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Good News 'Soon' For Grand Bahama, Says Labour Minister

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes.

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

GOOD things are on the horizon for Grand Bahama, according to Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, who said some important announcements would be made soon by the government.

He did not elaborate or disclose much, but said the officials are very "optimistic" about what is about to take place on the island.

"There is excellent news with respect to employment in Grand Bahama," Mr Foulkes told reporters in Grand Bahama on Thursday at the Department of Labour.

"I don't want to preempt the prime minister, Minister of State for Grand Bahama (Kwasi) Thompson and the Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, but we are about to make some very important announcements with respect to Grand Bahama. Government is optimistic about Grand Bahama, and what is about to happen," he said.

When asked for an update on negotiations for the Grand Lucayan Resort, Mr Foulkes indicated that he is part of the sub-committee negotiating the sale of the property.

"We are very optimistic about the completion of it, he said. It's been sometime now, but we are very optimistic. I don't want to say much more because we are at a stage where we hope to bring some conclusion," he explained.

While in Grand Bahama, Minister Foulkes announced that Janet Russell had been appointed the new assistant director at the Department of Labour in Freeport. He also introduced the acting director of labour, John Pinder, to the staff in Grand Bahama.

Mr Pinder, a veteran trade unionist, was appointed on May 1, replacing Robert Farquharson, who was appointed to a senior officer post as an executive manager working closely with the minister and the permanent secretary.

Ms Russell, who now heads the office in Freeport, replaces Tyrone Gibson who has retired. According to Mr Foulkes, she comes with vast experience in the public service.

With respect to employment on Grand Bahama, he reported that the island is showing a decrease in the unemployment rate as a result of the boom in the industrial sector.

"The government is pleased with what is going on in Freeport, and the last report from the Department of Statistics revealed a decrease in the unemployment rate in GB - I think it was the only island that showed a decrease," the minister said. "And we were pleased with that notwithstanding the fact that at the Lucaya strip, two of the major hotels are still closed."

Mr Foulkes indicated that the industrial sector in Grand Bahama is doing very well. "That accounted for the decrease in the unemployment rate," he told reporters.

According to the minister, Bahama Rock increased its workforce in the last 12 months by 10 percent, and across the board all the industrial companies have been employing persons incrementally, adding up to big numbers.

"PharmaChem is about to embark on a multi-million dollar expansion, and Quality Services Ltd recently conducted a job fair with the view to employ some 60 persons," he said.

He also noted that GIBC Digital, a tech company which this week opened its doors in Grand Bahama, would employ a minimum of 50 persons in high paying jobs.

"We are very pleased about that, and six other companies we have approved and established in GB as a result of the Commercial Enterprises (Act)," he stated.

Mr Foulkes said that Clear Blue, which has a relationship with the Grand Bahama Shipyard, has trained 50 persons as welders and pipe-fitters who are all now working at the shipyard.

He said officials would be staging a second "Labour on the Blocks" job fair in Grand Bahama before the end of summer in the West Grand Bahama area.

Meanwhile, Mr Pinder said that he and his team would focus on the further reduction of unemployment in Grand Bahama by ensuring that persons in the government's labour database fill available positions.

He stated that they would also consult with vocational institutions to put programmes in place that will help Bahamians to qualify and gain necessary skill sets to fill vacancies on the island.

Comments

TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Not that I'd even bother keeping track but Comrades Minnis, KP an Dion, has be by this time cut down short to-do most important things list: "20" fantasy promises made Grand Bahamalanders- since 10th May, 2017 - down exactly "20" NOT even close delivering. { Be impossible make this most important fantasy list "20" up }. More so, even the little children Freeporter's are having red nightmares over NO lunches monies their schools Lunch Vendors.

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BahamaLlama 2 years, 9 months ago

These non-announcements defy belief, and just get worse and worse. The emperor is wearing clothes! OK, he's not wearing clothes, but he will be! Fine, they're not clothes, but they soon will be! Look at the emperor's new clothes!

These people don't seem to understand they are in PUBLIC service, not CEOs on stage before an enraptured audience hanging on their every word.

