Ironwood commits to hiring locals

The developers behind the planned Ironwood golf resort have committed to a target of hiring a workforce of mostly Caymanian employees as part of a duty concessions agreement with government. 

The developer, which is still in the planning stages of the resort, has agreed to hire at least 60 percent Caymanians both during construction and operation of the $365 million facility, according to Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts. 

The commitment also extends to labor on the 10-mile extension of the East-West Arterial Highway, if government and the developer can agree on a partnership deal over the road construction. 

Ironwood announced last week that it was forging ahead with plans for the resort, which they say will include a town center, beach club and Arnold Palmer designed golf course. The announcement comes despite the inability of government and the developer to come to an agreement over the road at this stage. 

The agreement signed Thursday involves a package of tax concessions worth around $22 million. 

If Ironwood and government can agree on terms for a funding model for the road and get approval from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office within the next 12 months, those concessions will go into a ring-fenced fund to help pay for the highway extension. If not, they come back to Ironwood in the form of a tax rebate. 

Mr. Tibbetts said Ironwood had committed to a goal of hiring at least 60 percent locals as part of the agreement. 

“I don’t think for a moment that we will have any difficulty because, in all of our discussions, we have continually gotten the commitment of utilizing Caymanian labor wherever possible. But you formalize it to make sure that they don’t wake up one morning and forget,” he said. 

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the Ironwood project and the Beach Bay hotel in Bodden Town would create new job opportunities. 

“In keeping with this government’s firm commitment to the creation of employment opportunities for Caymanians, the agreement requires Ironwood, its contractors and sub-contractors to work with the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre and the National Workforce Development Agency, and to endeavor to meet certain substantial hiring targets of Caymanians that we set in Cabinet,” he added. 

“Ironwood will also be required to provide regular reports on its recruitment of Caymanians during the course of the development. In short, this government sees this deal as a win-win for the country and the people of these islands.” 

An artist

An artist’s rendering of the planned Ironwood town center

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  1. There is no one that could be so ingenuous to believe that 10 miles of new road is not needed. We also know that this will open much needed land for development that could solve traffic all going through GT to Camana Bay.
    We need to expand to the outer districts to save stress on roads in the very near future. We need to build in the center of the island a new capital with its spokes to each corner of the island. This will drive down the amount of traffic and expense on road renovations . I hope that we will continue to solve traffic going to GT but ultimately it will go to the center of the island and this little 10 mile road will begin new developments that will help Gov’t with badly needed revenue

  2. What we need to invest in is utilizing transport through Ferry’s instead of flating every tree,local fauna and mangroves in sight on this Island and saying its good for our development and our people cause in reality it never benefits the Caymanian people only the rich and famous!If I am not mistaken this development took so long due to the amount of local Fauna that will be demolished and destroyed! We are developing to rapidly with no regard for this fragile little Island we are living on! No Conservation Laws enforced and no one that really cares about the impact on our Environment! Always about how much profit they can make but when we destroy our Environment we cannot go back and we cannot eat or drink money!

  3. I must take issue with your reference to "badly needed revenue", David. Our government receives far more money each year than it can sensibly spend. What it does with its revenue is to spend it like a drunken sailor. As long as it continues doing that, then it will always be on the lookout for sources of new revenue. But that is a "want", not a "need".

  4. Gordon most of the money that we are receiving now is to pay off bills acquired before this Gov’t took office. We have been building this cruise ship facility from the last Gov’t., plus no jobs , more police force etc. Don’t forget why we are in this mess.