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Update: RitzCarlton encouraged to source staff at local schools in meeting with TCI Gov’t

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RitzCarlton Turks and Caicos construction site on December 8 under overcast skies

#TurksandCaicos – December 10, 2020 — RitzCarlton Residences Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay is moving steadily toward a mid-2021 opening and in November accomplished a string of feats which have pushed the development of the Desarrolles Hotel Co Turks and Caicos Ltd (DHTC) closer to launch of its luxury twin towers.

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A meeting held on November 17 with Delroy Williams, Minister of Labour and Employment Services and his team including Edwin Taylor, TCI Labour Commissioner was meant to give guidance on best practices during the hiring process. 

RitzCarlton executives: John Hazard, Corey Guest, Roberto Spita and Steven Redkoles learned of opportunities to partner with schools, colleges and vocational institutions in Turks and Caicos for possible internships and to offer developmental courses as it seeks to staff is world class, branded resort.

Shared with the hotel executives were recommendations on pay, benefits, employee taxes, programs like retirement savings and a session to better acquaint the team with the labour laws of Turks and Caicos.

The Ministry shared:  “A number of topics were covered, some of which are as follows: Turks and Caicos Labour Laws; General pay (including required or non-required service charge and distribution) & benefits offered on island; Medical, dental and other required and standard insurance provided to employees; Pension/Retirement plan requirements that are offered in the industry to employees; Vacation, holiday and sick leave entitlements; Local vs. Expat differences and any potential requirements as it relates to Live-in/Live-out, pay and benefits; Offer Letter/Work Agreement templates and requirements.”

On November 26, the Turks and Caicos Islands cabinet approved “a 99 year license for and licence to operate a restaurant and to renovate an existing pier/jetty…”

Minister Williams, who was also accompanied by Desmond Wilson, Permanent Secretary and James Astwood, the deputy PS said, “… that he is confident that the opening of this resort will create major employment as well as entrepreneurial opportunities for the residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and is looking forward to the Ritz Carlton team working closely with my Ministry team during the various phases of the project, to ensure that the end result will prove beneficial to all.”

TCI Government approves refurbishment of the pier at the RitzCarlton construction site on Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. View of the pier as a cold front rolls in.

There is optimism and anticipation from the RitzCarlton Turks and Caicos side as well, “When I exited the plane in Turks and Caicos last year, I felt an immediate connection with the island as it truly felt like home. We look very much forward to a successful opening and partnering with you (TCI Government) and the community,” said Mr. Guest, Director of Human Resources.

Additionally, RitzCarlton, in July signed on as FortisTCI’s tenth UORE (Utility Owned Renewable Energy) customer. 

“A 210.6 kW rooftop solar PV system will be installed on the resort’s casino and restaurant rooftop. It will be a grid-tied installation, generating approximately 310MWh annually and help avoid approximately 244 tons of CO2 emissions. Customers participating in the UORE program receive a monthly fixed credit for rooftop space and an annual variable incentive based on system production,” said FortisTCI in a media statement.

RitzCarlton Turks and Caicos will be the country’s tallest hotel at 12 storeys and features 124 hotel rooms, 60 residences, restaurant, meeting rooms and a casino stretched across 700 feet of uninterrupted views of the world famous, Grace Bay Beach.

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Bahamas News

Tropical Storm Owen in December?

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 8, 2022 – A low-pressure system observed in the Central Atlantic Ocean has led the National Hurricane Center to believe there is a 50 per cent chance a subtropical or tropical storm will develop. They reported on Tuesday,  the system was 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.

NHC said that by Thursday or Friday, the system should move northeastward, where it will interact with a mid-latitude trough, thereby limiting the chances of development.

The potential subtropical or tropical storm would become the 15th named storm of 2022 and will be called Owen.

Here is the very latest forecast:

Central Subtropical Atlantic

Showers and thunderstorms have increased since last evening near a

large non-tropical area of low pressure located over the central

subtropical Atlantic about 850 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

However, the system remains embedded within a frontal zone, which is

expected to become more pronounced later today as the low begins to

move east-northeastward at 20 to 25 mph toward colder waters and

interact with a mid-latitude trough.  Therefore, while the system

could show some subtropical characteristics today, its chances to

fully transition to a subtropical or tropical cyclone appear to be

decreasing.  Nevertheless, significant non-tropical development of

this low is expected during the next couple of days, and additional

information, including hurricane-force wind warnings, can be found

in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.  The

next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued

by 9 AM EST Thursday.

