Within five weeks, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) is expected to have a satellite location at the Exuma Foundation in George Town. Vincent A. Adderley, trading as D. C. Construction, is expected to complete the work, paving the way for on-the-ground technical and vocational training across several trade areas. From left to right are: BTVI Board Director Ann Rolle, who is a resident of Exuma; Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for The Exumas and Ragged Island, the Honourable Chester Cooper; BTVI’s Acting President, Veronica Collie, who was sitting in for Interim President, Dr. Linda A. Davis and contractor, Vincent A. Adderley.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Exuma, the Honourable Chester Cooper, expressed excitement during the recent signing of the contract for renovations of the Exuma Foundation Resource Centre which will become a temporary location for the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) satellite location.
“This is more than just a contract signing. It’s the completion of a vision. BTVI will help us build capacity, help us develop our people to support growth,” said Minister Cooper.
Vincent A. Adderley, trading as D. C. Construction is expected to complete the work in just over five weeks, paving the way for on-the-ground technical and vocational training across trade areas such as Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical Installation, Office Administration, Human Resources Management and the Beauty Trades.
Previously, Exuma students studied Massage Therapy and Esthetics online before flying to New Providence for face-to-face instruction. More recently, BTVI was able to identify a local instructor in Exuma to deliver a special interest programme in Nail Technology. An inaugural Exuma cohort consisted of 17 graduates who participated in a ceremony at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in George Town back in June 2023.
Additionally, Minister Cooper spoke to the “severe housing challenge” on the island. It is his expectation that this will change with BTVI’s help.
“I’m delighted that BTVI’s arrival is going to help us train more people in the process of construction whether it is tiling, sheetrock work, carpentry or masonry. I hope we have expedited programmes because we certainly need more skills on the island…BTVI will help us to ease some of the pain of the very quality of life here on the island,” stated Minister Cooper.
During the brief ceremony, Minister Cooper noted that BTVI is an important partner of the Exuma community, which he said is one of the fastest growing Bahama islands.
“There is a significant role for polytechnics and the enhancement of skills to grow Exuma…
our growth is only restrained by our capacity. We have, in the last two years, signed $1.2 billion in foreign direct investments for Exuma and the cays. I happen to know there is much more to come in the pipeline. What this means is that there are hundreds of jobs that are available or becoming available and many of them require skilled labour,” said Minister Cooper.
He considers BTVI’s presence on the island as a “big deal,” particularly for the younger generation.
“If we are able to begin training a carpenter from grade nine or ten, in three years, they’re ready to meet the world. I think this is going to be transformative for many of our young men and women. It’s an opportunity not only for a bright future for them, but a bright future for the island of Exuma through improved capacity with skills that are much needed in industry but also and importantly to improve the quality of life on the island,” he stated.
Also present at the contract signing were Acting President of BTVI, Veronica Collie; Director of Education, Dominique McCartney-Russell; BTVI Board Director, Ann Rolle;
BTVI’s Dean of Academic Administration, Dr. Pleshette McPhee; Exuma Island Administrator, Earl Campbell and District Education Officer, Don Barr; Chair of the Exuma Foundation, Lourey Smith and members of the Exuma Foundation where the BTVI satellite site will be located.
Ms. Collie, who was sitting in for Interim President, Dr. Linda A. Davis, said BTVI continues to work towards spreading its wings across the Family Islands, including the renovation and building of satellite locations currently underway on the islands of Eleuthera and Abaco.
“This is something we’ve been looking forward to. It’s another milestone. We realize the importance of technical education, especially if you look around us. Nothing can actually work without it. When we look at advancement going on in the country, the world and industries, we need technical education,” said Ms. Collie.
Ms. McCartney-Russell, who represented Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, the Honourable Glenys Hanna-Martin, said a progressive Bahamas is an educated Bahamas.
“I see the value in polytechnics. At least 70% of our children enter the trades, so there are a lot of advantages for students who matriculate to BTVI to receive the practical skills and hands-on learning that prepare them for real world challenges. Also, the curriculum at BTVI is based on industry. That makes those students who graduate from BTVI more employable,” said Ms. Mcartney-Russell.
Meanwhile, both BTVI Board Director, Ann Rolle and Dean of Academic Administration, Dr. Pleshette McPhee, encouraged those present to spread the word throughout Exuma to those who might be interested in joining the team as instructors.
Larry Herman Pinder serves as the coordinator for BTVI Exuma.
Office of Public Relations
Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute
Old Trail Road Campus
P.O. Box N-4934
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 502-6300