Local CTI Showcases First Year’s Accomplishments 4
BY Azaleta Ishmael-Newry Proactive steps to reverse a high employment rate that reaches up to 70% in some areas, strengthen a workforce that is largely unskilled, and decrease a poverty rate that is a little over 20%, are strong commitments embraced by three non-profit organizations. The creation of the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI), through a partnership with One Eleuthera Foundation and The South
Eleuthera Mission, is a catalyst for helping to reverse those trends and positively impact Eleuthera. In just 13 months, the accomplishments of CTI have quickly been recognized at local and international levels. In early 2016, CTI became the first tertiary education facility to serve Eleuthera with several training and skills programs that are accredited by the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAE-
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COB). Their training areas include housekeeping, landscaping, farming, carpentry, plumbing and electrical. Math and English preparation courses for BJC and BGCSE exams, introduction to computers, life enrichment and student life are part of the curriculum. Situated on the old Rock Sound Club property that was once a booming facility 30 years ago, the work being done there has created a live lab setting for up to 60 students and 10 instructors to date. Those efforts were showcased at an open house held on March 5, 2017 where 50 plus visitors toured the property’s first stage of hotel renovations, classrooms as well as establishment of a 4 acre-farm. Nearly $3.5 million, primarily towards the purchase, renovation and improvement of the 40-acre Rock Sound Club has been invested into CTI and establishment of the school. Twelve acres were cleared and landscaped and infrastructure work was done that included restoration to 3 cottages that offer 12 rooms for rental income, 1 cottage with 4 rooms for office and classroom space, a staff center with IT room, trainee lounge, and a sick bay and a laundry room. A center with 10 offices, 2 bathrooms, conference rooms, and a kitchen were also completed.
made or services provided. A donation of $385 provides 1 tool kit for a student, one of $17,000 furnishes a carpentry workshop and an $18,000 donation will train and apprentice a CTI student for 1 year. “CTI’s main areas of focus are education, training and economic support,” said Shaun Ingraham, chairman and president. “When people can see how the funds are being used, and the positive impact being made, it’s a win-win for all.” In February 2016, the ratio of male and female students out of 58 was equal. In December, out of 25 students, 40% were female. Traditional vocations commonly held by men are now of interest to women of all ages. Mavis Munnings, a carpentry student, who is in her early 60’s, spoke about her new passion. “Since I liked working with my hands, I took up carpentry. I have assisted with making the headboards for the hotel and helped with the construction of a shed for the farm.” Younger student Cercelia beamed, “I am a woman and I never dreamed that I would be an electrician. Being a female electrician shows that you can do anything.”
Moving into their next phase, CTI, is currently seeking $1.4 million for renovations of an additional 8 rooms at the hotel, install an IT infrastructure and repair the large half-size Olympic swimming pool to ready it for guests and a swim club.
Cercelia’s electrical instructor Stephen Galanis had taught at Central High School before moving to CTI. He spoke about his experience with pride. “It is much more rewarding touching the lives of young men and women. This is a different way of making a difference,” said Galanis. “We have become a safety net to these students. It’s a chance for them to learn a
Donations and income generating activities are core contributors towards CTI’s viability. One hundred percent profit is realized from sales deriving from farm produce, furniture
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