Premier Hon. Washington Misick is describing his recent overseas trip to Jamaica and the United States as very successful, having forged several educational, immigration, labor and customs bonds.
The premier, on August 12, led a delegation, which included Minister of Immigration Hon. Arlington Musgrove and Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education and Labor, to Jamaica, where they met with heads of state, including Prime Minister Hon. Andrew Holness and Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, government technocrats.
The local delegation also met with heads of the University of West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTECH).
“We have an extremely successful meeting with the University of the West Indies,” the premier said. “As you know, this government is focused on human capital development. We have the community college, and we want to make sure as we develop and expand our education policy, to make sure that we have the best community college and the best education framework in the region.
“And so, we are doing everything we can to ensure that the quality of education that we deliver here and ability for that to transfer into institutions abroad and, as our students exit this institution here and other institutions, that those qualifications would catapult them forward. So, we had that critical meeting with the UWI, trying to strengthen that relationship.”
He added: “We also met with the University of Technology in Jamaica – another alma mater of mine. They have specialized programmes that we can benefit from.”
Premier Misick revealed also that his government met with the Ports Authority of Jamaica, as well as the Ministry of Labor, as they seek to strengthen its local operations.
“Each meeting bore fruit, I would say, or has the capacity or the potential to bear fruit,” the premier noted.
The premier also met with some TCI patients at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
“We ran out of time. We did not see that many people, but we did see a few of our patients at the hospital. We are grateful to our network of treatments throughout the Caribbean and beyond,” he said, adding that many of the TCI citizens receiving treatment abroad continue to get better… “And we are praying for God’s grace for them to return here alive and well.”
Members of team, including the premier and the minister of education also visited Washington DC to attend the launch of the charity initiative – Youth Help Foundation.
The Youth Help Foundation is the brainchild of medical student Stuart Ewing, son of former Premier Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing and Dr. Dawn Perry Ewing.
“The event drew persons from all over the United States and the Turks and Caicos, and it is aimed primarily at raising funds in order to help our young people who have academic and other pursuits… that would be needed in the overall development of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” the premier emphasized.
He said the event was also an opportunity to showcase the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourism, noting that members of the Tourist Board, as well as Turks and Caicos Islands Hotel and Tourism Association were in attendance.
Former Premier Ewing also arranged a meeting on behalf of the TCI Government, with Howard University, which declared an interest to enter an MOU with the TCIG. The premier described the meeting as very productive.
While in Jamaica, Premier Misick was guest speaker at his alma mater – Northern Caribbean University. The premier said he spent eight years in Jamaica at school, training and then work.
“On august 15, I had the privilege of delivering the commencement address at Northern Caribbean University – my alma mater. I also received an Honorary Doctorate Commerce Degree from that institution in recognition of the work that I guess they perceived that I have done over the years, as it relates to the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” he said.
He added: “To be honest with you, this experience was beyond measure…it was a very humbling one. During my address to the graduates, I took the opportunity to tell them my story. We all of a story to tell. And that story for me was one of tremendous success and some failures along the way.
“And so, the same way that I have encouraged the graduates at Northern Caribbean University that in everything they do they should persevere and use setbacks as an opportunity to come back, that’s the same words of encouragement that I would like to extend to the young people in particular in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“There are tremendous challenges in life, and there are also tremendous opportunities, and we ought to turn those challenges into opportunities. The only thing can stop us from progressing is ourselves. We have the abilities to materialize the giants within us.
The premier was also accompanied by Permanent Secretaries Wesley Clerveaux and Simone Malcolm-Been, along with Labor Commissioner Edwin Taylor.