|Prime Minister Christie tours SMG Architectural Millwork|
|Friday, 29 June 2012 08:16|
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie was impressed with the number of young Bahamian men producing high-end millwork at SMG Architectural Millwork. On Thursday, President and CEO, Darren Ginns, took the Prime Minister on a tour of the company that has manufactured and installed custom select work in Old Fort Bay, Lyford Cay, the Ocean Club, Albany and private homes. After touring the work site, the delegation toured the Mahogany House Restaurant, where SMG completed the millwork.
Prime Minister Christie said, “We have always known there were brilliant Bahamian artisans -- cabinet makers, we call them -- but this is special out here in a sense that they have a lot of young Bahamians employed and their record has been one of achievement, where they have come in as youngsters and they have developed meticulous skills.”
He was pleased to learn that the young men (although there is a female on the team) are creating works that can compete with the best in North America. “In fact,” the Prime Minister said, “I was told that one of them, who is 18-years-old, was the best of the best with artistic skill, working to perfection and takes pride in his work.” Fifty employees including five architects produce high end millwork, cabinetry, kitchen and bath, walk-in closets and can outfit any office space or complex. The majority of the workers are Bahamians.
Wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Bernadette Christie; Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe; Minister of Transport and Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin; Minister of State for Investments the Hon. Khaalis Rolle; Minister of State of Legal Affairs the Hon. Damian Gomez; the Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Senator the Hon. Hope Strachan and Chairman, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) accompanied the Prime Minister on the tour.
Prime Minister Christie said, “To me, this is very encouraging. Our aspirations as a Government is to ensure we create new levels of employment for Bahamians. “We can take a company such as this one, where they have integrated Bahamians, trained Bahamians, and use it as a model for what can take place.” He said what is happening at SMG is a wonderful demonstration of what can happen with the right incentives and the right leadership.
“So we came out today to support the ownership, to encourage him (Mr Ginns) in what he is doing and to somehow use this as a catalyst for inspiring others to get involved in this because clearly this can be a source of additional employment for Bahamians.” The Prime Minister also credited Mrs. Christie with encouraging him to visit the company. Mrs Christie said, “I think it is good to know what is possible in The Bahamas because we tend to give incentives to people to bring things in especially under the Hotel Encouragements Act, and I think that it is important that whatever we can do here to employ Bahamians, we do it.”
Mr Forbes, BAIC’s Chairman also noted that it is important to encourage Bahamians to buy products made in the country so that less foreign currency goes overseas. “It makes our country stronger and also puts our young people to work,” he said. “Now is the time for us to start employing our young people. There are too many young people out there who have not worked since they have come out of high school and there are people who have been unemployed for years, so we have to put those people back to work,” Mr Forbes added.
Mr. Ginns said the goal of SMG Millwork and having the Government tour the company that the country does have the best of the best. “Buy Bahamian is big for me.” He said other contractors are using SMG for the purpose of their millwork. “We are hoping to have more conversations with the Government so that we can expand our business, provide more training and more employment.”
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