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Will La Brea be left behind?

It may be useful to comment on Gervase Warner and the proposed development of the Labidco site (Business Express, December 19).

He is to be congratulated on working out manufacturing arrangements with investors. Such capital and polymerisation technology will advance and strengthen the economy. Such activities and marketing of increased production of methanol and dimethyl ether, etc will gain from linkages with Mitsubishi and others.

This type of development is capital intensive and 200 jobs are forecast with 300 others in the construction phase. So $1 billion to produce 200 permanent jobs with golden pay cheques? And some off-the-cuff suggestion that La Brea will receive spin-off benefits?

Perhaps one can be accused of jumping the gun to suggest that the La Brea community is not important in the face of such impressive national benefits.

What happens to La Brea as the industrial complex emerges and it still finds itself in a backwater? Are people then encouraged to burn tyres and block roads by community leaders? Arthur Lewis warned about this type of leader who makes his own mileage from the misery of others.

Will there be the training of the frustrated young in technical skills that will make some of them at least employable in the industrial complex long before it even gets started? The setting up of such training centres ought to upgrade basic literacy and numeracy in parallel with the projected technical employment skills. What is proposed here is going beyond passing out the mauby and rock cake to keep them quiet?

Mahadeo Bissoon

via e-mail

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