St. Croix, USVI- The St. Croix Foundation for Community Development announces the commencement of its second National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) Youth Training and Beautification Program. The Program will run from May 4, 2015 to July, 2015, after which time, students will have a certification in hand and be work-ready. First launched in 2012, through a collaborative partnership between the Foundation and the V.I. Department of Labor this training program provides local unemployed young adults with core construction and work-related skills, as well as on-the-job training (OJT).
Cycle 2 students Denis Matthew, Vitalis Mathurin, Jr., Dwight Barker, and Kadeem Phoenix, were selected by the St. Croix Foundation and the Department of Labor to participate in this twelve (12) week learning program which is administered using best standards & practices set by the (NCCER). Upon successfully passing the NCCER test, each participant will become NCCER CORE Certified; which is a prerequisite to continue with the additional craft curriculum and the OJT phase of the program.
During Phase 1 of the Program students received classroom based instruction provided by Mr. Gregory Christian of Penntium Technical Training, located in Peter’s Rest. The curriculum included practical, in depth education on basic safety knowledge, “safe-work” practices, proper use of hazardous materials and machinery, and the usage of construction materials and supplies. NCCER training also provided students basic communication and interpersonal skills, how to interpret construction designs, and critical thinking skills to prepare them for the real workforce.
Over the course of the program, students will put their new skills to work under the supervision of Contractor Dennis Smith who serves as their OJT instructor. Mr. DeAndre Harris, NCCER Core Certified and training program alum, has also returned to serve as a foreman and mentor to our students.
For their first OJT project, they are painting the exterior walls of some historic properties throughout downtown Christiansted, including, Joe’s Tailoring, 1101 King Street (former People’s Drugstore), and the Christiansted Lutheran Church. The Foundation is delighted to assist the Church with their restoration activities in preparation of their 150th Anniversary slated for 2016. According to St. Croix Foundation Program Officer, Ms. Jermaine Connor, “The NCCER Program will not only provide these young men with a paid summer job opportunity, but will also provide the beloved Christiansted properties with a long overdue facelift”.
Today, recognizing the critical need for more targeted job opportunities for our community’s youth, the Foundation encourages the private sector, corporate citizens, and local government agencies to partner with them, by offering full –time employment opportunities to students once the training program is complete. The St. Croix Foundation is also seeking to expand the program throughout the Territory by securing additional funding to provide more rigorous training for a larger pool of young men and women seeking to tap into a broader range of professional fields.
For more information on how to support this Initiative, contact the St. Croix Foundation at 340.773.9898.