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2016 year of excellence ILO.

ilo27022017PHILIPSBURG:--- As the year 2016 closed, the Department of Labor Affairs & Social Services reflected on its trials and triumphs. Declared the “Year of Excellence,” 2016 was met with both advancement in products and services as well as many internal changes and other challenges. Great effort was and is being put in place in order to move the department continuously forward. The Department of Labor Affairs and Social Services is an execution branch of government that deals directly with the people of St. Maarten, often times at a low point in their lives (loss of job, medical coverage, etc.). It is, therefore, imperative that the department not only meets the needs of the clients but continuously strive to find solutions to many underlying societal problems.

The sections of the department that most urgently deal with the needs of clients are the Job Placement Unit and the Social Welfare Unit. It is important to find a way for the two sections to work together in the best interest of the clients. With this idea at the forefront, the management team embarked on an initiative to train personnel in international labor standards by taking part in ILO (International Labor Organization) training. Facilitated and coordinated by Section Head of Labor Market, Natasha Richardson, the endeavor had the main objective of strengthening the capacity and knowledge of the Job Placement Unit and support functions related to same. The purpose of the ILO Training Program was to close the gaps on the needs as identified and improve the services offered by the Job Placement Unit, and support services related to same.

The training, which began on Monday 13 February 2017 and ended on Friday 17 February 2017, was met with great enthusiasm by the officers of the job placement and social work units. The training was conducted by two instructors, Mr. Diego Rei (Port of Spain, Trinidad), and Ms. Donna Koeltz (Toronto, Canada). The week-long training focused on the following areas:

• Career Guidance and Counselling
• Skills need anticipation and matching
• Performance Management and Monitoring and Evaluation in relation to public employment services.

Exercises aimed at developing the competence of the responsible officers to offer state of the art services to job seekers within the new reorganized Job Placement Unit (Section Labor Market) and allow the latter to be managed adequately relating to its processes and services were conducted in form of role plays, presentations, and group exercises. During the sessions, the instructors presented useful information on ISCO codes and international labor standards. Information on counseling clients in such a way that essential information is recorded and sound advice is given in a solution-oriented manner was also emphasized. The department was also encouraged to examine its use of resources and to prioritize tasks so that maximum productivity is achieved.

Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Honorable Emil Lee, lent his support to the training and also added to the conversation by offering an innovatively strategic plan to better facilitate job matching. He comments, "The Department of Labor has a critical function in our community, assisting our people to be placed in good jobs. As the department aspires to be a well-respected and successful institution, I applauded their decision to bring the ILO to assist with training and strategy development.” Therefore, as a result of the ILO Training Program, the department is committed to making significant changes that will improve the products and services not only to job seeking clients but business clientele as well. The department will implement changes that are more attractive to business clients while simultaneously providing services that are more beneficial for job seeking clients.
In the upcoming days, the management team will be reevaluating internal job functions and meeting with various team members to discuss a fruitful way forward, including the rebranding of the respective Units. This step is wholeheartedly supported by Minister Lee, who states, “True change begins with an openness and receptiveness to new or different ideas. I am delighted to see that the department has the courage to challenge their beliefs and old ways of doing things. I am extremely proud and happy with Department of Labor Affairs initiative and eagerness to innovate.”

Consequently, clients and patrons of the relevant sections should be prepared for positive changes in the near future. The ILO instructors will also be checking in periodically in the coming months and will provide one-on-one consultations in an effort to move the department in the right direction. The department welcomes the input and looks forward to working with the ILO representatives, as well as the positive exchange of ideas and solutions received from the Chamber of Unions representatives, Chamber of Commerce representatives, and Members of the Labor Tripartite Committee.

SMSEF Interscholastic Tournament DAY 4

9U: M.A.C. vs Leonald Conner: 4 – 2.

M.A.C. Goal Scorers  Harrison Hobgood # 11 (2), Tyler Sergeant #17 (1), Ray Thomas #6 (1).
Leonald Conner Goal Scorers  Own Goal (1), Roshard Edward #4 (1).
The opening match of DAY 4 of the Interscholastic Tournament saw M.A.C 9U facing Leonald Conner 9U in a close match. M.A.C had initially a better start, but Leonald Conner, once their pace was set, expressed indeed quality football. The first half has surely been more exciting, with five goals scored and ending 4 – 1 for M.A.C. During the second half, M.A.C tried to slow down the rhythm of the game, given their advantage. However, Leonald Conner showed great determination in trying to give a twist to the match, and lastly scored one more goal. Man of the match  Ray Thomas #6.

