Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Guy's Hill cries for jobs

Published:Saturday | April 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM
The heavily forested hinterland of Guy's Hill is part of the breathtaking landscape of St Catherine, with verdant, undulating hills in the background. The community's beauty underlies the harsh conditions its members face. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

The call for jobs is a desperate plea rolling off the tongues of several individuals who reside in Guy's Hill, St Catherine.

On a visit to the area by The Gleaner recently, from Tavern Hill to Guy's Hill Town, from Decoy to Morris Hill, persons all shared similar sentiments about the rough financial crises they were undergoing, with no jobs to cushion the hard times.

The area, which is a few miles outside of Linstead, consists of several businesses - from hairdressing parlours to bars to several corner shops - where persons try to hustle.

But even the owners of these entities cry out for assistance as they try to weather the financial storm.

"Nothing not going on because the people them don't have any money to spend," said a store operator in the area who wishes not to be identified.

Several young men sit idly on the streets with no jobs to go out to.

"We need jobs, jobs, jobs. The youths can hardly survive in the area," said a 20-year-old resident, who only gave his name as Andrae.

"There are no opportunities in the area for the youth, and we need help," he added.

Public relations officer (PRO) for the Guy's Hill Police Youth Club, Nickesha Reid, said the fear in the community is that the inability of the young men to find jobs could influence criminal activities.

The PRO said the absence of jobs was not just a problem for the youth, but was something affecting all age groups within the community.

"Unemployment is a very big problem in the area. It gets worse every year," she said.

Difficult to survive

Nadine Irons is a member of the community who is affected by the unavailability of jobs in the area.

"I have four children who are solely dependent on me, and I am not working, so it is difficult for me to survive," she said.

Reid noted, however, that there were resources in the area, which could be used to create opportunities for residents.

"This is a farming area and, for example, if there was a factory where cane juice is made, then these farmers could easily sell their canes there, and at the same time it would be providing employment for others," she said.

"So you see, it's just to be creative. At the end of the day, it may work as well as it may not, but the good thing is to try," she added.

Reid pointed out three factories which were once big employers in the area. According to her, these - an ackee factory, floral factory and a bakery - could provide the kind of stimulus the community's economy needed.

She said a vocational school where youth could learn a skill, such as art and craft and mechanics, was also important.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com