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Manager for the HEART/NTA’s South Western Region, Charmaine Dixon, has urged graduates to use their newly acquired skills to create jobs for themselves and others.
She said that despite the challenging economic condition, opportunities abound for entrepreneurship. “Explore your options, find your niche and position yourselves,” she advised, at the recent certification ceremony for the region held at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) campus in Mandeville.
Mrs. Dixon said that while delivering training, the institutions in the South Western Region have maintained viable commercial operations, which expose learners to business practices and production environments. “This has helped in strengthening the productive and entrepreneurial capabilities of our learners,” she noted.
She informed that from these commercial ventures, the institutions earned $71.1 million for the 2009/10 operating year, with the Ebony Park Academy earning the bulk of the money at $65 million for projects in agro food processing, food preparation, horticulture and landscaping and other agricultural ventures. The Junction Vocational Centre earned $2.57 million; with the Newport and the Black River Vocational Training Centres earning $1.77 million.
Mrs. Dixon informed that the institutions have also been reaching out to communities through the building and refurbishing of community structures.
“We are determined to have our presence felt in tangible ways in the communities in which we operate. Our institutions have invested in various projects in and around their communities for the good will of our people,” she said.
Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), and guest speaker at the event, Wayne Chen, told the graduates that commitment to personal improvement, willingness to learn, ability to deal with criticism, and clear and concise communication at the workplace, can help to increase productivity.
“Some attitudes are eternal and universal, but as modern modes of business develop, our attitudes have to be more aligned with the new demands. These are fundamentals of a positive work ethic that will make us more productive and personally fulfilled individuals. I believe that if we, as individuals, make a personal commitment to adopting these attitudes, then a more productive life will be in store for us,” he said.