Discovery Bay skills training facility opens
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
DISCOVERY BAY:A JOINT Effort by Noranda Bauxite, Brown's Town Community College and Heart/NTA to establish the Discovery Bay Skills Training Facility recently, earned commendation from Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who has reiterated her administration's commitment to making education a priority.
In officially opening the multimillion-dollar facility, which is a Jamaica50 Commemorative Project situated on the Brown's Town Community College Technical Campus, Simpson Miller also encouraged the students who will attend the institution to grasp the opportunity being presented.
The prime minister emphasised the importance of getting a skill and becoming certified and challenged the students to remain positive as they sought to better themselves.
"We have a responsibility. Our responsibility is to educate our people, and no matter what or how difficult it is in this country in terms of our economy, education must continue to be a priority of any government and will continue to be a priority of our administration," she said.
"I want to challenge you students. When people talk failure, talk success. When they push hurdles in front of you, you talk about how to get over those hurdles and don't allow anyone to get you down or get you frustrated. And I want to encourage your parents to give you all the support," advised Simpson Miller. "And even if you do not start out as well, you continue to say you're going to be good, you're going to succeed, (you) will begin to believe and will begin to succeed."
According to the prime minister, having a skill and being certified would enable them to get a job anywhere in the world. The training facility will begin operating with its first batch of 28 students, who will be trained in welding.
Meanwhile, principal of Brown's Town Community College, James Walsh, revealed that the Brown's Town Community College, in another joint venture, is to sign a memorandum of understanding with a Canadian firm to establish a school to train tractor trailer drivers to work in Canada. The school is expected to train and export 300 drivers to work in Canada each year.
President of Noranda Bauxite, Pansy Johnson, said the establishment of the training facility is the realisation of a dream started long ago.
"The idea came out of our community council meetings," Johnson revealed, adding that the bauxite company would offer internships to the students upon graduation.
The facility also marked the continued involvement of Noranda Bauxite in education in St Ann, which includes the Water Valley training centre, established in 2004, and the disbursement of annual bursaries valued at millions of dollars.
Executive director of Heart/NTA, Dr Carolyn Hayle, in hailing the establishment of the facility, explained that the agency was trying to focus on entrepreneurship in all its programmes.