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Experience Turks and Caicos hosts Tourism Career and Entrepreneurship Fair in South Caicos  

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PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (January 23rd, 2024) – Students of the Majorie Basden High School in South Caicos were given the opportunity to explore careers in the tourism industry when the Tourism Career and Entrepreneurship Fair took place on Monday, January 22nd, 2024 from 11 am to 3 pm at the South Caicos Community Centre.

Experience Turks and Caicos hosted the Tourism and Entrepreneurial Career Fair to expose students to numerous career opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship within the tourism industry.

The students interacted with the exhibitors to learn about the different careers of those present:

  • Department of Tourism Regulations
  • Invest TCI
  • TCI Airports Authority
  • Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR)
  • Department of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management
  • Turks and Caicos National Trust
  • Chili’s Catering & Takeout
  • Sailrock Resort
  • Salterra Resort

The Honourable Jameka Williams, the Government’s Appointed Member, praised Experience Turks and Caicos for giving students of South Caicos exposure to careers in the tourism industry.

“South Caicos TCIs fishing capital, is one of the most peaceful islands with little to no hard crime. This island offers you some of the friendliest people and showcases a picture of true island living. South Caicos is a success waiting to explode with two major hotel properties (Sailrock Resort and Salterra Resort) and a new airport that can accommodate international flights. It is our time in South Caicos to not only position ourselves for success but to ensure the people on this island are first for all considerations as we continue to grow,” she said in her address.

Urging the students to get the necessary qualifications, Ms. Williams told them to make sure to return to South Caicos as the opportunities are endless.  She said the government, through Invest TCI, offers free cash grants of up to $30,000 for small and medium-sized businesses.

“I would like to encourage the youth of South Caicos to prepare yourselves to take advantage of the opportunities available now and in the future.  As a people, we tend to complain about the opportunities afforded others, but we must also position ourselves to take what is ours. I would like to commend the organisers of Experience TCI for this timely event as it gives the people of South Caicos an opportunity to prepare for the continued success of this island,” she said.

Also addressing the students was Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos who told the students there was a world of opportunity awaiting them in tourism.

Sharing her journey, Ms. Brown said she wanted to study law but ended up studying geology.

“You might say what does that have to do with tourism? Tourism is everyone’s business and, in the Turks, and Caicos Islands, everyone here is involved directly or indirectly in the tourism industry. I share with you what my study area was because it allowed me to assist in developing products, for example, attractions and sites, to enhance the guest experience. I say to all of you that you may be into doing TikTok, into doing graphics, into doing snorkeling, you may like to fish, cook or do tours, the world is your oyster, please do not limit yourself,” she urged.

In his address, Mr. Norman Saunders, the former Hon. Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands, spoke about the history of the tourism industry in the Turks and Caicos Islands and his role in determining the development of the tourism industry back in 1972 after the closure of the Salt Industry in 1964.

He said that the economy needed a boost after the closure of the Salt industry and they decided to focus on tourism following a tour of the Caribbean to learn about the development of the tourism industry from other islands. Listen to excerpts of his address HERE.

The next Tourism and Entrepreneurial Career Fair is scheduled to take place in Providenciales on February 1st, 2024 at Graceway Sports Centre.

 

Photo Captions:

Header:  Students of the Majorie Basden High School listen intently to Rose Seymour, Environmental Officer from the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources at the South Caicos Tourism Career and Entrepreneurship Fair

1st insert: Students get information on facilities available for entrepreneurs from Invest TCI

2nd insert: A Manager from Sailrock Resort in South Caicos talks to the students about careers at the hotel

3rd insert:  The Hon Jameka Williams, Government’s Appointed Member, Mr. Norman Saunders, former Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Island and Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager/Interim CEO, Experience Turks and Caicos

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Demolition coming as South Base to Undergo Testing for Asbestos

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Turks and Caicos, July 18th, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government would like to advise the public of Grand Turk, that a consulting firm has been contracted to carry out testing of the buildings on the South Base Compound for the presence of asbestos.  A week of testing began Wednesday, July 10. This is to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and to protect workers, residents, and the public from possible asbestos exposure risks once comprehensive works on the base commence.

This is the initial consultation necessary to determine the methodology for the demolition and disposal of derelict buildings in the assessed area.  It is believed that low-risk micro-fibres are present in some of the buildings, owing to the period of construction and the types of materials used during that era.  Testing will confirm whether asbestos is present and if so, at what levels.

