Sunrise staffer makes the grade as top employee for April

| 15/06/2016
CNS Local Life

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson (third from left) presents Suzzette Stewart Employee of the Month certificate, with (L-R) Education Senior Policy Advisory Manager Shari Smith, Acting SATC Director Kimberly J. Voaden, Education Chief Officer Christen Suckoo and Education Minister Tara Rivers

(CNS): Suzzette Stewart, vocational programme coordinator with the Sunrise Adult Training Centre (SATC), has been named the Cayman Islands Government Employee of the Month for April. Stewart, who first secured the Chief Officers Choice Award and then received the nod for Employee of the Month from Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, was nominated for being most supportive.

Manderson congratulated Stewart for embodying the values and standards that he expects staff to exhibit. He commended her for serving as a role model for all civil servants.

During his presentation, the deputy governor thanked her for her compassion and all her service for her clients. “By going the extra mile for these Islands’ most vulnerable citizens and supporting them in becoming healthy and productive citizens, you make our islands a better place”.

Stewart’s duties include instructing the centre’s higher functioning clients in work-readiness skills – such as interview and workplace etiquette, social skills, and basic finance – thereby promoting increased functional independence. As part of the vocational programme’s year-long training curriculum, clients explore their talents and interests, as well as various employment opportunities, to ensure that future employment is meaningful, fulfilling and a good match for each client’s individual skills and talents.

The ultimate goal of the programme is to assist SATC clients in obtaining and keeping paid employment, so that they can become contributing, happy and healthy citizens of the Cayman Islands, and as independent as possible.

Acting SATC director Kimberly J. Voaden noted that Stewart is the first employee that the centre has nominated for the Deputy Governor’s Award Programme (DGAP), and so it has been especially exciting that her employee was selected to receive the Employee of the Month Award.

“As the head of the vocational programme, she currently coordinates and ensures consistently excellent support of 22 working clients. “There is a whole host of things that Suzzette is involved in that goes beyond her job description. In addition to all of her duties, she has been the single face of our vocational programme whilst her assistant has been on maternity leave.

“Despite the programme being short-staffed for this period of time, Mrs. Stewart maintained her high quality of service provision, and continued to source additional internships and employment opportunities, also addressing any crises that arose with working clients.”

Voaden also pointed out that the majority of clients have a wide range of special needs and that “Mrs. Stewart spends time to understand their various diagnoses in order to learn new teaching strategies that will enrich her clients’ lives.”

Education Chief Officer Christen Suckoo praised Stewart’s efforts as well. “She is an excellent communicator and problem solver, and also clearly relays key information to senior management.”

He added that Stewart has become known as a genuine friend to everyone at the SATC by functioning as a “voice of reason”, saying, “She is a supportive, empathetic listener and problem solver for both clients and staff.“

Minister of Education Tara Rivers, who also attended the presentation, said she was delighted that employees from her ministry were being recognised for their hard work.

“As the vocational training programme coordinator, Mrs. Stewart plays an essential role in the facilitation of independence for the higher functioning clients at the centre. By guiding them to develop work-ready skills and creatively sourcing internship and job placements, she provides them with the opportunity to be active participants in their communities.  I offer you, Mrs. Stewart, my heartfelt thanks and congratulations.”

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Category: Civil Service

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