Commissioner of Labor Albert Bryan Jr. is pleased to recognize September as Labor/Management Awareness Monthin the Virgin Islands, as proclaimed by Governor John P. deJongh Jr.
“Recognizing these critical times for the territory and nation, it is fitting that we take this opportunity to pay tribute to the hard-working men and women who have built the Virgin Islands economy and who have contributed and continue to contribute greatly to the strength, prosperity, progress and well-being of our community,” Labor Commissioner Bryan said.
The department acknowledges the challenges of the Great Recession and strives daily to provide critical services to residents, including unemployment insurance, training and employment opportunities to promote and foster economic freedom and empowerment through self-education, career development and education.
Over the past four years, the DOL has invested more than $8 million in training and retraining job seekers, incumbent workers, youths, adults and individuals struggling with barriers to employment. It has provided more than 1,900 young adults between the ages of 14 – 25 with meaningful work experience placements and launched the Jobs for America’s Graduates Virgin Islands (JAG-VI) and YouthNet programs in 2009. These initiatives were designed to reduce the number of students that drop out of school every year by providing them with personalized attention, counseling and mentoring to assist their educational and professional pursuits.
“Additionally, our Rapid Response team has provided outreach services to over 10,000 workers who have been laid off due to the economic downturn, and we have paid over $100 million in unemployment benefits. These benefits have helped dislocated workers to sustain themselves and their families during periods of unemployment, and continue to keep money circulating in our economy,” Bryan said.
Labor/Management Awareness Month provides a platform for the department to show its appreciation to its customers territory-wide. This year, in celebration of the September designation, DOL will host a variety of activities designed to foster a healthier, more harmonious relationship between labor and management in the Virgin Islands.
On St. Thomas, the celebrations will kick off with a church service at St. Thomas Assembly of God on 9/11. Customers and employees are also invited to a breakfast at 9 a.m. on 9/14 at the DOL offices located at 53A, 54AB Kronprindsens Gade. DOL will host a Chamber of Commerce Business after Hours on 9/15 at Pilgrim’s Terrace from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. and an Open Session for Job Seekers, Employees and Employers from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1-4 p.m. on 9/22 at the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital. The open session will showcase DOL’s programs and services; representatives from the various units of the Department of Labor will also be on hand to answer questions. On 9/28, DOL’s Bringing Labor Together Committee (BLTC) will host an After Hours Get Together at Paradise Point at 6 p.m.
On St. Croix, the DOL will join its partner agencies for a Sunrise Walk-a-thon and Picnic on 9/17, which will begin at the VITRACO Mall in Golden Rock and will culminate at the lagoon. DOL’s Open Session for Job Seekers, Employees and Employers will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. on 9/20 at the Cardiac Center. On 9/22, DOL will host a Chamber of Commerce Business after Hours from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Reminisce Restaurant in Queens Quarter. This year, the DOL Labor Management Committee (LMC) will host a Dance – Music Fusion Collusion on 9/30 where there will be give-aways and every government worker will get in for 8 percent less with proper government ID.
The St. Croix celebrations conclude with Customer Appreciation Day on 9/30 at the department’s offices located in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center. Prizes will be raffled every hour between 10 a.m. –and 3 p.m. DOL’s Youth Team will also visit schools throughout the territory to promote the programs and services available to help students determine a career path and to provide academic and general guidance.
In addition to these activities, Commissioner Bryan and other DOL representatives will visit television and radio stations throughout the month and will deliver presentations at Rotary clubs to provide updates on the department’s programs and initiatives, especially as relates to assisting residents in navigating the Great Recession.
DOL joins Governor deJongh in calling upon all residents of the territory to participate in the activities scheduled throughout the month.
Help us celebrate you during Labor/Management Awareness Month.
To find out more about these activities, kindly contact DOL offices at 773-1994 ext. 230 on St. Croix and/or 776-3700 ext. 2091 on St. Thomas.