As a precautionary measure, signs have been erected to advise the public to avoid entering any of the dilapidated structures; as building materials containing asbestos, if disturbed, can release tiny asbestos fibres into the air.  Currently only the consultants are authorised to traverse the buildings until further notice.

Residents of Grand Turk have for years demanded that Governments address the unsightly area. The requests were mainly in relation to the aesthetics of the buildings. However, the interventions were deferred at various times for varying reasons.

The South Base is a huge compound, by island standards, with an area containing over twenty-one (21) building sites. It was formerly used as a United States Government base, and then as administrative offices by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government. Some of the structures were renovated and are in acceptable condition, whilst others were destroyed over the years by hurricanes and normal wear and tear. 

The South Base, which has mostly been left as a decrepit and ghostly development of obsolete structures is finally being remedied. The area, which is a main thoroughfare for tourism and commerce when cleaned up, will provide space for numerous governmental and civilian uses.

Residents of Grand Turk sharing the optimism of a prospective demolition should adhere to this notification and any precautionary warnings erected for their health, safety, and well-being.

Subsequent phases of the works will be published via a public tendering.

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Caribbean News

RBC donates $175,000 to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts

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PORT OF SPAIN — In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) and RBC Foundation USA announced a donation of C$175,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross in support of Caribbean and U.S. relief efforts.

The devastating hurricane impacted several Caribbean and U.S. communities where RBC operates, including Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Tobago.

RBC’s contribution will support emergency relief efforts, including shelters, hygiene kits, and social assistance to those in the affected communities.

“The intensity of Hurricane Beryl this early in the season is concerning and our thoughts are with the individuals affected in the Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S.,” said Chris Duggan, Head of RBC Caribbean Banking.

“At RBC, we believe it is our responsibility to support our communities in times of need. Our donation to the Red Cross, will provide immediate assistance to those impacted, ensuring they receive the necessary resources to recover and rebuild.”

Commenting on the Caribbean generosity as well as that of our larger RBC community, Duggan added: “The response of the RBC Caribbean Banking employees, as well as that of our larger RBC community has been generous and unhesitating. In response to the disaster, our colleagues are coming together in many unique and incredible ways and donating personally to help those affected.”

Those that would like to support the relief efforts can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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FortisTCI makes a case for Rate Increase in Media Meeting

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Ruth Gardiner Forbes, President and Chief Executive Officer of FortisTCI

Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

Turks and Caicos, July 17, 2024 – President and Chief Executive Officer of FortisTCI, Ruth Gardiner Forbes says it is very necessary for the company to be granted the 6% increase that it has requested, because it has absorbed many costs in previous years.

Devon Cox FortisTCI

The company is the main electricity provided in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), and the CEO shared that the rate adjustment will aid FortisTCI in meeting the demands of an expanding economy, and growing costs to operate.

If granted, the proposed 6% increase in electricity rate, would mean that an additional $2 to $15 per month for the majority of residential customers, explained Forbes.

While addressing a recent media event, the CEO stressed that “this rate increase is necessary, and we have had to make a lot of investments to keep up with the growth,” she said.

Adding that several factors contribute to the need for increased rates, including cybersecurity risks, wildfire risks, supply chain challenges, and evolving regulatory requirements, she said “this is one of the most difficult things that we have to do, is go to our customers and ask for an increase every year.”

She said the existing circumstances have forced the company to seek the proposed adjustment, and that the rate increase is necessary, as “we have to make the application because amidst all this growth, we have had to make a lot of investments to keep up with the growth,” she told the forum.

The CEO reasoned that given the importance of retaining reliable service, it is not plausible for the TCI to have a headline that says “we are experiencing blackouts,” and the company does not receive a guaranteed 17.5% return, although the rate is allowable by contract, the average return on rate base for the past five years was 3.9%, with the highest being 5.1%.

FortisTCI Execs

The company’s Director of Energy Production, Alvejes Desir, gave details of the impact of the depth of the water at the port on fuel supply costs, adding that limited depth restricts the size of ships that can deliver fuel, leading to increased transportation costs.

He said FortisTCI has made significant investments in renewable energy sources, aligning with the Resilient National Energy Transition Strategy (R-NETS) approved by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.

The company recently installed a new dual-fuel generating unit capable of using natural gas, a lower-carbon energy source, and is awaiting the Governor’s appointment of an independent inquirer to review the reasonableness of its proposal for a rate hike.

It has also requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to review the reasonableness of its application, a process that was also followed in a previous rate dispute in 2017.

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