On May 11th 2022, the Council of Ministers attended the Royal Caribbean Group and Government partnership signing ceremony at the Dr A.C Wathey Cruise & Port facility. At this ceremony, the MOU was signed by the Minister of public Health, Social Development and Labor Omar Ottley and Ms. Wendy McDonald who is the regional Vice president of government relations of RCG. The ceremony was hosted by the NESC and the Minister delivered the following speech:
“Today is a historic moment for Sint Maarten.
As Minister of labor I can truly say this marks a milestone in our labor market. Since the Hurricanes Irma and Maria, unemployment has been steadily rising. However, just when we were seeing the light, we had to deal with the COVID-19.
This all started with a conversation in my office. In April 2021, I sat with Mrs. Dros- Richardson and said to her I need a six month plan for the ministry. We spoke of many things, including the online job portal, which RCG and the NESC will actually be using as a tool to source employment locally. At the end of that meeting, her eyes lit up and she said “Boss we have an amazing opportunity for our people to work on the cruise ships in collaboration with RCG and create up to 1000 jobs.”
Guess what? That is when my eyes began to light up as well. I said Mrs. Dros get it done, I do not care what it takes get it done and I leave the ball in your court. For those who know Mrs. Dros, oh lord that is all you need to tell her and she runs with it.
But guess what, we are standing here today at this ceremony. Because upon entering office it was not my way or the high way. I took time to discuss and see what my staff and team have in the pipelines.
The same can be said with MP Ludmila De Weever, she had so many ideas for our people and the cruise lines, it was amazing.
Today falls in line with the goals of the Ministry of VSA. Like the Rhianna song says “work work work”. Over the pass year, we have had job fairs at the hospital, the airport and now we invade the ports.
To the NESC team I say thank you,
To my colleagues in the Council of Ministers, I say thank you,
To the entire Royal Caribbean Group, I say thank you.
I will end by saying this, it is better to be prepared for opportunity that has not yet arrived, than for the opportunity to arrive and you are not prepared.
Sint Maarten this is your time to be prepared, because the opportunity is on its way and it is called Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Line.
The NESC, under the Ministey VSA will head the recruitment drive so I encourage everyone interested to please register with us at www.nesc.sx”.