Since hurricane season is fast approaching, Dart Realty is already helping Grand Cayman Island residents prepare. Dart is selling spots in Camana Bay’s garage to allow residents to park their car during hurricanes. The one-time $100 fee lets you reserve a spot for the entire hurricane season.
“CI$100 covers your vehicle for the entire 2013 hurricane season and all you have to do is drop your car off when the National Hurricane Centre issues a Hurricane Watch and pick it up 12 hours after the All Clear,” explained Derek Haines, Dart’s Senior Security Manager. “During what can potentially be a very frantic and stressful time, it definitely helps to have one less thing to worry about.”
There are a limited number of spaces, so Dart Realty is accepting residents on a first come, first serve basis with a max of two spaces per person. As of May 1st, residents were able to purchase spots. The required forms and $100 fee can be dropped off at the Discovery Centre in Camana Bay. When the car is parked in the spot, the owner will not be able to access their car so valuable items should be removed. Mr. Haines said, “We have an experienced team of valets who park the cars with great care. They literally park them end to end, filling every free space on the upper floors of the garage, including the bays and ramps, which makes it impossible to access the vehicles until they are transferred to the adjacent surface parking lot after the storm has passed.”
The Dart Foundation, where Ken Dart serves on the Board of Directors, recently awarded a $100,000 grant to the Mason School District in Michigan. The grant will go towards the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program and will be divided into two phases.
The first phase of $67,000 will be used to purchase three or four plasma cutters for the high school. “It will allow us to make different parts and things. Our robotics will be able to make custom parts for our robotics courses,” said Mason High School Teacher Ben Shoemaker.
The second phase of $23,000 will go towards a mobile lab to be used at any of the elementary schools in the district. “We’ll use the mobile lab to create interest in our STEM program early on,” said Superintendent Mark Dillingham. He is hopeful it will spark interest in females specifically since there is only one female currently on the robotics team. “We found that females tend to be less interested in science and math. We want to make sure we capture the imaginations of our young ladies and we think this is one of the ways to do it,” said Dillingham.
The equipment should all be purchased by January 2014.
Dart Container Corporation opened up more than 100 positions recently and in April, hosted a job fair with Capital Area Michigan Works. About 450 people attended the job fair, 190 of which arrived by 9am when the event began.
“We haven’t done this in a long while,” said Andrea Kerbuski, chief communications manager for Capital Area Michigan Works. “It makes sense for us to open up our building for this. We have the space and the staff to do this type of thing.”
The available jobs are in technical fields, such as IT, engineering, accounting, administrative support, and software and manufacturing design. Dart is expanding its world headquarters building and opening a new warehouse. Dreasky expects to hire another 100-150 employees over the next year.
“We had a really great turnout,” said Sherry Dreasky, Dart recruiting manager. “From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., we were on the go. It was invaluable to have that face time with those individuals wanting to know more about Dart.”
In March, the Dart group held the Minds Inspired Inaugural Mathematics Challenge at the University College of the Cayman Islands. There were 34 competitors from six schools – St. Ignatius High School, Grace Christian Academy, Clifton Hunter, John Gray High School, Cayman International School, and Layman Scott High School Cayman Brac.
“Minds Inspired is an all-encompassing initiative which focuses on making education increasingly accessible to the youth of Cayman,” said Jackie Doak, chief operating officer of Dart Realty. “The Mathematics Challenge goes one step further though. It does not stop at accessibility, rather it actively promotes and encourages students to become involved in mathematics in a setting other than their classrooms.”
During the team round, first place was awarded to Sabrina Weber of Grace Christian Academy, Joanna Tibbetts of Layman Scott High School in Cayman Brac, and Hanna Ebanks of the Cayman International School. In the individual round, first place went to Vincent Lachance from St. Ignatius High School.
“Enhanced skills in mathematics and science allows us all to become better problem solvers, critical thinkers and decision makers and innovators,” Jackie Doak added. “Through Minds Inspired, Dart is delighted to encourage our youth to make deliberate choices for their education which include mathematics and science.”
Last month, the Job Shadow Programme was launched by Junior Achievement of the Cayman Islands. Dart Cayman was the pilot private sector organization that participated in the launch. The programme, targeted at students in year 11, allows students to experience the workplace environment and day-to-day connections between careers and academic studies. Dart employees acted as mentors to the students for the day.
“The students were exposed to the wide range of career opportunities available within the Dart Group of Companies, and gained an understanding of how their classroom learning transitions to the workplace. We hope this experience has highlighted the importance of doing well in school and transferring that success to the workplace,” said Glenda McTaggart, Learning and Development Manager at Dart.
Jackie Doak, COO at Dart, led a group lunch and discussion. Relating to her personal experience, she emphasized the importance of a good educational foundation for any career. Mark VanDevelde, CEO at Dart, facilitated a Q&A session after sharing his career journey. Students were then paired with a mentor in one of five departments at Dart: Building Operations, Information Technology, Construction, Horticulture, and Customer Service.
Teresa Owen-Foster, Programme Director of Junior Achievement commented, “We are pleased with the outcome of the Job Showing Programme at Dart and feedback from the students has been encouraging. The Job Shadow experience gave them some real, practical insights into their career selection and development. We want to thank Dart for its continued support of Junior Achievement in the Cayman Islands and we look forward to having other companies participate in the Job Shadowing Programme.”