JIS: The HEART Trust/NTA will be expanding its presence in St. Elizabeth in order to provide increased access to training and certification for residents of the parish and surrounding areas.

 

“We have acquired additional space in Junction to expand the offerings there,” said Managing Director of the agency, Dr. Janet Dyer.

 

“Junction is bursting at the seams, so we have now got that space, and we are seeking to expand the training there,” she added.

 

Dr. Dyer was speaking with JIS News at the agency’s ‘HEART in the Heart of Accompong’ event held at the Accompong Community Centre in St. Elizabeth on Tuesday (March 12).

 

The event served as both an assessment and registration exercise, and saw several residents taking advantage of the opportunity to be trained and certified by the agency.

 

“As the national training agency, we realised that we really do not have a presence in this area,” Dr. Dyer told JIS News.

 

“Through our HEART in the Heart of Communities programme and our mobile assessment team, we decided that we would come to Accompong to inform residents about the opportunities that are there. At the same time, we will do some assessments of persons, who might have been trained and not yet certified, or persons who have been working at a job for years and have no formal certification,” she pointed out.

 

Dr. Dyer said that the agency will be establishing a location in Accompong shortly.

“There is a space here and the owner is willing to share with the HEART Trust for us to be able to do training,” she noted.

 

For his part, Colonel of the Accompong Maroons, Ferron Williams, welcomed the initiative by HEART Trust/NTA, noting that it will ensure the certification of residents as well as promote lifelong learning.

 

“This is not only for those who want to have a trade. It is also (about) lifelong learning. Persons have been saying to me that they are too old, but I told them that the agency will still train and certify them,” Colonel Williams said.

 

The day’s activities included a diagnostic testing of residents in several skill sets, prior-learning assessment for persons in the areas of masonry and carpentry, as well as career coaching.

There were handicraft displays by community members, while the Social Development Commission (SDC) was on hand to provide information about its various programmes and activities.

 

The HEART in the Heart of Communities event has already been held in the parish of Portland, and is being staged in Stepney, St. Ann, on March 14.

 

CAPTION: Managing Director of HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Janet Dyer (centre), greets Colonel of the Accompong Maroons, Ferron Williams (right) at the agency’s 'HEART in the Heart of Accompong' event held at the Accompong Community Centre in St. Elizabeth on Tuesday (March 12). At left is Director of the Educational Services Department at the HEART Trust/NTA, Rhoda Crawford.