9U: F.C. Regina vs Learning Unlimited: 17 – 2.
F.C. Regina Goal Scorers  Jefferson Stop #48 (2), Raynicio Drenthe #4 (2), Aiden Banting #62 (3), Wilenda Gourdet #18 (5), Ronil Garcìa #1 (4), Peer Van Sleeuwen #2 (1).
Learning Unlimited Goal Scorers  Maxime Gibbs #18 (1), Lucien Altier #28 (1).
The second game of DAY 4 of the Interscholastic Tournament has been played between other two 9U teams: F.C. Regina and Learning Unlimited. This, was certainly a high scoring match, with a record-breaking 19 goals scored in total. During the first half, both teams were still studying each other and avoiding to take unnecessary risk. Despite this, the first half ended 5 – 1 for F.C. Regina. The second half, which has been surely more exciting, witnessed a great start for F.C Regina, who scored plenty of goals in the initial minutes. Learning Unlimited needs to be given credit for their willpower, which brought them to not surrender and play high-intensity until the last minute. Man of the match  Wilenda Gourdet #18.

11U: Sr. Borgia vs Pr. W. Alexander: 7 – 3.
Sr. Borgia Goal Scorers  Amadeus Aventurin #9 (2), Jeremy Peters #10 (1), Cevano Carty #11 (2), #3 (2).
Pr. W. Alexander Goal Scorers  Jamaal Flanders #11 (3).
The first 11U match of DAY 4 of the Interscholastic Tournament has put Sr. Borgia against Pr. W. Alexander in an interesting match. Both teams were coming from a loss in their previous match, so it was clear that motivation was high. The first half ended 5 – 2 for Sr. Borgia, after 15 minutes of quality and high-intensity football. During the second half, Pr. W. Alexander entered the pitch with the right mindset for a comeback and scored one goal. Sr. Borgia tried to control the game, even if this has not been always possible given Pr. W. Alexander good ball possession. Despite this, they managed to score 2 goals more, sealing a 7 – 3 victory over Pr. W. Alexander. Man of the Match  Jamaal Flanders #11.

11U: Sr. Marie Laurence vs M.A.C: 2 – 9.
Sr. Marie Laurence Goal Scorers  Caiden #14 (1), Alishandro Brown #19 (1).
M.A.C. Goal Scorers  Amani Micheal #2 (3), Triston Lion-a-Tjam #13 (1), Daniel Hobgood #7 (5).
The fourth match of DAY 4 has been played between Sr. Marie Laurence 11U and M.A.C 9U. During the initial minutes, Sr. Marie Laurence has been dominating the game and proving their quality by scoring two early goals. M.A.C, however, did not back down and after conceding two goals kept their playing style without losing focus and scored 4 goals in an exciting comeback. The result at half-time was 4 – 2 for M.A.C. During the second half, Sr. Marie Laurence showed that they were not giving up, and built up many good plays. On the other hand, M.A.C continued in what they have been shown in the first half and scored other five goals. Man of the match  Daniel Hobgood #7.

11U: M. L. King vs Learning Unlimited: 1 - 8.
M. L. King Goal Scorers  Kemani Rize #11 (1).
Learning Unlimited Goal Scorers  Connor Scripps-Ewing #24 (3), Yuvraj Vaswani #25 (2), Leone Marshall #2 (1), Frans Richardson #4 (1), Ajani Blake 10# (1).
The third 11U match of the day, saw M. L. King and Learning Unlimited playing each other for the three points. The particularity of the match, relied in the fact that all team members of M. L. King 11U were female players, while all team members of LU were male players. M. L. King has been playing at high intensity throughout all the match, both on and off the ball. Their determination and counter-attack ability has to be given credit. The first half, ended 3 – 1 for Learning Unlimited, who showed good team chemistry. During the second half, the rhythm slowed down and M. L. King could not find their way to the goal despite an excellent performance from a technical and physical point of view. Conversely, LU has been very cynical during the second half and closed the match with an 8 – 1 win. Man of the Match  Kemani Rize #11.

