Minister of Labour Senator Dion Foulkes traveled to Grand Bahama on Thursday and toured the Martin Marietta-Bahama Rock facilities along with an official delegation, which included Members of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama & Bimini Iram Lewis and Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe respectively, Senator Jasmin Turner-Dareus and National Training Agency (NTA) Office Manager Donald Glass.
They were given the tour by Martin Marietta-Bahama Rock General Manager Lance Brown and Minister Foulkes said he was impressed both from the administrative and field operations perspectives.
“Certainly, the tour was quite educational, as I initially had no idea of the magnitude of the operations executed here.
“The competency of the Bahamian workers was very impressive and, I am indeed pleased to note that the Bahamian to foreign employee ratio is outstanding in that nearly 95 percent of the company is run by Bahamians.
“Indeed I am extremely pleased with the operations as well as I would like to thank Bahama Rock for its outreach in the West Grand Bahama community.”
Thanking Minister Foulkes for not only taking the time to tour the facilities, but also other areas on Grand Bahama that come under his purview, Minister Lewis echoed the sentiments expressed by the labor chief. To Brown, he said that unlike Bahama Rock, other companies oftentimes come to The Bahamas and rarely seek to extend its reach into a charitable, social growth and development aspects of the communities in which they are established.
“Bahama Rock leads the way in providing aid to the local communities and is intimately involved in the building of the island particularly the Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama districts.
“For quite some time Bahamas Rock has been partnering with me in Central Grand Bahama and helped with a combined clean-up exercise of the Lover’s Beach, Hepburn Town community, which is well on its way to becoming an international destination.
“Additionally, Bahama Rock provided significant assistance in the Hepburn Town and Little Andros Town, Hanna Hill communities by donating aggregates for road works.
“Furthermore, right now, Bahama Rock has donated fill for use in the Hunter’s community where the re-launch of the YMTA will take place this Saturday. The company has donated aggregates to help fill in low lying areas on that site as well as allowed the use of its heavy equipment to execute the same.
“Definitely Mr. Brown and his team at Bahama Rock are community-minded and we appreciate everything they have done and will continue to do to build our communities and we anticipate a long-lasting relationship, whereby Grand Bahama and The Bahamas in general will benefit,” said Lewis.
Praising Bahama Rock for being a genuinely good corporate citizen, Parker-Edgecombe expressed gratitude to Bahama Rock and Brown for “doing their best to ensure Bahamians are afforded the right opportunities to grow and thrive at the company from a labor/employment perspective as well as within the community at large.”
Acknowledging that a great number of Bahama Rock employees come from the West Grand Bahama & Bimini constituency, Parker-Edgecombe noted that she looks forward to the ongoing growth and development of the company as well as her constituents.
“We are here to partner in positive community activities and I know that Central Grand Bahama has already taken advantage of that partnership with Bahama Rock. West Grand Bahama & Bimini also will ensure that we too take full advantage of those opportunities for our community.
“Again we appreciate corporate citizens like Bahama Rock, as we know it is always a win-win situation and in spite of challenges faced, we are always willing to come to the table and ensure that we can all move forward, doing what is best for the establishment and our people,” Parker-Edgecombe said.
Excited about an ongoing partnership established between the Department of Labour, the National Training Agency and Bahama Rock, Minister Foulkes invited Glass to discuss the integral role the company plays with the NTA Program.
According to Glass, the NTA is set to begin its seventh cohort and Bahama Rock has been a gracious and willing supporter of the program, providing training for no less than four persons during each of the cohort training sessions, both technically and administratively.
“Every now and then, NTA Officers come by conducting spot visits and Bahama Rock is always quite accommodating.
“As it regards NTA, we do not simply send the interns to companies like Bahama Rock and leave them to themselves but we conduct visits, speak with the trainees and their supervisors too, and we are very pleased with the partnership established,” said Glass.
Elated with the success of the tour and the rapport developed between Minister Foulkes, the Department of Labour, the NTA and representatives of Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama & Bimini, Brown noted it is also great for Bahama Rock to share what it does from a business perspective as well as within the wider community.
He pointed out that over the years the company has used many phrases that help to keep focus on building and expanding its goal and reach in the community.
“‘All a We is One Family’ is just one of the slogans we have used in the past and certainly we at Bahama Rock believe that to be true.
“We do our best to take care of each other and the teamwork here certainly helps to make the dream work, thus we follow those mottos.
“Beside our guys here, the entire team of Bahama Rock is great, we have a great safety record and we enjoy being here.
“We have been a part of the community for many ears and we intend to continue to be here for many more to come. We are excited about the opportunities we are able to bring to the island as well as the training that we do with the NTA, and have hired quite a few of those individuals as well.
“The sponsorship that we engage in is one we enjoy doing and we know that the youth is very important to the success of this island and the country at large. So, we definitely understand and realize that and seek to continue taking part in trying to groom them and help them in the right way.
“Again we appreciate everyone who has come out today and been a part of the tour, we look forward to working with Minister Foulkes and are grateful for everything,” said Brown.
Numerous plans are underway in the not too distant future due to the partnership established with the Department of Labour, the NTA and Bahama Rock, this daily was informed.