Verdant Isle to host port project job fair

The Verdant Isle consortium is set to host a job fair at the end of this month to lay the groundwork for its workforce for the proposed $200 million cruise berthing and cargo dock.

Barry Loudermilk, director of business development at the Orion Group, told the Cayman Compass Wednesday that the aim of the fair is to locally fill short- and long-terms jobs for the project.

“Our goal anywhere we go is to maximise our local content,” Loudermilk said. “We are really trying to bring in as many local resources as we can.”

While Loudermilk agreed many of the jobs hinge on the outcome of the 19 Dec. referendum on the project, he said the consortium is moving ahead with its plans for the project even with the possibility of an adverse outcome hanging over their heads.

“The referendum is not affecting our strategy; we are fully prepared that if the people of Grand Cayman say no to this port, we will walk away from it, no harm, no foul, and we will still be friends. Orion Marine and Carnival Cruise Line have been a part of this society for a long time,” he said.

He said a target of 200 jobs had been set and “we believe we can reach that”.

Loudermilk said there are employment options available in all aspects of the project.
“There is a lot of opportunity for the coral relocation for divers, boat captains, mud mixers and the construction aspect. We are going to have rod busters, still fixers, carpenters, labourers, boat captains, and that list will be provided in the coming days,” he said.

He added that said the job fair, scheduled for 29 Oct., will also look at providing permanent jobs for those interested in working within the corporate structure of consortium partners.

“The Orion group will have a facility set up at the venue, as well as McAlpine, Carnival and Royal. I believe Royal is doing an entrepreneurship programme [and will offer] jobs both long term and short term. People [will be] coming to talk to them [attendees] about coming to work for their corporate structure on the [cruise] lines themselves,” he added.
The job fair, he said, will offer a two-fold opportunity for the public.

“We are going to discuss construction jobs,” he said. “We are going to be bringing a good demand for construction jobs between McAlpine and ourselves and, hopefully, people can come and we can discuss and educate people on the plan. I will be there to answer any questions for the people regarding the plan, the cargo facilities, specifications.”

Should the project get off the ground, Loudermilk said, there will be opportunities for an estimated 500 jobs in the long run.

“The consortium will have a 25-year maintenance contract so there will be opportunities for that programme, that’s Orion McAlpine,” he said. “For the rest of the consortium for cruise and cargo, there is going to be a lot of full-time jobs because we going to have to [get] lots of folks to take care of the people coming off the ships at the restaurants [and] bars, and there’s capacity for drivers and tour operators. There will be lots of job opportunities.”

The venue for the job fair is yet to be finalised.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now


  1. Dangling jobs in front of individuals at a job fair should not be allowed! That is an attempt to buy votes. No problem highlighting how many jobs would come from the port project, but there is no way a job fair should be allowed prior to the vote

  2. Interesting strategy going ahead with showcasing potential jobs ahead of the actual vote. I guess it makes sense though. There’s been so much misinformation and negative press from obviously biased sources that the people should see what the potential jobs impact might be if it were to go forward.
    Maybe now that the plans are out, people will actually go read them. It’s strange that finding the info has been so difficult. It’s as if the press doesn’t actually want to make the info available. Anyway, I found all the info at the Verdant Isle website quite insightful and detailed. Why can’t the news service focus the information out there? I don’t understand the reluctance. Here’s the developer’s website where there’s a lot of info:

  3. Well JJ,
    It’s hard to trust someone who knows that Eden Rock, Devil’s Grotto, Soto’s Reefs, the Cali shipwreck and Hog Stye Bay are all on the chopping block due to dredge silt, but will not offer to show any mitigations that can save them from the axe. I sincerely believe that there are no new, yet to be disclosed technologically miraculous mitigations that can effectively save them, which is why they won’t address that issue on their own volition. Here’s what the informative web site you proffered has to say about the environment in their FAQ page: “How will the environment in George Town Harbour be impacted?
    The design of the new pier reflects Government’s mandate with respect to minimizing the environmental impact. Locating the piers in deeper water has resulted in the need for less dredging and less coral relocation than previously considered in the 2015 scheme submitted for environment impact assessment and there will be no dredging in Hog Sty Bay. Government gave the mandate to minimize environmental impact and this has been achieved.”
    If that isn’t an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes with deceptive misinformation, I don’t know what is! The shame will be known when we watch clouds of milky silt pour over our precious harbor reef sites outside the dredge pit. There is near zero current flow inshore of the pit, which means the silt will hang there much longer than it will offshore and settle into a fine, sludgy ooze that is easily reanimated into suspension. This is a new, talcum powder fine material that does not currently exist in the harbour and it will fester in all of the low current areas, such as inside the tunnels of the reef and inshore areas. BTW cruise execs have admitted that they are not phasing out smaller ships, merely adding a few big ones to the fleet and that they will always come to Cayman. Nobody will like the new silty harbour, but that will be too late. Vote NO!