DMA laments decline in manufacturing; tries to engage young people

Participants at DMA youth symposium

The Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA) has been engaging young people in the manufacturing sector to better prepare them in sustaining jobs and to help them make beneficial career choices within the manufacturing industry.

This, as the President of the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA), Severin McKenzie, laments the decline in the manufacturing sector since Hurricane Maria.

Mckenzie said at youth symposium on manufacturing held recently, that over the last 27 months, DMA has faced numerous challenges as many manufacturing facilities are still nonoperational or have left the island.

The focus on young people involved in manufacturing is an effort by the DMA to breathe new life in manufacturing.

“Instead of hundreds of students going to the state college and all of them want to be studying psychology or sociology. There are other things you could study and be in fact independent, instead of those things everybody seems to be going after.” McKenzie stated.

He said various jobs such as graphic artists, mechanical engineers, technicians, Information Technology (IT) and marketing specialists are all part of those careers, pointing out that, “when you talk about an expansion of the manufacturing sector, you are looking at a wide range of possibilities for young people.”

The DMA president further stated that the government should seek a more sustainable way of providing better financial assistance to young persons who show an interest in small business development.

“Over the years we have heard the government making so many announcements about finances that they are giving to small business and if they were to do an analysis as to how much money that have actually invested in people doing very small businesses, you realize a lot of it is just wasted,” he stated.

McKenzie suggested that more effort, resources and energy should be directed towards the building of more factories that make specific products so persons with the passion could work together as a team and become investors of that same product which will eventually grow.

He said this strategy would be much more beneficial than persons working on their own.

“Igniting the wheels of production” was DMA’s theme for the youth symposium.

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7 Comments

  1. Iamanidiot
    December 5, 2019

    How can manufacturing work when there isnt money turning in the country, the majority of people’s salary goes into needs. So the only industry that kicks off is food industry (if you frying a bakes, and surprisingly alcohol). If people had more disposable income that wouldn’t have been a problem. But everybody salary low, (Even the prime minister but he building million dollar house, not 29Ms as he said, but it’s a few millions).
    On to small business, What happened to the world bank money that was promised after the hurricane and people spent money to register etc etc.
    Also, let’s pretend Small Business is not an easy way for the “Big Boys” to give their “Gals Dem” “Cool outs”, Just bring in a small business paper and they making a call. Everything is a joke in Dominica, the head is corrupt…you dont expect it to trickle down ? And they want people to come back to Dominica…for what…

  2. Roger Burnett
    December 4, 2019

    I share Severin McKenzie’s concern about encouraging appropriate skills, but I would stress practical skills rather than academic qualifications. This is particularly true in the field of mechanical engineering. Many of those who hold a degree in mechanical engineering wouldn’t know a spanner if one fell on their heads. More often than not innovative solutions originate at the workbench rather than the drawing board.

  3. Mike
    December 4, 2019

    This government is only interested in the passport business, not even Ross which was 30% of GDP could get their interest because they could not steal from Ross. Sam is involve in the passport business so sure skeritt will be interested

  4. Eagle-Eyed
    December 4, 2019

    McKenzie, the main reason if there’s a decline in manufacturing is because so-called manufacturers like you spend so much time playing politics rather than concentrating on developing your businesses. Manufacturing should not be a government concern, it should be the private sector to work with the government and access funding through the financial institutions in order to develop their businesses. McKenzie you should start working with the government like Sam Raphael, to help the private sector grow, rather than spending your time trying to get UWP into power. Put together a development plan for manufacturing and submit it to the government. Give them something to work with rather than just moaning and criticizing.

    • Opened Eye
      December 4, 2019

      Another labourite failing to accept the truth that your party has been a failure. The Government must put the mechanisms in place for any industry to thrive. Just another labourite who drank from Skerrit’s cup and fail to admit his failure. Skerrit Must Go!

      • Eagle-Eyed
        December 4, 2019

        I’m beginning to like you “Opened Eyed” except for where you said Skerrit must go. I would just like to ask you, who would you replace him with? Linton? Give me a break. You UWP-ites certainly don’t set a high enough bar for leadership. Any way, you must remember that the eyes of the Eagle is always wide open and sees everything. I wear no color but call things as i see. Some of the things i see include: 5 Star hotels, windsorpark stadium, E O Leblanc highway and other upgraded road network, a climate resilient housing revolution, elimination of pit toilets, newly reconstructed national hospital, an impressive modern state college, upgrading of the bayfront and cruise ship facility, construction of the financial centre and state house, Free education up to college level and support for university education, advanced plan for an international airport and more. These developments are a far cry from where we were when the last UWP government got voted out, wouldn’t you say?

    • Casio
      December 5, 2019

      TO be honest, there are a number of factors:
      Lack of skilled labour,
      High costs of operation (DOMLEC included)
      Lack of access to financing as many are not able to refinance existing loans.
      Lack of adequate resilient production space
      Lack of proper shipping arrangements
      LACK OF RAW MATERIALS FOR AGRO PROCESSORS
      and the list goes on. If you were in tuned to the struggle of the average manufacturer you would know these things. But i guess you have a mouth so why not use it right?

      In short, the enabling environment for manufacturing to flourish is no longer there. In 2016, the Manufacturers Association in collaboration with other stakeholders (public sector and private sector) and with the assistance of a contracted consultant submitted a document to the government addressing the issues and proposed suggestions, their impacts and benefits. To this day, none of the recommendations have been implemented, apart from the financing which the manufacturers cannot access as most…

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