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Carnival’s Celebration Key Construction Empowering Grand Bahamian Workforce

Carnival’s Celebration Key Construction Empowering Grand Bahamian Workforce

As work continues on Celebration Key, Carnival’s new private destination on Grand Bahama Island, Carnival Corporation has revealed that more than 85% of the companies contracted to work on the construction site are Grand Bahamian, reflecting the company’s commitment to local empowerment and fostering long-term community partnerships.

With 29 of the 31 companies on-site being Bahamian, more than 180 Bahamians from various islands are actively working on the building phase of the new destination, which is scheduled to open in July 2025.

Read more: Carnival Ships Will Begin Visiting Celebration Key in July 2025

Celebration Key on Grand Bahama Island is scheduled to open in July 2025 (artist rendering courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Lionel Jervis, project manager for KFL Construction, said: “Carnival has really demonstrated its belief in Grand Bahamians. Local companies are working on all aspects of this development, giving us a unique opportunity to employ so many local people. We are all gaining invaluable experience on a groundbreaking project, working together to build something that will be extremely impactful for the future of Grand Bahama.”

The $600 million Celebration Key cruise port, with its recently proposed $100 million pier addition, is expected to have a major economic impact on the Grand Bahama community. In addition to construction, several industries offer direct and indirect employment opportunities to Bahamians, including retail, food and beverage, shore excursions, transportation, and subcontracting services.

At least 75% of Celebration Key’s outlets will be owned and run by Bahamians as part of the company’s commitment to sustainable partnerships. Up to 70 restaurants and retail stores of all sizes are expected to be developed, representing a significant opportunity for local businesses. More than 700 permanent jobs will be created in Grand Bahama as a result of the project, including about 300 Bahamians directly hired by Carnival Corporation to assist in welcoming 2.2 million visitors annually to Grand Bahama beginning in 2025.

Related: Carnival’s New Celebration Key Will Feature Five Unique “Portals”

As stated by Bahamian Lilith Hanna, the site’s safety manager, Carnival Corporation’s commitment to safety is unwavering during the building phase, with strict procedures in place to ensure the health and safety of every worker.

“We maintain the highest safety standards for all workers at Celebration Key,” Hanna said in a press release. “Our comprehensive protocols are designed to minimize the risk of injury to workers and create a safe and secure environment in which to undertake this work.”

STS Construction, one of the many Grand Bahamian construction crews working on Celebration Key,
pours a foundation (image courtesy of Carnival Corporation)

Each of the Bahamian companies working on the site has been assigned projects that match their specific strengths. Island Site Development, the latest local contractor to join the team, has extensive experience supplying food and beverage facilities to sites throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Carnival Corporation has also created a digital portal for skilled laborers and contractors who don’t own a business but have skills and experience that would benefit the project.

Armando Corpas, Carnival Corp.’s Associate VP of Destinations Development, admired the talent and skill exhibited by Grand Bahamians, stating: “The Grand Bahama community has simply amazed us. There is such a wealth of talent and skill on the island. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to maximize the participation of Bahamians in general, and Grand Bahamians in particular, in every aspect of this project.”

Related: Carnival Cruise Line Opens Itineraries Featuring New Celebration Key

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Do you think Carnival Corporation is doing enough to support the Bahamian economy as it develops Celebration Key? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen