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.