Message to VI Govt....
 
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Message to VI Govt...why not try something that may benefit youth?

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Native Son
(@Native_Son)
Advanced Member

Today, there are over one million people on the IBM payroll in India. Imagine the impact just 10,000 of those jobs would have on the Virgin Islands economy.

10,000 clean jobs that require brain power.

Why not gear the curriculum of the STX campus of UVI primarily to teaching cutting-edge tech, like the Indian campuses do? Why not turn out hundreds of graduates who are skilled in producing world-class software for companies like IBM, and why not attract such companies with a real tech-park type of infrastructure, like they did in Bangalore?

Why would companies currently outsourcing software development jobs to India not be tempted to send a few thousand of those jobs our way, if they knew that the infrastructure was present and a cadre of highly trained, capable programmers available, on US soil?

Why would high school students not be happy to know that they could attend a top knotch technical university after high school graduation, and be employable in their hometown after college? It would give them something to look forward to, and would create a culture of educational achievement in a competitive environment...which is sorely lacking right now.

Are we less disciplined, and less intelligent, than the Indians and the Chinese? How come we lack the vision to create things like a real tech park with real high speed Internet access, but insist on creating go-nowhere stuff like casinos, racinos, etc?

Why should our youth be limited in their opportunities here? They take all that brainpower to the continental US and kick ass there...like the young lady from STX who is working for Google Apps...and others too numerous to mention. Our young people are just as smart as Indians or Chinese, and due to a lack of foresight and long-term planning they are being shortchanged and forced to look for opportunities elsewhere.

I have no illusions that anybody in a position of power will ever take seriously my idea of creating a Bangalore on St. Croix...ie, a technical university that turns out hundreds of software developers who are highly trained in all of the latest technologies, backed up by a tech park that can house companies who would be interested in outsourcing some of their work to a US territory.

If we build it, they will come.

We know that some of the impetus for outsourcing is to escape US labor regulations, but we can bend a little, like we do for the EDC companies. These things can be worked out by the people that we pay large salaries to for creating legislation to benefit us.

Oh well...just today's pipe dream.

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Topic starter Posted : July 22, 2011 4:20 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

The problem is not the lack of brain power, it's the labor cost, Minimum wage, Workman's comp, Health insurance, Social Security, Unemployment Payments, 401K Pension Plan, eventual Union, Rents / Real Estate Tax and stock holders wanting a bigger return on their investment. Just look at the clothing industry, auto industry, steel industry and the computer industry.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 5:12 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

Native Son:

I don't think it's a pipe dream.

It's a good idea....no, it's a great idea!

Why not in the USVIs? (Forget the negatives, they can be worked out.)

Any UVI people out there?

What needs to be done?

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Posted : July 22, 2011 5:45 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

A big difference is that India and China already have established educational systems that prepare students well from kindergarten through college, so these nations welcome ventures that provide jobs for those competitive employees. The kindergarten through college education available in the USVI is not globally competitive, and corporations are not in the business of educating youth, so it wouldn't make economic sense for corporations to send jobs here. Redesigning the local educational system would be a mighty undertaking for which the necessary skills do not exist locally, and West Indian pride would prevent allowing outsiders to come and take over the kindergarten through college education of West Indian youth. Further, such a project would require compliance from West Indian parents, and too many of them lack sufficient education to see the value in making the sacrifices necessary for such an endeavor to be successful. Therefore, as desirable as the idea may seem, it simply isn't executable.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 6:09 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

The cultures that are getting the opportunities are the ones best positioned to take advantage of them. The culture of work ethic in the VI is sorely lacking. For decades, the society has set the bar very low for work performance, and for performance in life in general. Whatever someone decieds to do, or not do, it's okay. Families in India take HUGE pride in their reputations, and work like dogs to make sure their kids are educated to the highest of their ability, no matter what. Then those people go to work and are diligent, tend to details like it was their own, and strive to improve, improve, improve. I just don't see that attitude in general in the VI. Not trying to be a hate post. It is what it is. How many posts in the past month here have been derrogatory to the work force? Why? Are they "haters"? I don't think so. They are just calling it like it is.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 6:11 pm
southernsweetie
(@southernsweetie)
Advanced Member

