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PWD Launches Training Facility

Minister for Works, the Hon. Arden McLean, JP, presents a certificate to Lead Painter Dale Ebanks.

Employee development and training remains a top priority at the Public Works Department (PWD). As such, a new state-of-the-art training and resource centre officially opened yesterday (Thursday, 26 March) on the department's North Sound Road compound.

Already, 22 staff members have received completion certificates following a rigorous safety workshop conducted there.

"I'm delighted that we are now in a position to provide our staff with on-site training in this excellent purpose-built facility," PWD Director Max Jones commented.

"In recent years we concentrated heavily on training and that focus continues with renewed vigor today. The centre combined with our recently-added training, development and safety officer, will allow us to tailor courses to meet our specific needs."

The centre is technology driven and includes a dedicated information technology area, housing ten computers. A resource centre stocked with reading and reference materials features current building codes and periodicals, and the main lecture room can accommodate 60 persons seated theatre-style.

Training and Development Officer Levi Allen noted the facility's capability to provide a flexible learning environment: "It is equipped with configurable furniture to allow for collaboration, individual work, or conference room layouts," he said. "Today we can train one-on-one and tomorrow we can rearrange the room for groups or even a board meeting."

But even before the resource centre had reached the planning stage, the PWD had begun investing considerable sums in staff development.

"Relevant training supports our goal of making consistent, measurable improvements in the quality and efficiency of the services we provide to our clients," Mr Jones explained. "It also supports succession planning by providing a cadre of trained young Caymanians capable of assuming key posts."

Recent beneficiaries of the department's training focus include Deputy Director Tamara Hurlston and FOI Manager Juliette Frederick, both of whom completed master's degree programmes through the University of Phoenix.

Technical Assistant Chaz Powery and electrician Tito Bonilla also completed associate degrees in electrical technology, while plumber Arek Gardner earned his bachelor's in construction technology. Several other staff members are also enrolled in University College of the Cayman Islands programmes and the Civil Service College.

"I'm very grateful to the PWD for allowing me this opportunity," Ms Frederick commented. "My latest qualification has added to my skill set and will enable me to make a stronger contribution."

Attending the launch event were Minister for Communications, Works, and Infrastructure, the Hon. Arden McLean, JP; Ministry Deputy Chief Officer Dorine Whittaker; and PWD Director Max Jones.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Kenisha Morgan