This year's arrival of spring and summer is more special than in past decades. As the strength of the sun increases, the coronavirus will weaken. It feels like the elements are fighting with us. Unseasonably cold for the time of year, but it does make it a little more bearable when you consider that this very fact means fewer people will go outside and the virus will have less of a chance to spread. Too many sacrifices have already been made, people have died and businesses have gone out of business. Although humans are very resilient creatures, it is almost inhuman not to have been affected by the dismal past year. It is therefore a nice thought that we only have to hold on for a little while longer, so that the sun will also soon be strong enough to melt our gloomy thoughts and provide us with new energy!
At ICE, we also notice in the office that the nice weather is coming. Many companies call us during this time because they are looking for additional staff. Entrepreneurs are preparing for the end of the corona era and can't wait to get back on the gas with their business. In addition, of course, there are crops that need to be cared for and harvested. After all, a strawberry, cucumber or tomato grows no slower during a lockdown. Although many jobs are lost in the corona crisis, ICE does not expect to have fewer job openings this year. In fact, more people are currently working at ICE than exactly one year ago!
Every time the phone rings at the ICE office, it could just be a great employer looking for you! A few weeks ago, another such nice employer called. An entrepreneur I have known for a long time called me to ask if I could also find people who would like to work on St. Eustatius. He has built a hotel and the terrain still had to be made ready for delivery. He thought he needed 7 hands-on workers for a period of 8 weeks. When the ICE office staff saw the vacancy, it quickly rained requests for leave on my desk. An island in the Caribbean with exactly zero corona infections was where we all wanted to go. In the end, we had to draw the hard conclusion that we ourselves would not be the ideal employees for our client in St. Eustatius. Fortunately, our recruiters found 7 adventurous men willing to take our place. After the necessary corona tests they boarded the plane on Easter Monday. Hopefully I can tell you in the next newsletter how the men are doing, because of course we are very curious....
Meanwhile, ICE must also prepare for the future. We notice that a shortage of housing is becoming an increasing problem. The housing market in the Netherlands is overstrained, and it doesn't look like this will improve much in the coming period. Many of our employees are looking for affordable housing with more privacy. To meet this need, ICE bought a piece of land in Roosendaal. We recently submitted a permit to the municipality to build 150 studios for 2 people here. Unfortunately, such processes always take longer than you hope, but we will do everything we can to start building this year. In the next newsletter we hope to know more...
Now that we have a view on better times, I would like to urge everyone once again to (continue to) observe all corona measures. Slowing down is not an option anymore, so let's all move forward safely, full speed ahead!
Enjoy the sun and stay positive!
(Or should I say better: stay negative?!)