There will never be change as along as everyone sits around saying change can never happen. Attitudes will never shift and people will never see what can be as long as what is is the accepted standard.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 6:20 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

One problem I see is the general feeling here (and elsewhere for that matter) among some young people is that a schedule is a suggestion rather than a mandate. If your friends are going to the beach on Saturday, that is NOT a reason to call in sick. The jobs in India that you speak of are highly sought-after positions. I would guess the absenteeism is extremely low.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 7:16 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

to dntw8up's response, I would only add that the years before kindergarten may be even more important. Children need parents who will talk to them and read to them as well as teach them self-discipline in order to succeed in the classroom.

Interesting that the check spelling function wanted to change dnt's name to Dante UPS...*-)

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Posted : July 22, 2011 8:47 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

another well known poster on here has repeatedly posted with distain that there are not jobs here because our youth have "not been conditioned to be servants" as if that was a bad thing. VI is a SEVICE based economy. Hello..... Sevice, servants. Too bad if servant (bell boy, concierge, golf instructor, beach chair renter, restaruanteur, waitress, safari bus driver) somehow conjurs up ghosts of the pre-civil rights days... Service is nothing of the sort. It is the ticket for the islands to be the shining star of the Carribean. I am a nurse, and most of my decades of work have been in very humble service to very humble people in life's most difficult circumstances. Does that make me any less status in society? Not at all! I'm NOT religious, but the Bible says, the least shail be first, and the first shall be last. Same thng here. People who put themselves first in life, end up holding the bag, eventually. Cooperation to a common goal, discipline, "holding your nose and doing what must be done" is sometimes required to get ahead in life, to build a better life, society, nation. It all starts at home. Work work work SHOULD be drilled into young people. It was drilled into me as a child, right there on St. Croix. Don't know when work and discipline fell by the wayside, but it's a damn shame it has.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 9:36 pm
Cruz
 Cruz
(@Cruz)
Advanced Member

smh @ the ignorant comments that are being spewed in this thread.

Native Son, I commend you for your thoughts and just ignore the ignorance that these people are saying.....

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Posted : July 22, 2011 9:52 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

Ignore the general opinion that good help is hard to find in the VI. Way to go.

I to applaud waking up the youth and instilling a work ethic in them. Problem is, it will not come without... you guessed it. WORK, and DISCIPLINE, which are not in huge supply, currently, or this discussion would not have so quickly taken this turn. The first step to correcting something is to admit it needs correcting.

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Posted : July 22, 2011 10:29 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

onthespot: Thank you.

I believe that my post asked for "How can we do this"........not "how can we NOT do this".

Let's put our creative thinking in place....you folks know the problems that exist.....now tell us HOW to get this done.

Native Son: You're right on...........we need programs like this.

F.I.

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Posted : July 23, 2011 12:34 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

