STEP moves to streamline operations of community enhancement groups

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 20, 2021 (S.T.E.P.) — The Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), in its endeavour to have cleaner and nicer communities in St. Kitts and Nevis, has divided the island of St. Kitts into four zones for better management of community enhancement groups which have now been empowered with a new set of tools of trade.

Each zone has at least three community enhancement groups, and at most four, and is led by a Zonal Field Officer, while each of the groups is led by a supervisor who is assisted by an assistant supervisor for maximum efficiency as they keep the communities in which they live looking clean and nice.

Director of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), Mr Emile Greene, on Tuesday last week (July 13) at the STEP Head Office upstairs the General Post Office on Bay Road in Basseterre, held a meeting with two STEP Senior Field Officers, and the four STEP Zonal Field Officers responsible for the STEP Community Enhancement Groups on St. Kitts, where he was updated on the execution of plans that had been implemented prior to the latest State of Emergency which saw the country go under lockdown.  

“We have had some success with implementation of the plan in terms of better monitoring and measuring the output of work as well as the attendance,” said Mr Greene, who was accompanied by the STEP Field Operations Manager Mr William Phillip. “We are still trying to have a system in which there is some standardisation in terms of how we manage the groups, and hopefully the output that we get.”

In attendance were STEP Senior Field Officers, Mr Jason McKoy and Mr Damian Weekes, and STEP Zonal Field Officers, Mr Cleavon Huggins (Zone One which covers the areas from West Farm to Bird Rock, including St. Peter’s), Mrs Dawn Hodge-Percival (Zone Two which covers West Farm to St. Paul’s), Mr Thomas Henderson (Zone Three which covers the area from Dieppe Bay to Mansion), and Mr Keith Phipps (Zone Four which covers the area from Cayon to Phillips).

To ensure that the community enhancement groups did what they were mandated to do, prior to the lockdown the STEP invested in a number of new tools based on the requirements of the groups. These included weed eaters, rakes, shovels, picks, machetes, brooms, brushes, and wheelbarrows.  

“What we are now saying is that since we have made the investment in tools, we want to see a different outcome to what we had before – that persons must work for the hours stipulated,” said Mr Greene. “We have to see more work being done, and we have to see a better quality of work being done – we are not just chopping off the top of bushes and leaving them on the road. The area must be properly cut and then they must clean up the area since we have invested in the brooms and brushes, shovels, and wheelbarrows.”

For better management and supervision of the workers on the community enhancement groups, the Skills Training Empowerment Programme is going to invest in the training of all the supervisors. The supervisory training will be held over the next few weeks with the hope that the STEP management will see a difference in how the groups are being managed.

For the STEP to achieve its goal in having cleaner and nicer communities in St. Kitts and Nevis, the STEP Zonal Field Officers will also be exposed to training to make them better supervisors and managers.

“So training will be one component – training of field officers and supervisors, and better monitoring and measuring of the quantity and quality of work will be another component,” said Mr Greene. “Where possible we will see what incentive we can use to promote a different mind-set so that persons will take pride in doing their work, bearing in mind that we have already made a big investment in tools and equipment.”

Featured Image – STEP Field Officers meeting, R-L: Mr William Phillip, Mr Thomas Henderson, Mr Keith Phipps, Mr Damian Weekes, STEP Director Mr Emile Greene, Mr Jason McKoy, Mrs Dawn Hodge-Percival, and Mr Cleavon Huggins.

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