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Garmex Academy undergoes transformation

BY AINSWORTH MORRIS Career & Education writer morrisa@jamaicaobserver.com
Sunday, July 22, 2012

THE HEART Trust/NTA will, in time for the new academic year in September, transform its Garmex Academy into the island’s first College of Creative Industries.

Dr Carolyn Hayle, executive director of HEART Trust, made the disclosure in a recent interview with Career & Education.

She noted that the transformation of the academy — one of the HEART Trust’s oldest urban institutes and which, from its location off Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, has pumped hundreds of human capital into Jamaica’s manufacturing and production sectors — is in keeping with a policy decision by the Government.

It has a policy that gives HEART the mandate to improve their institutes islandwide, turning them into colleges that offer curriculum and programmes comparable to any offered in other colleges and/or universities.

“Garmex Academy is now at a good point that appeared to be within the scope of the creative industries, and it is through transforming Garmex, that we will be able to invest more and develop the cultural and creative skills of Jamaican people,” Hayle noted.

At the same time, she sang praises to the staff of Garmex for coming up with the name HEART College of Creative Industries.

Hayle added that the transformation of Garmex Academy will be just one of several initiatives to be undertaken by HEART Trust/NTA in the run-up to the celebration of their 30th anniversary on November 4.

Already, HEART has hired professionals from Parsons, The New School for Design located in New York City, to offer consultation on the transformation efforts that have to be made to improve the systems and structure of Garmex Academy, such as, building new skill areas and new programmes geared at creativity. Up to last week they were at Garmex offering an overview of their findings.

In addition to the launch of the HEART College of Creative Industries, plans for HEART’s 30th anniversary celebrations are underway. Hayle told Career & Education that the public can expect great things from the vocational training institute.

“We will have a church service at the start of the celebrations. In five regions, we will have the launches of about eight of the other HEART Colleges, such as the College of Construction Services, and we will bring prominent people in to lecture in the various sectors of the 20/30 plan and our other social things that we do. Additionally, we will have an award for some of our stakeholders, staff, retirees of HEART, public servants, associates from the private sector, and trainees,” she said.

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