13U: Sr. Marie Laurence vs Sr. Magda United Stars: 9 – 2
Sr. Marie Laurence Goal Scorers  Quincy Busby #5 (2), Andreus Leon #17 (1), n.d. #16 (3), Jonatan Chumney #12 (1), Nigel Laurenceau #9, Omari Alexander #10
Sr. Magda United Stars Goal Scorers  Safin Bashir #3 (1), Taj Maronie #5 (1), D’Angelo Bute #11 (1).
The first 13U match of DAY 4 faced Sr. Marie Laurence and Sr. Magda United Starts against each other. The first half has been very tight, with both teams attacking strong but without leaving any gaps in defence. This, has made it difficult for the teams to find their way to the goal, and this has been testified by a low scoring first half, which ended 2 – 1 for Marie Laurence. The second half, which has surely been more captivating, has seen both defences opening up, leaving plenty of space for their opponents. In particular, Marie Laurence best exploited this aspect, and scored an astonishing 7 more goals. Sr. Magda, however, created many worthy chances, but has been very unlucky and surely deserved to score more than one goal during the second half. Lastly, the closing minutes were played at low pace, with the end result of 9 to 2 for Marie Laurence 13U. Man of the Match  Quincy Busby.

13U: M. L. King vs Leonald Conner: 7 – 0
M. L. King Goal Scorers  Tyrese Klhyte #7 (5), Philando Parchment #9 (2).
Leonald Conner Goal Scorers  /
The last game of the Interscholastic Tournament DAY 4, has been played between M. L. King and Leonald Conner. During this game, Leonald Conner’s number 7, Tyrese Klhyte, showed his excellent period of form, scoring 5 goals and also playing unselfish by assisting twice. Despite Tyrese’s perfect game, Leonald Conner performed excellent as a whole and showed quality football by winning 7 – 0. Their opponents, M. L. King, showed however great sportsmanship by continuing playing on their standards and not losing their nerves. By doing so, they delivered a good performance, which surely deserved at least one or more goals scored. Man of the Match  Keysha Rize #6.

Donation for St Maarten Nature Foundation.

naturefoundation27022017PHILIPSBURG:--- Trainee Emma Pratt from the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation gladly accepts a $230 donation from local eco-tour company Seagrape Tours. Seagrape Tours are grateful for the various projects of the Nature Foundation, one of which is the coral reforestation project on which Emma Pratt is working. "Without healthy coral reefs around St Maarten we would hardly have any protection from big storm waves, no white sandy beaches - since corals are turned into sand by reef fish, and no fish to attract visitors to our shores!" says Ilja Botha, Owner of Seagrape Tours. Seagrape Tours offer a Nature Tour on St Maarten which includes a short hike to Pic Paradis, bird-watching at a pond and snorkeling off a beach.

St. Maarten youth of the Kidz at Sea Foundation gearing up for the 2017 St Maarten Heineken Regatta.

kidzsea27022017PHILIPSBURG:--- Kidz at Sea Foundation will be again participating with 2 teams made up of youth from the Milton Peters College (MPC), Sundial School and Charlotte Brookson Academy. The youth will be racing on MoonDance, a 36ft Catalina and Purple Heart, the boat which was built by MPC students last year and got a 6th place in their class after having never been raced before. The past weeks have been spent training for the Regatta, including basic boat handling skills. Besides sailing, the Kidz at Sea Foundation has a number of activities going on this coming week made possible by a number of sponsors.

Together with international sponsor Essilor, the world leader in corrective lenses, Kidz At Sea Foundation is examining the eyes of all youngsters that are enrolled in the Kidz At Sea program, which includes children from the I Can Foundation and Ujima Foundation. Prescription glasses are donated to those who are in need, which should impact their performance in school. In addition, Essilor will be visiting the White & Yellow Cross to examine the eyes of their patients, following up with some of the severe cases that were detected last year and visit the local youngsters in Anguilla, including those of the sailing program to broaden their impact on the islands.

