HOPE Garment Assemblers Graduate

Photo: Dave Reid Graduates from the first cohort of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment’s (HOPE) Design and Apparel Manufacturing Corps group celebrate after they received their certificates at HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy, on Marcus Garvey Drive, in Kingston, on Wednesday (August 22).

Story Highlights

  • Forty-seven students from the first cohort of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment’s (HOPE) Design and Apparel Manufacturing Corps group have graduated with Garment Assembler Level 1 Certificates from the HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy.
  • The graduation ceremony was hosted on the grounds of HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy in Kingston on Wednesday (August 22), where they were each awarded with certificates.
  • These graduates spent the last 14 months in training at the HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy on Marcus Garvey Drive, in Kingston, and are now fully certified as Garment Assemblers. They were trained based on three focus areas: Personal Development/Core Skills, Technical Skills Training, and Apparel Design and Manufacturing/Production.

Forty-seven students from the first cohort of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment’s (HOPE) Design and Apparel Manufacturing Corps group have graduated with Garment Assembler Level 1 Certificates from the HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy.

The graduation ceremony was hosted on the grounds of HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy in Kingston on Wednesday (August 22), where they were each awarded with certificates.

These graduates spent the last 14 months in training at the HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy on Marcus Garvey Drive, in Kingston, and are now fully certified as Garment Assemblers. They were trained based on three focus areas: Personal Development/Core Skills, Technical Skills Training, and Apparel Design and Manufacturing/Production.

National Coordinator, HOPE, Colonel Martin Rickman, congratulated the students on their accomplishments and encouraged them to either start their own businesses with the skills they have learnt or seek employment, if they are not already employed.

“Make sure as you go out there in the world of work or [if] you are starting your own business…that you have the right attitude. It’s all about your attitude,” Colonel Rickman said.

“Go out there and be role models. Show people how they also can be successful in life. This is the stepping stone for your future… If all of you have your own personal success, it will contribute to the success of Jamaica as a whole,” he added.

Colonel Rickman said this inaugural training phase of the HOPE programme was also a learning process for the administrators, as they took records of how the students reacted and benefited, which will be revised for future training programmes.

“You, the first participants, have helped us to define how we move this corps and how we help other persons in the future,” he said.

National Coordinator, Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE), Colonel Martin Rickman, addresses the graduation ceremony held on Wednesday (August 22) for students who pursued the Garment Assembler Level 1 course, under the HOPE programme at HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy in Kingston.

The graduates were also encouraged by Managing Director, HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Janet Dyer.

“It is always a happy occasion when we meet to celebrate success and achievement. To you, graduates, I want to offer my personal congratulations for staying the course, and for making the personal sacrifices and investment in yourselves as you seek to improve your chances for a better life,” Dr. Dyer said.

Valedictorian, Ms. Sashana Johnson, who received a sewing machine that was donated by Food For The Poor as a reward for her outstanding performance in the programme, said the experience was life-changing for her.

“We have learnt exceptional sewing skills and dexterity at the [sewing] machines. We learnt a lot of technical skills and thanks to the HOPE programme, we are now employable,” Ms. Johnson said.

Valedictorian from the graduating class of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment’s (HOPE) Design and Apparel Manufacturing Corps group, Ms. Sashana Johnson (left), explains to National Coordinator, HOPE, Colonel Martin Rickman (centre), and Managing Director, HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Janet Dyer, about garments she plans to make with the new sewing machine she received. The graduation ceremony took place on Wednesday (August 22) at HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy in Kingston.

A male graduate, Husoni Graham, told JIS News that he is happy he made the choice to pursue the programme.

“It’s a wonderful feeling being a part of the graduating class. The HOPE programme is a very good one, which can help inner-city youth and everyone overall,” Mr. Graham told JIS News.

He added that he will be using the skills he learnt to open his clothing line called, ‘Upright Production’.

HOPE was launched by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness in May 2017. The programme is geared towards providing jobs and educational opportunities for youth aged 18-24 years who are either unemployed or not enrolled in school.

Through it partners, such as HEART Trust/NTA, participants are able to gain valuable training and work experience.

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