"If I ruled the world" ... blah blah blah... If I was trynig to help repair the work ethic, I would not start it with a sixteen years of education goal, looking toward a sit down job in the misty future. I would start it with chickens. I would start poultry keeping and gardeniing classes for the very young, because of two things, instant gratificatioin, (get that egg every day) and because St. Croix would like to promote agriculture and return to being the "Breadbasket of the Carribean" and third, the world economy is on very thin ice, and as much as we as an island can be self supporting for food, all the better. Plus, poultry come in AMAZING array of plumage varieties, wonderous and even hideous looking body types, egg colors, and some sell for $$$ like you would not believe. If they (the people) get NPIP certified, they can ship birds to the states (at buyer's expense) and make some good dough. I just sold six chickens this week, none even old enough to lay an egg yet, for $450. No lie. Someone in Colorade just HAD to have some of my best pullets. Okay... you gonna pay. and she did. Yesterday I hatched my paint silkie, the newest hottest color. Those, right now are selling for $200 each. Next year it will be more like $50 probably, but still! $50 for a baby chick. There is very quick money to be made back in fancy poultry, and I also raise parrot finches. Those are breeding like rats right now in my aviary. They sell for $100 each for babies. If the world economy tanks, they will become worthless, but for now, they make good money quick too. Things like that would be much more interesting and more likely to teach a work ethic, business skills, and local poultry shows, kids could learn about a standard and trying to strive for perfection (there is no perfect bird) and to get rewarded that year, or within six months of starting, rather than sixteen years later. The chickens can sustain the family. They all "taste like chicken" no matter how beautiful they are. LOL I have eaten many a gorgeous purebred rooster, just don't need them all. All hens of any status lay eggs, some more than others. So every hen has value, regardless of her looks. There is quite a bit of life science to be learned, about incubating the eggs successfully, they can learn basic carpentry skills to build a very modest run if they want that many birds, There is a TON they can learn from something so simple as raising top notch chickens, and it is easy as you want it to be, or as complicated and expensive, with constant positive reinforcement, and any time they are "done" with chickens, you eat them. No overpopulation problme, and it can help make the island much more food independent and a stronger society. From having extra protein at breakfast, they will do better in school, and have a better chance to pull in those 4.0 GPA.s (okay 3.2 is fine too.)

That's my .02 worth about where you turn it around with the youth. My idea is just as cockeyed as anyone else's Anyone interested in learning more about poultry in the larger world, visit http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/index.php where you can read until your eyes bleed. There are over 90k members, around 20k actively posting at any time. You can buy, sell, trade there with a huge community, The market is there for good birds, you just have to learn it and produce what is in demand. Crazy, I know. But it could work. Not to fix everything, but to start young to begin to build a work ethic, striving to excellence, and feeling rewarded on an ongoing basis as they learn valuable skills and attituteds.

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Posted : July 23, 2011 1:11 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

The O.P. wrote "if we build it they will come"

Perhaps, ...but only if those jobs pay about $20,000 to $25,000 a year ---because that is what a "software technician" with several years of experience makes in India. (Google it yourself if you don't believe me). Customer service reps in India make even less.
A housekeeper at JFL Hospital makes about the same.

IMHO, the best hope for this island's economic future is for the people to begin producing things HERE which are currently being imported, and to produce them not only for the local economy, but for export.

Food, for example. STX's arable land gives it a unique advantage over many other islands. Based on current availability, is there a reason why there is not a thriving cottage industry for exportable Mango products? Thinking out loud...

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Posted : July 23, 2011 6:30 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

and why is grass growing taller than a man, in empty pastures, and imported beef costing upwards of $20/lb. for some cuts. In SANE. We have everything we need right here on St. Croix to fill a very good menu, and plenty too to export..

Thriving agriculture would only enhnace tourism. In fact, agro tourism is high priced in the states. People come for a week and get to milk a cow, drive a tractor, gather eggs, bake bread. I bet if they could learn some local cooking, and help move cows through a dip chute, tag the calves, stretch fence (a little. stretching fence sucks) attend a weekly rodeo or horse show, however modest, they'd go for it.

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Posted : July 23, 2011 7:42 pm
Cruz
 Cruz
(@Cruz)
Advanced Member

The O.P. wrote "if we build it they will come"

Perhaps, ...but only if those jobs pay about $20,000 to $25,000 a year ---because that is what a "software technician" with several years of experience makes in India. (Google it yourself if you don't believe me). Customer service reps in India make even less.
A housekeeper at JFL Hospital makes about the same.

IMHO, the best hope for this island's economic future is for the people to begin producing things HERE which are currently being imported, and to produce them not only for the local economy, but for export.

Food, for example. STX's arable land gives it a unique advantage over many other islands. Based on current availability, is there a reason why there is not a thriving cottage industry for exportable Mango products? Thinking out loud...

(tu)(tu)great comments, now this thread is going somewhere(tu)

The islands should be able to feed themselves before making service industries like Tourism a priority.

