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Pushing Portland | Portland eyeing sustainable employment

Published:Monday | February 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis
Portland Chamber of Commerce President Daney Ann Thomas during a discussion with members of our news team.

Port Antonio, Portland:

Anticipating a spike in upscale development, Daney Ann Thomas, president of the Portland Chamber of Commerce, is optimistic that there is a bright future for sustainable employment in the parish.

Thomas told The Gleaner that unemployment has increased significantly as several businesses, including hotels, villas, attraction sites, and educational facilities, have closed down.

"I learned about the upgrading of Dragon Bay by the Sandals group via the media," said Thomas.




"While I can't speak on behalf of Sandals, we eagerly await with much anticipation the construction process, which could generate sustainable jobs during and after the construction stage."

She added: "And, with crime slowly creeping into this peaceful parish, it could very well be that frustrations might be eased when persons are able to earn to provide for themselves and family members."

According to Thomas, as a business adviser, mentor, and facilitator, the Chamber is prepared to guide local business operators in their efforts to match the expected developments through upgrades of their service offerings, allowing them to be better able to capitalise on the changes.

This, the Chamber president said, should have a positive spin-off for the local people and businesses.

Portland is poised to undergo major development this year with the expected construction and upgrading of Dragon Bay Hotel by Sandals Group, coupled with phase two of the $1.83-billion water, drainage, and sewerage project; construction of the roadway via the junction in St Mary to Port Antonio, and major upgrading of the roadway from St Thomas to Port Antonio.