Founder of Kidz At Sea, Garth Steyn, explains the importance of their cooperation with Essilor. “St Maarten has limited equipment, eye doctors and eye care available. Whatever is available comes at a high cost and is not covered by insurance. As a result, eye problems are often not discovered until the eyes are already seriously affected. By catching poor vision and irregularities early, serious damage can often be prevented. Obviously, we also want to raise awareness about the damage the sun can do to one’s eyes, especially when being on the water sailing. Proper sun protection is a must, which is what Essilor provides for the youth enrolled in the Kidz At Sea Program.”
This year Kidz at Sea has partnered up with several local businesses to organize a raffle to raise funds for its programs. Tickets are for sale during the Thursday and Saturday Regatta Parties. Kidz At Sea Administrator Michele Korteweg mentions “We will have a booth where people can get information about our Foundation, but also about the work Essilor is doing on the island as well as worldwide. To add some fun, we have included a photo booth where sailors & partygoers can take fun photos to take home with them. Prizes have been kindly donated by a variety of local businesses. The first prize is a dinghy, donated by Budget Marine, this is a new brand they are carrying called Carib Marine, 2nd place is a weekend stay at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort and 3rd place are 2 VIP Tickets for the Sunday Regatta Party, Essilor is also contributing high-end brand sunglasses. We can’t thank the local community enough for their support.” Raffle tickets are sold at $5 per ticket or $20 for 5 tickets.

“We would like to show that the St Maarten Heineken Regatta is more than just a sailing event, it has become a platform for organizations to work together with benefits going way beyond the marine industry. In our case, the Kidz at Sea Foundation brought in Essilor USA, who is willing to, not only support our Foundation but also the wider St Maarten community” Steyn adds.

The Kidz At Sea Foundation was started in 2012 with the goal to introduce St. Maarten youth to all prospects of the marine industry by means of boat building and sailing. Furthermore, the two programs teach the students specific industry related skills and encourage personal development, giving them an advantage when applying for a job.

The Essilor Vision Foundation is committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences, and to providing underprivileged people the opportunity to live a better life through better sight. Since 2008 the Essilor Vision Foundation has provided more than 690,000 screenings to individuals in need with the help of many partners.
Essilor is the world leader in corrective lenses. The success of the group, which is present in more than 100 countries, is the result of a strategy that has been driven by innovation for more than 160 years. From design to manufacturing, the group develops a wide range of lenses to correct and protect eyesight. Its mission is to "improve lives by improving sight" of everyone in the world to see well using lenses tailored to their needs. The group, therefore, devotes more than 150 million euros a year on research and innovation to offer increasingly efficient products.

CARILEC 2017 Conference for Corporate Communications, Human Resource and Customer Service.

carilec27020217CASTRIES:--- The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), will host its annual Corporate Communications, Human Resource and Customer Service Conference at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa from 10th to 14th March 2017, in Sint Maarten. For the second consecutive year, the Conference will be co-hosted with Utility member NV GEBE, whose CEO Mr. Kenrick Chittick has registered a number of his employees as part of the utility’s capacity building strategy for employees. The conference is being sponsored by silver sponsors The Training Professionals International Firm (TPI), located in Sint Maarten and Northwest Linesman College located in Idaho, United States of America.

Prior to the Conference CARILEC is scheduled to host a Pre-Conference Workshop: “Aligning Culture and Strategy” from March 10th-11th. The workshop will be facilitated by Richard Dick, Principal Consultant and CEO of Development Consulting Center, a firm he founded in 1997 that focuses on Organizational Development.

The Conference will feature Henrietta Elizabeth Thompson as the keynote speaker. Thompson is a former Member of Parliament and Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate in Barbados. She has also served as an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), a consultant on the SDGs and as a Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General’s global energy initiative entitled ‘Sustainable Energy for All”. An attorney-at-law with LLB, LLM, and MBA degrees, Thompson has co- authored and authored numerous publications, including “From Rio+20 to a new Development Agenda”, “The Plain Language Guide to Rio+20” and a motivational book “Make Yourself Happy”. She currently serves as the Executive Director Designate of the SUNY-UWI Centre for Leadership and Sustainable Development in New York.

Thompson and other regionally recognized speakers will address this year’s Conference theme “Accountability. Transparency. Customer Experience”. They will share their experience and expertise on a range of topics which include: “Change Management: A Deeper Look”; “Implementing HR Best Practices for Talent to Thrive”; “Delivering Excellence Through Collaboration: 6 Strategies/6 Behaviours”; “Leadership Series: How to Advocate for Change”; and “HR: A Change Agent in Mergers and Acquisition”. The Conference will emphasize leading innovation, creativity, and best practice and will provide an opportunity for professionals working in all facets of human resources, communications, marketing, brand management and customer experience to share insights and network with the leading minds in these fields.

To register or learn more about the CARILEC 2017 Conference for Corporate Communications, Human Resource and Customer Service explore our website, follow us on twitter or like our Facebook page at

For more information contact: Alana T. Mathurin, Manager, Marketing and Member Services,
Phone: 758 4520 141/0 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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