 

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent.

 

Photo Credit: ACCUWEATHER

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News

Minister Doubles Down on need for Population Plan, says TCIs facing EXTINCTION

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 8, 2022 – After a firestorm of comments from residents across the Turks and Caicos regarding recent announcements that third generation TCI residents would be able to apply for citizenship, Minister of Immigration Arlington Musgrove now doubles down on the need for an intentional population growth or local islanders could go extinct.

He is now summoning patience and clarifying that more than TCI descendants in The Bahamas are being considered in the plan.

Acknowledging the polarizing nature of the announcement Musgrove said, “The simple truth is that the population of our country is growing by leaps and bounds year on year, through accidental status, if you will, work permit holders attaining PRC who are then naturalized as BOTC.  In the same token, Turks and Caicos Islander Status numbers have largely remained flat in comparative periods.”

He said through this type of naturalization the TCI is growing much too fast, at a rate of between four and five percent when the country should be maintaining a steady two percent rate.

“Even if we manage the rate down to two percent, it is projected that by 2040, the population will be near or about 50,000 with tight immigration control measures, but it is still estimated that Turks and Caicos Islanders will only be 15,000 in number, less than a quarter of the population, maximum.”

Describing this as unsustainable he cautioned that TCI citizens could disappear completely in the coming years.  “As a people, based on today’s birth and death records, could be near extinction if certain steps aren’t taken. So, we are looking at how this can be balanced.”

Musgrove reiterated that the new policy is in an effort to ‘strengthen ties with the diaspora and to welcome them as the first option for population expansion for the future.’

The intention is to amend the law to give these grandchildren and great grandchildren the right to become Turks and Caicos Islanders.

He explained that data was currently being collated by the Immigration and Population Council, tasked with developing a policy for the controlled growth of the population.

Any proposals made by the council he said, would be taken to public consultation in time, but something needed to be done immediately.

“As a Government– we are of the view that it is better to increase the number of Turks and Caicos Islanders with descendants of our own flesh and blood in the first instance, and then by other means – be it local child birth to foreign parents, or by grant.”

In the two weeks since the announcement, residents have cited anxiety over criminal records, and the dangers they think may exist from opening the doors to the diaspora.  To those concerns Musgrove said this,  “The Government is not deaf to the concerns of our people.  We understand that there is inherent risk in opening our country to further generations, but we must recognize that there is inherent risk in opening our doors to anybody.”

He made it clear this was open to all third generation TCI Islanders not just Bahamians and promised that immediate Turks and Caicos citizens would not be left out under any circumstances.  He promised more incentives for young people to remain in the TCI ,as well as incentives to encourage childbearing among Turks and Caicos Islanders.

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Caribbean News

Not long now, North Caicos Airport has equipment and staff says Minister

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 8, 2022 – Long awaited upgrades are finally being put into the North Caicos airport starting with a new terminal according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services who confirmed staff and equipment for the facility.

The Minister, who also oversees airports and sea ports, made the announcement at a November 29th town hall meeting in North Caicos, prompted by questions from residents.

“We’re sending out an IFP this week or early next week for the demolition and construction of a new terminal building.”

The minister explained that they had already acquired a firetruck and security guards were in the works for the new airport.  In addition air traffic controllers are being trained and firefighters were being secured as well.  He maintained this wouldn’t just be a government only airport as they were sending out multiple Invitations for Proposal.

“It’s not only the terminal building, there’s going to be an IFP for a Fixed Base Operator.  The FBO is going to be privately owned, customs and Immigration will be there from the government.”

In terms of how long it would all take Musgrove, who is the Member of Parliament for the twin island district said this, “We’ll start next year for the FBO but the small terminal building, as soon as we get the tender ready that’s gonna start.”

The minister also mentioned the new developments for Dellis Cay,  which he hoped would push traveller traffic on the islands.

 

Photo credit North Caicos airport:

PHOTO BY VISIT TURKS & CAICOS 

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