Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Workers prove abilities in CHEC skills competition

Published:Monday | December 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
A technical judge inspects the work of Jamar Matthews (second left) and Ramone Saunders (right) during the CHEC Skills Competition held at Kingston Logistics Park on December14. Saunders placed first, while Matthews took second place.

For 22-year-old Ramone Saunders, placing first in the steel-fabricating category in the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) worker skills competition was the crowning achievement in his career so far.

Saunders, who started out as a labourer at CHEC just six months ago, was one of 21 participants in the construction company's inaugural worker skills competition last Friday held at the Kingston Logistics Park in St Andrew.

"From I was growing up, I like carpenter work. So from trying and trying, I was building things at home and everywhere. But working with (CHEC), they give me one of these tools, the twining tool.

"So (I) began to use it and use it ... and I just come perfect. I just feel like say this steel work is a good trade," Saunders told The Gleaner moments after being declared winner in his category.

Topping the electric-welding category, Andrew Campbell, said he has been working with CHEC for more than six years and like Saunders, he was elated about his win.

"I feel great and wonderful, you know, 'cause ... I can do much more things. I do many things with them, I tie steel, I do farm work, I do a lot. From I've been with them, I do a lot, a learn a lot, but it's mainly welding I carry out," Campbell said.

Dr Zhimin Hu, vice-president CHEC Americas Division, said she was very proud to have the workers on site with many of them working with the company since it started operations in Jamaica. She signalled that this competition is the first of many.

"This is not only for one project. We want to encourage and enhance this kind of activity in all projects even as we inspire our workers to work hard," Hu said.

Other participants in the competition include Jamar Matthews, who placed second in steel fabricating; Junior Richards, who came second in the electric welding category; and Conroy Spence, Roy Cousins and Roger Buchanan, who placed first, second and third, respectively, in masonry.