US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

During two daylong Workforce Development Summits that Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. initiated in both districts, he laid out a clear path for how he plans to stabilize the territory’s economy and create a sustainable and thriving workforce that will benefit all Virgin Islanders. Both meetings were well-attended by a variety of business leaders and members of the nonprofit sector from both districts. (Read the full press release from the Office of the Governor.)

“Workforce development is an ongoing effort that seeks to identify and employ solution-based strategies to address the ever-growing needs in our labor force. We each have a stake in the success of the business community. We must work to change the culture, attitudes and perspectives of our people for the them to tap into their potential,” noted the governor’s welcome address found in the summit program.

USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton attended the St. Thomas/St. John district summit, observing that there were several presentations on the power of apprenticeships in lieu of traditional two to four-year degree programs. Click here to view presentations from the summit.

Samuel Rey, board member and vice chair of the Operations Committee for the Workforce Development Board, said, “There are many opportunities for us as a territory to align and position ourselves in preparation for the anticipated changes in the workplace. The advancement of this will take place through a more cohesive partnership with educational and training development, businesses mentorship and strategic government agencies involvement.”

“As described by the board chairman, Mr. Michael Carty, ‘…[Our Workforce Development Team’s goal] is to work with education partners, the business community, training providers and workforce development professionals to create flexible opportunities for jobseekers and employers alike.’    Through our collaborative efforts, we will move our workforce ahead with resilience into the future,” Rey added.

In addition to the informative presentations and discussions, DiamondRock Hospitality offered a generous donation of $30,000 to the University of the Virgin Islands for scholarship programs. DiamondRock plans to continue this contribution for five years.