"He did not elaborate or disclose much," You think? Then why is it being reported as news?

"The government is pleased with what is going on in Freeport" Oh really? The people of Freeport aren't.

"There is excellent news with respect to employment in Grand Bahama," No evidence whatsoever for this statement, and no substance.

"the island is showing a decrease in the unemployment rate as a result of the boom in the industrial sector." There is no "boom". And there is no evidence for the above statement whatsoever.

Why aren't the press holding these people to account for the con-man speeches?

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 9 months ago

See? If you live in Nassau you'd think Freeport was booming....

Bout industrial sector. Bunch of bull. Nobody on GB is hiring. A few temp jobs for a construction project???? I don't know about B'Rock that might be possible considering the infrastructure work in the US. That tech company that's supposedly going to train Bahamians in artificial intelligence and data analytics? I'm thinking plenty foreigners will be hired, foreigners with college degrees in that sort of thing.

Container port dead as a door nail. Shipyard dead as a door nail. Polymers dead as a door nail. Lucaya damned near closed down. Borco dead as a door nail. Stat Oil dead as a door nail. Law offices having to close down cause no one buying real estate. Restaurants closing down cause no one can afford to eat out.

The government is pleased hey? Well the people sure as hell aint...

We getting PLP'd by the FNM. Well muddos...

This anouncement better be Our Lucaya sold and will open ASAP...

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Ma Comrades, just imagine what greater strides a start with nothing Abaco would have done had it been provided with the infrastructure which Freeporters have let sit all but under capitalized to their economic advantage...in fact, lucky for Freeport - some Abacoians, decided relocate, or the magic city be even more economically magically bust. Freeporters need get off their foreigner dependence asses. It's fact, the 30 leading business shakers in Freeport can trace their blood lines back Abaco... and some others to Long Island. Abacoians does waits "NO" dependency foreigners corporate welfare handouts. Time Freeporters get off their BUTTS and take control over their own economic destinies. No, I am not suggesting in any way that Freeporters are a lazy people... just been too long lazy on foreigner economic dependence.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 9 months ago

Just ask yourself: "What has Dion Foulkes ever accomplished for his constituents, both past and present, and the Bahamian people generally, in all the many years he has been an active politician?" Answer: "Absolutely nada - nothing!"

This is one dinosaur Bahamian voters should have long ago made extinct!

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ashley14 2 years, 9 months ago

We're waiting to see! Hope it's true, no more empty promises. It's not going to involve tourists, no one is going.

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 9 months ago

These non anpuncements on Freeport are designed to bullshit Nassau into believing these do nothings are doing something. If you're from Nassau and know nothing of Freeport you'd think GB was booming..

Sickening. I hate this FNM...

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 9 months ago

Ahhh.....uhmmm....ok....so...when you change your monicker ...please post a message with "formerly known as ...."

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Ma Comrades, for as long as there are disciples and followers to the Lie of Freeport - ever having achieved the dream being the 'Magic City' - the lie will forever prevent focusing on capitalizing all the great mostly untapped positives Freeport has going in its favour.... It all has begin with releasing the blame from the shoulders the so long ago deceased Pindling. Freeporters - must drop with the damn blame others game... Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall - why are we trying fix that which has always been a passed down - Broken Lie... just go ask the inheritors all that is Freeport - if it has really been one big manifested Lie - all these years?

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 9 months ago

"good news right around the corner", "tings guh be dead good" said another wise man.

This time I hope he's right!

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 9 months ago

They're milestone updates. Pleasant enough.

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ashley14 2 years, 9 months ago

I see a lot going on that doesn't look good.

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 9 months ago

What milestones? They have not passed one. Not even a small one. Freeport is far worse off today than it was when these idiots were sworn in...

I really hate this lying FNM....

They know they haven't done a damned thing but they lie to Nassau saying they have. And Nassau eats it up.

Unemployment has not gone down. We lost 2000 jobs since october 2016. And to date those 2000 jobs have not been rehired. So how in the hell can unemployment have gone down?????

They lie. When it comes to GB ALL THEY DO IS LIE.

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