely on the business they get from those companies
would suffer, as would their employees.
Some may point to the fact that the nearly 200 Caymanians
working for The Ritz-Carlton represent about a quarter of the hotel’s total
number of employees. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that it is
extremely difficult to attract sufficient numbers of Caymanians to the
hospitality/tourism industry. It’s also important to remember that those 600 or
so non-Caymanian employees are all paying work permit fees, an absolutely vital
source of government revenue that helps pay – and keep employed – Caymanian
In times of economic downturn, it’s easy to blame the big,
bad developers. But Caymanians and everyone here should be very thankful Cayman
has The Ritz-Carlton and the Dart Group of companies, because without them,
this territory would be in much worse shape than it is now.