Maxine Simpson is ecstatic about fulfilling her five-year-old dream of training people in and around McNie district, a farming community located in St. Ann South Eastern and close to the town of Kellits in Clarendon.
The educator and political aspirant recently launched the McNie Hope Community Skills Training Centre during a ceremony at McNie New Testament Church.
Some 60 participants will pursue certification in cake baking and decorating, crops production, as well as advanced nail technology when classes commence in the coming weeks. Other courses are in the offing.
“It is a legitimate programme with courses that will change from time to time based on what is needed,” Simpson explained.
She said the courses will be offered in collaboration with the island’s leading provider of technical vocational education and training – HEART.
“The transformative power of vocational training will equip many residents to fill new jobs and even create entrepreneurs,” Simpson said during the April 20 launch.
She added: “For some residents, an opportunity is all they ask for. McNie Hope Community Skills Training Centre will be a beacon of hope to many courageous and determined programme participants refusing to let any obstacle come between them and their dreams.”
The initiative is non-political, noted Simpson, the Jamaica Labour Party’s councillor caretaker for Bensonton Division in St. Ann South Eastern.
Member of Parliament for the constituency, Lisa Hanna, of the People’s National Party, was among community leaders who attended the launch and lauded the programme.
“The programme has no [political] colour; it is about building the community and Jamaica,” Simpson asserted in an interview with The Beacon.
She further reasoned: “If we get it right in our part of the island, the other parts would want to be like us. We are going to be the model community of sending out persons qualified. We will help to fill that gap whereby in Jamaica we have a shortage of skilled workers.”
The guest speaker, Reverend Shellian Russel-Jones, encouraged trainees to take responsibility for their future and not make excuses or blame others.
“You are your greatest motivator; don’t wait on your friends to motivate you. You must first motivate yourselves from within. Inner motivation is the best motivation anyone can ever develop,” she added.
Some traineess, who attended the launch in different uniforms associated with their course of choice, told The Beacon that they are anxious to improve their credentials and quality of life.
“I choose this programme becauee I want to motivate and uplift myself and encourage others to get a skill,” declared Roxanne Bruce.
One of the two males registered with the programme at the time of its launch, Jamar Benjamin, who has been a farmer for about 15 years, encouraged others to become certified.
“Give it a try and move your life forward,” he advised, adding that he will be seeking certification in crop production.
“I feel good to be a part of this programme… It will help me to move mi life forward,” Benjamin added. Persons wishing to get further information or enroll in the training programme may call 876-882-1019.
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