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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, November 7, 2017: A $14.5 million donation from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has enabled the Montego Bay Community College to upgrade and outfit its Hospitality, Housekeeping and Dining Room laboratories to world standards.
The financial commitment was made through the TEF initiated Centres of Excellence programme, which prepares students from participating schools for meaningful employment in the local tourism sector.
The upgraded laboratories, officially handed over by TEF Executive Director Dr. Carey Wallace last week, replicate high standards of equipment and service in the hospitality industry to ensure students are adequately trained for employment in the various sectors of the tourism industry upon completion of their course of study in Tourism and Hospitality at the college.
Training is offered at the standards of the Bachelor of Science and Associate Degrees in Hospitality & Tourism Management, Certificate and Associate Degrees in Culinary Arts, Associate Degree in Clothing & Fashion, and Associate Degree in Spa & Salon Management.
In pursuit of their academic goals, over 200 students at the colleges Montego Bay and Frome campuses are utilizing the laboratories which provide world-class training consistent with national and international hospitality and tourism industry standards.
Speaking to the importance of developing the human capital, Dr Wallace implored students to recognize the potential they had inside them and make good use of the facilities in pursuit of their development. “We at TEF provide you with the resources through funding of the facilities to afford you the creative development, but there is something else that’s inside of you that will make all the difference,” he said.
Dr Wallace said TEF’s support to the Montego Bay Community College’s Hospitality Center of Excellence was in keeping with its commitment to supporting development that fostered sustainability and growth of tourism and he commending the College on its achievements over the past 40 years. “You’ve made such a contribution to the development of our young people and you’ve grown over the years, just as tourism as a sector is growing and is now the number one contributor to GDP,” he noted.
Principal Dr. Maureen Nelson expressed “heartfelt gratitude” to TEF on behalf of the Board of Management, staff and students, noting, “Truly, the Montego Bay Community College is blessed by this significant partnership as you have ably facilitated our mission of providing excellent multi-disciplinary tertiary level instruction in western Jamaica and beyond.”
She further noted, “Your mandate of promoting growth and sustainable development in the tourism sector significantly contributes to the economic transformation of Jamaica and the Montego Bay Community College is committed to this goal.”
Vice Principal Carol Walters, in giving an overview of the project, said the TEF support came at a time when “the faculty could do with all the help we could get because our facilities really needed to be upgraded.” She gave an assurance that all the money was well spent and an undertaking that all the supplies procured from the grant would be protected.
The TEF has invested some $110 million in 15 Centers of Excellence to facilitate skills training in subject areas that prepare students for employment in the tourism industry.