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Posted : July 23, 2011 8:07 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

(tu)(tu)great comments, now this thread is going somewhere(tu)

The islands should be able to feed themselves before making service industries like Tourism a priority.

Amen, amen Ay-MEN!!! Times are changing, and may change like a pancake flipping soon. My goal when I get there, is to try to hands on help promote agriculture. I have a LOT of fancy kinds of chickens, and I want to donate eggs or chicks or whatever and start a kids poultry club. Gardening and chickens go hand in hand. Tilapa is not far from that either. I don't know jack about tilapia, but I can learn, and teach that too. I learned my love of agriculture from Peter Skov, who has the pavillion named after him at the ag dept. He may not know it because I was mostly a pain in the ass, chasing his goats all over the hills, opening up the molasses trough and sticking my fingers in it, trying to ride Plumrose, his old cow, and helpng Alan with the bottle calves from his brother Oliver's dairy. I would stand by at goat butchering time waiting for the skins, but I didn't ever watch them cut the throat. Couldn't do it. now I could, but not then. Ever since, I have had a lifelong love of all things ag. Life turned me toward nursing, but I should have stuck with ag. I didn't know my head from my heels in college anyhow, I just did what I was told. I want to help bring ag back to St Croix!

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Posted : July 23, 2011 8:21 pm
Cruz
 Cruz
(@Cruz)
Advanced Member

That's great onthespot, now you're definitely on the spot! 🙂

The people of St. Croix are the ones that are going to have to push agriculture, because it seems like the government is totally clueless in regards to the importance.

In these hard economic times, I'm definitely seeing the importance of being able to feed yourself.

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Posted : July 23, 2011 10:03 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Chickens an Mango's? I would think twice about who is clueless!

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Posted : July 24, 2011 12:11 am
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

Don't knock it till you've tried it. In fact chickens and mangos together sounds good, like a mango glaze over baked chicken, stuffed with funji and okra. Dayum!! I'm gonna go try it. I got a young rooster I need to off tomorrow anyhow. Trash day is Monday.

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Posted : July 24, 2011 2:49 am
southernsweetie
(@southernsweetie)
Advanced Member

What votec classes are offered at the high school level? Kids could graduate with career options like cosmetology, auto repair, daycare ownership/management, hotel/food management, cooking, etc. They could then leave school with a diploma and marketable skills.

FFA would teach kids about ag who are interested in cows,pigs, chickens, etc.

A community garden at all campuses would be awesome. They students will learn where food comes from, how to grow it, cooperation, responsibility, etc. They can then learn how to harvest and how to prepare these foods. The veggies and fruits grown could be used in the cafeteria, cutting food costs in the schools. If there is an abundance of food over what the school can use in their kitchens, the kids could take it home and have fresh food there as well.

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Posted : July 24, 2011 5:39 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Southernsweetie
St Croix Vocational School has more programs than you can shake a stick at, this is a public High School and has night classes for adults as well. The UVI has An Aquaphonics System Courses (farming). If the students graduate from these programs that are available, he/she will have marketable skills if the (JOBS ARE AVAILABLE). This is an island economy and at this point in time can't support the number of applicants that are available in the various trades.

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Posted : July 24, 2011 1:21 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

The world economy is changing, fast. Tourism could all but dry up in a few years. People need to quit thinking about JOBS as much being able to grow their own and feed themselves, their families and barter for goods and sevices. Anything they could do as a JOB for someone else, they can do for themselves in a home based business, or just to feed themselves, be it ever so small. You can raise tilapa in a 55 gallon barrel. My brother works for Diagio driving, and he says they got mass amounts of spent oak barrels just going to waste.

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Posted : July 24, 2011 2:01 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Onthespot,
Don't Know were your economic forecast is from. The could, would, and should have syndrome is alive and well. It seems like you went from chickens to turn the island economy around, but now you have the chicken little mindset. Do you think that if the plug is pulled the islands will sink?:S

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Posted : July 24, 2011 2:15 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I would LOVE to barter for airtravel back and forth. Any takers?

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Posted : July 24, 2011 3:20 pm
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