Press Release

Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
Department of Labour and Workforce Development
Release Date:
Friday, 26 August 2022 - 10:10am

Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull has called on human resources agencies to collaborate with the Government of the Virgin Islands to address workforce development in the Territory.

Honourable Turnbull made this call to action during his keynote address at the installation of the Virgin Islands chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Executive Board.

The labour minister said, “I believe it is important for us to join in that public-private partnership to develop not only the workforce of the Virgin Islands, but continue to change the trajectory of where we are in this Territory, [along with] the development of our people, so that we can continue to be leaders in our Territory.”

Honourable Turnbull said it is important to “not recreate the wheel” and that the partnership should involve established agencies, namely the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Ministry of Education, Premier’s Office, through the Department of Trade and Economic Development, SHRM VI, and all other HR agencies in the Virgin Islands.

Minister Turnbull added, “At the end of the day, a lot of what you do, from the work permits, from the training, from what is required to come into employment, that expertise that you would need - that all lies within us.”

The honourable minister also asserted, “We are going to fix the Labour and Workforce Department.”

Minister Turnbull also commended all the human resource professionals for their work in professional development of employees, and for listening, guiding and in some cases helping with family issues, adding, “I want to say thank you.”           

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley said that he was overjoyed to be at the ceremony, stating, “This is an event that certainly portends success for the Virgin Islands. It is a very difficult time for persons in the workforce, but we see a brighter future ahead, and to be able navigate all the challenges that we have in the workforce will certainly require leadership, cooperation and collaboration.”

Acting Governor His Excellency Mr. David Archer Jr., also delivered remarks at the installation ceremony.

Members of the new executive board of the SHRM Virgin Islands chapter are President Elect Mrs. Shondrea Turnbull, Membership Director Ms. Debra Leslie, College Relations Director Ms. Rochelle Lawrence, and SHRM Foundation Director Ms. Reba Thomas.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour endeavours to effectively manage and administer the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability, and to ensure that the supply of labour is commensurate with the level of development in all sectors of the economy under working conditions, which preserve the individuals' health, safety, and welfare.


About SHRM

SHRM advocates to make work, workers and the workplace better. Its members seek to advance effective public policies impacting employers, employees and the economy. The launch of the VI Executive Board was held under the theme “Double the Impact” and was a result of approximately one year of collaboration between the Virgin Islands (VI) and the United States (USVI). This is the first chapter of SHRM that contains two sovereign countries.

Photo captions:

Photo 1: Group photo taken at the SHRM installation ceremony

Photo 2: Photo of Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull

Photo 3 Left to Right: Minister for Natural Resources, Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull, the Acting Governor His Excellency Mr. David Archer Jr., Former Senator Stedman Hodge Jr., and Premier, and Minister of Finance Doctor the Honourable Natalio Wheatley

(Photo credit: GIS/R. Corum)


Paul Bridgewater

Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations