HEART NSTA Trust 2022

It was a demanding undertaking to establishresidential training institutions across the island, each offering oneyear training courses in specific skills to at least 500 residential trainees and 150 non-residential trainees annually. Yet, the HEART team remained undaunted. Ground was broken on September 1, 1983 to build the Portmore Academy to offer training in Building/Construction Skills and to house 500 residential trainees. The Portmore Academy is now the HEART College of Construction Services. By January 1984, the StonyHill Academy was opened with 150 trainees pursuing courses in stenography, typing, accounts, book-keeping, data and word processing, production and stock control. Stony Hill is now named the HEART Eastern TVET Institute and is the main campus in a regional grouping of several training institutions. The School of Cosmetology opened shortly after and is now the HEART College of Beauty Services with a full-service commercial salon with a dedicated clientele that provides invaluable work experience for the trainees. The pioneering years were also a time of TVET amalgamation as several training institutions were transferred to HEART to add to it its burgeoning Academies Programme: The Garment Industry Training School established in 1973 was handed over to HEART in 1985 and was developed and rebranded as the GARMEX Academy. GARMEX would be a focal point for training for employment in the 807-industry boom and local export enterprises. The Runaway Bay HEART Academy began operations in 1986 with a batch of 80 trainees for the purpose of satisfying the demand for skilled workers in the hospitality industry. The training programmes at that time consisted of six months of theoretical training and six months of practical experience in a hotel environment, where trainees performed customer service-based duties. In 1995 the Academy was renamed the RunawayBayHEARTHotel andTraining Institute, to reflect an expanded list of training opportunities offered at the institution that also operated a 56room full-service hotel mainly staffed by trainees. On February 20, 2014 the training institution was renamed the HEART College of Hospitality Services and the Runaway Bay HEART Hotel with a newly minted name, ‘the Cardiff’ inspired by the charming Cardiff Hall Estate. Ebony Park at Toll Gate, Clarendon was selected as the location for the HEART Academy for Agricultural Skills, opening its doors in July 1987 to welcome the first 150 young students with accommodation for 500 residential students. Over the years, Ebony Park has trained thousands of learners in livestock production, ornamental horticulture, agricultural engineering, apiculture, farm and small business management. In 1988, the Kenilworth Community Centre located on a large 18th century sugar estate inHanover, was transferred to HEART, which converted into an Academy offering multi-skilled training in apparel and sewn products. This Academy, now the HEART Northwest TVET Institute was also instrumental in training workers for the garment manufacturing and export industries in western Jamaica. In 1987, HEART’s expanded range of programmes had placed over 10,000 persons in jobs and established a special Placement Unit to focus on the graduates emerging from the academies. The Agency had also facilitated short-term training in Garment Manufacturing under an Industrial Training Programme at GARMEX that provided employment for 5,000 persons, while the Solidarity Programme secured financing from the Self Start Fund for 3,138 small business operators. As the decade drew to a close, HEART was coordinating an islandwide training regime that comprised the large School Leavers Training Opportunities Programme, the AcademiesProgramme inpartnership with several Government Ministries, save for the School of Cosmetology for which it had full responsibility, the Solidarity Programme and a Craft Programme implemented by the Social Development Commission (SDC) and Things Jamaican Ltd. Over twenty years later at the renaming ceremony of the HEART Trust’s Corporate Office on Oxford Road as the Edward Seaga Building presided over by the then Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, Mr. Seaga revealed how long he stewarded the idea of HEART: “I have many wonderful memories of HEART. I recall the great pleasure I had in giving it birth after I carried the idea for 30 years. HEART is playing a vital role in saving youth from uselessness, changing them to usefulness. It could be established in every under-skilled country in the Caribbean. It is an exportable institution. HEART could arrange to teach, promote and produce results for a management fee.” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 By 1984, 10,357 trainees, 728 private sector firms and 65 schools were engaged in the Agency’s training schemes. Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller embraces the Founder of HEART, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga at the renaming of the Corporate Office in his honour in November 2013. Construction works at the Portmore Academy in 1983. 10

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