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JPS aids in school safety programme

Published:Monday | June 4, 2012 | 12:00 AM
From left: Jerome Maxwell, Winsome Wilkins, Kelly Tomblin and Tony Rae in conversation at last Thursday's United Way of Jamaica Nation Builders and Employee Awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston. - Photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Dr Robert Chen
Ian Forbes

Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

Kelly Tomblin, president and chief executive officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), has announced that her company will partner with United Way of Jamaica to make Jamaica's early-childhood institutions safe.

The United Way of Jamaica has already provided fire safety equipment to 92 of the 150 schools that the organisation has targeted for this year. JPS is already partnering with some of these schools through its early childhood nutrition-support programme and, according to Tomblin, they will commit the funding that United Way will need to reach its target.

"We will provide the funds ($650,000) needed to ensure that the remaining 58 schools are provided with safety equipment before the end of 2012," Tomblin said.

Tomblin said they are also committing to partnering with the United Way on its Workplace and Philanthropy Programme. "Some members of my team are already participating in this programme. But we will be working with you to get more employees to sign on to give back to their country," Tomblin said.

Also in an effort to mobilise employees, JPS will be rolling out its Volunteers on Location to Serve programme. "Our employees are already involved in a lot of community projects, but the volunteer programme will channel the energy of our employees in a more structured way," Tomblin said.

Critical role

Tomblin said because JPS has a critical role to play in Jamaica's future as a good corporate citizen, the JPS Foundation will also be established before the end of the year.

"It is only through partnerships that we can achieve those great moments for JPS and for Jamaica. While we work without partners to address the energy crisis that faces us, we also intend to work with partners like the United Way of Jamaica to move to make an even bigger impact on communities," Tomblin said.

Tomblin is an accomplished senior executive with more than 20 years of diverse leadership experience in the regulated utility and independent energy sectors in the United States of America. Her experience includes leadership positions in the traditional and renewable generation sectors, as well as in the transmission and distribution arenas.

She was the keynote speaker at the United Way of Jamaica Nation Builders Awards and Employee Awards ceremony held recently at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

  • More from JPS

The JPS has also partnered with other stakeholders
including the Social Development Commission in setting up a homework
centre in Montego Bay.

This homework centre will serve the communities
of Farm Heights and Rose Heights and will provide a quiet place for
children to do homework and get extra lessons for GSAT through to CXC
and CAPE examinations. The other two JPS homework centres are in Denham
Town in Kingston and Old Harbour in St Catherine.

Meanwhile, in
2002 the JPS established an Early Childhood Nutritional Support
Programme, which now provides for young children in early-childhood
institutions across the island.

"The beneficiaries of this
programme are mainly from economically challenged communities. Teachers
in participating schools have reported increased attendance and
alertness among children as a result of the programme," Tomblin said.

JPS also gives grants to needy students at local universities to help
them prepare for careers in science and supports the national vision
through the hosting of our Science and Technology Exposition.

"At this level, we give priority to energy and the environment. Our
focus on older students is part of efforts to prepare future employees,"
Tomblin said.