July 26, 2005 – Many V.I. senators were not happy when Hovensa was hiring workers from the mainland at the beginning of this year for short-term jobs. Hovensa officials and contractors later said at a Senate hearing that they preferred hiring local workers, but just could not find ones qualified and willing to do the job.
Sen. Terrence "Positive" Nelson was one of the senators most dissatisfied with the situation. (See "Senators Spar With Hovensa, Subcontractor Over Hirings"). He approached Hovensa to see what they could do as a team to alleviate the situation, and a new project is now underway to help local residents prepare themselves for jobs at the refinery.
Donna Gay, who is point person for the project, said Hovensa agreed to help because "Part of Hovensa's vision is to be a partner with the community to achieve excellence in education, create opportunities and careers and improve the quality of life in the Virgin Islands."
What resulted from the discussions was a plan for monthly educational forums to help workers "find and get the best job."
Each forum will present a different person to address the community on a topic selected to assist individuals in choosing the right occupation for themselves and what steps are necessary to achieve that goal.
Forty local workers are signed up to take part in the first one Wednesday, July 27, at the Hovensa Recreation Hall, Estate Blessing. It runs from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The topic for the first forum is Pre-GED/GED Program. It will answer the questions:
— Why is a high school diploma important?
— What is the Pre-GED/GED Program?
— How can I enroll in the Pre-GED/GED Program?
The free program will be presented by Isaac Schaeffer, the founder, president, and executive director of Covenant Point Institute, a non-profit training and development organization on St. Croix. His credentials include being founder of a consultant company to Job Corps Centers and contractors. He holds a degree in management and has been trained in organizational relations and business administration. He is a graduate of the U.S. Department of Labor's Job Corps Management Training Institute.
The August topic will be pre-employment testing.
Gay advised on Tuesday that open positions can be found on Hovensa's Web sit www.hovensa.com
She said resumes are only accepted for open positions and remain with the position for which an individual is applying. If someone is interested in more than one opening, they must submit separate resumes for each.
"While we appreciate the interest of all candidates, due to the high number of applications received, we are only able to contact applicants selected for further review," she added.
For more information about the series, contact Gay at 692-3768 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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