History was recently made as the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) opened in Green Castle, Eleuthera. While BTVI has a campus in New Providence, a branch in Grand Bahama and operates out of the Huntley Christie High School in North Andros, this is the first physical extension of the institution on any of the Family Islands. The government gifted BTVI the building and Eleutheran, Lyle Hall, was the
contractor, refurbishing the building to the tune of nearly $100.000.

Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, the Honourable Glenys Hanna-Martin, told guests that the government is determined to make technical and vocational education and training a priority.

“That is because it is understood in two ways. One, the global importance of technical and vocational education for building skills and secondly because of the skills gap we have in our own country. What we see rolling out here today is a commitment to building capacity in this nation that our young people can equally participate in this economy with anyone and they don’t have to sit on the sidelines and watch as third parties come in and participate because it is said we do not have the ability or capacity,” said Minister Hanna-Martin.

Minister of Works & Family island Affairs , the Honourable Clay Sweeting, the Honourable Clay Sweeting, who is also the Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera encouraged Eleutherans to take advantage of the opportunity to learn a new skill.

“Become certified in your area of choice to take advantage of opportunities that exist today and in the future. The growth that you see on the island today is not going to decrease. The demand for more development will continue to grow and we will continue to need more skilled professionals,” said Minister Sweeting.

Describing it as a seminal moment, BTVI President, Dr. Linda A. Davis said the Eleuthera extension is a strategic thrust to nationally advance technical and vocational education.

“Today, as we open this extension of BTVI, we do so understanding that BTVI has a national imperative that must be carried out. Our board, management, instructors and staff are on a mission to capitalize on its mandate and strategically move the institution forward,” said Dr. Davis.

“This structure is needed. The skills learned here are needed. We have come to Eleuthera for such a time as this and my heart is full…it is our hope that BTVI Eleuthera will become the heart of Eleuthera. Afterall, once the ribbon is cut and the building dedicated, this space will become one of exploration for those seeking to learn a skill or upgrade existing skills. This facility stands as a catalyst for possibilities,” she stated.

Dr. Davis took the opportunity to publicly thank the BTVI Board of Directors, who with the backing of Ministers Hanna-Martin and Sweeting is fully embracing the idea that technical and vocational education is of such importance that extensions of the institution should exist on major family islands for the economic wellbeing of residents and to narrow the skills gap in the country. Also present during the ceremony were executive members of the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, including Permanent Secretary, Lorraine Armbrister; Director of Education, Dominique Russell-McCartney and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Keyshan Bastian.

BTVI Board Directors Christopher Farrington, Jerad Darville and Lionel Sands were present as well. Director Sands attended the original Green Castle Primary School, went on to become a teacher and was eventually elevated to Director of Education.

Director Sands said BTVI is creating opportunities for the young people of Eleuthera to pursue technical and vocational education and training at a higher level. He added that the vision is to ensure that those who are about to leave school take advantage of dual enrolment, thus leaving high school with BTVI credits, enabling them to accelerate a path to achieving certification in a trade. Making a surprise appearance during the building and grounds’ dedication and ribbon cutting was Minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, the Honourable Keith Bell, who shared his excitement regarding this new development. Rector of St. Luke’s Parish, South Eleuthera, the Reverend Allison
Dean, led the dedication ceremony.

Dr. Davis noted that the building has stood the test of time and stands as an enduring memorial to the strength and resilience of the people of Eleuthera through the best of times and the worst of times.

Source: BTVI

More photo highlights below:

Head of Department for Business Trades at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), Kerima Smith, was excited to recently see history made during the opening of the institution’s extension in Green Castle, Eleuthera. She is shown by the sign leading to the building, which is the original Green Castle Primary School.
Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s Quality Assurance Officer, Dr. Dorcas Cox and Head of Department for Business Trades, Kerima Smith, check out the computers at the extension of the institution, which was recently opened in Green Castle, Eleuthera.
The entrance of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), which now occupies the original Green Castle Primary in Eleuthera.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Honourable Clay Sweeting, who is also the Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera, greet residents before the opening
ceremony for the extension of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in Green Castle.
Acting Vice President of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), Kevin Basden, chat with guests before the opening ceremony for the extension of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in Green Castle.

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