Freeport, Grand Bahama – After announcing the advent of Island Outsourcers’ call centre into the Grand Bahama market, bringing with it some 600 permanent jobs, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) was happy to learn that renovation projects at the Reef Village and the airport’s domestic terminal are also continuing on schedule, heralding thousands more jobs on the horizon.
Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville, along with a contingent from GBPA, got a first-hand glimpse of construction projects underway at both venues during recent site inspections of upcoming developments on the island.
Demolition work at the Reef Village is nearing completion with finishing work set to begin on 500 units that will comprise the 5-star hotel property to be leased by Sunwing under the Memories brand. According to Minister Darville, presently some 150 to 170 construction workers are employed on the project and that volume is expected to increase to over 350 within a few weeks.
“I’m very pleased with how the work is progressing and I anticipate that the projected completion date will be met,” he stated. “The management team for Sunwing is on the island and they are quite satisfied with the progression of the work.”
GBPA President, Ian Rolle concurred. “We think that this is one of the most significant projects happening in Freeport for a few years to come. This is only one of many projects that will materialize over the next 12 months,” he added. “It’s very important for us to focus on creating jobs at the moment, causing activities to happen in our economy and this is a very, very significant moment for Freeport.”
As Sunwing gears up to begin operating direct flights from Canada in January and the all-inclusive resort prepares to open its doors, over 1,000 permanent jobs are anticipated.
“This is a 5-star resort, so service is paramount. The Ministry for Grand Bahama, national training agencies and all of the schools here on Grand Bahama must now begin to play an active role in training to ensure that the service we provide is beyond expectations,” Minister Darville stressed.
To facilitate increased air passengers, construction work at the domestic terminal of the Grand Bahama Airport has already begun. As Minister Darville explained, renovations at the Reef Village and expansion at the airport are jointly connected to provide adequate facilities for thousands of visitors in transit to and from our shores. Furthermore, plans are already underway for the construction of a new state-of-the-art domestic terminal which will be able to compensate and carry the load that is anticipated from Canada and other destinations.
After reviewing the sites, both GBPA and the government are pleased with the level of progress and eagerly anticipate the impending economic injection. As Minister Darville stated, “We are confident that the project will be on schedule and residents of Grand Bahama will begin to experience the impact with bodies on the ground and the critical mass we need in the tourism sector to ensure that we now revamp and get our tourism product up and going. We’re excited about what is about to take place and for us, it means jobs, needed jobs for Grand Bahama.”
The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited
Caption: CONSTRUCTION JOBS: Between 150 to 170 Grand Bahamians are currently employed during refurbishment of 500 units at the Reef Village in Grand Bahama. Over 350 construction jobs will soon come on stream as the project moves to the next stage. Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Dr. Michael Darville (far left) is joined by GBPA executives, President Ian Rolle (centre) and Vice President, Ginger Moxey (far right) during a site inspection.