BTVI’s Academic Dean, Pleshette McPhee, presents Pharon Winder with his General Maintenance course certificate.
Twenty-nine Berry Islanders recently made history as they were the first graduates of a General Maintenance course offered by The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
BTVI spread its wings to the island, offering the 16-week course that included the fundamentals of carpentry, plumbing, tiling and electrical installation; the course was offered each Friday evening and Saturday, spanning a 10-hour period per weekend. The graduates included students of the R. N. Gomez All Age School and a few adults.
BTVI’s Academic Dean, Pleshette McPhee, noted during the ceremony held at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Bullocks Harbour, Berry Islands that with global competitiveness, higher education is becoming increasingly critical.
Ms. McPhee thanked the Berry Islands Homeowners Association, and the community at large, for playing an integral role in helping the participants. “You ought to be commended. I urge you to continue to support and empower the youth because this is certainly the only way our future can be secured,” she stated.
Echoing those sentiments was R. N. Gomez’ principal, Brian Williams, who said the partnership with BTVI is just the beginning as they continue to help people fulfill their dreams. He took the opportunity to encourage the graduates. “Crime is out of control, but you are moving in the right direction. Our future is bright. Our future is secured,” he stated.
Among those in attendance at the event were BTVI’s Dean of Construction Trades, Alexander Darville; Chief Councilor, Cardinal Rolle and Michelle Bowleg, Education District Superintendent.
R. N. Gomez’s principal, Brian Williams and president of the Berry Island Homeowners Association, William Kalis, listen attentively during BTVI’s graduation ceremony for 29 participants who completed a General Maintenance course.
Additionally, President of the Berry Island Homeowners Association, William Kalis expressed his continued support of such initiatives sponsored by the association. He reminded the graduates that they are an important part of the world economy; therefore, they should give good customer service.
“Tourists go where they find value and we, as a small community, are competing on the world stage. The world is our oyster. We’re an integral part of the tourism economy and we can get our fair share, but we have to be focused on offering a competitive product,” said Mr. Kalis.
Meanwhile, Deputy Head Boy of R. N. Gomez, Pharan Winder, recognized the significance of the course and how it factors into his future. “It was needed. I will need some of these skills on the Defence Force and even on a daily basis,” said the 16-year-old.
“This can take me far. I can show others what I have learned and build on my experience,” he added.
Janette Taylor, a 49-year-old, was beaming with excitement as she spoke of her experience. “I have a building I am opening and can hook up lights, do some plumbing and some carpentry. I’m so excited. It was very helpful and it made me feel young. Those teachers were so good,” she exclaimed.
BTVI previously conducted the same course in Harbour Island, Cat Island, Andros and Exuma.
Graduates of BTVI’s General Maintenance course in the Berry Islands during the graduation ceremony under the theme, “Empowering Youth…Securing our Future.”
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The Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute (BTVI)
Direct line: (242) 502-6376
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BTVI's mission: To provide learning opportunities that enable individuals to be globally competitive and economically independent.