CAC 2000 Foundation supports T-STTEP Programme
Participants in the Technical Skills Training, Transformation and Empowerment Programme, coordinated by CAC 2000 Foundation, give the signal of strength and solidarity during a tour of Moon Palace Resorts in St Ann.

JAMAICA'S industry leader in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) solutions, CAC 2000, is creating opportunities for numerous at-risk youth to uplift themselves and their families through gainful employment and social transformation.

Fifteen youth are set to graduate from the Technical Skills Training and Empowerment Programme (T-STTEP) on July 26, through a partnership with USAID and global non-profit human development organisation FHI360 and CAC 2000, through its charitable arm the CAC 2000 Foundation.

T-STTEP uses modular-based training to equip participants with the skills to become junior technicians in HVAC over a nine-month period, while also promoting personal and social development.

Participants were selected with input from civil society organisations and the Peace Management Initiative. All aged between 18-29, the cohort comprises youth from hot spot communities in Kingston and St Andrew, namely Tivoli Gardens, Majesty Gardens and Half-Way-Tree. They were also provided with a stipend to assist them in attending the requisite training sessions.

After the completion of four modules for a period of one week, two participants were also assigned to CAC's technicians and contractors for on-the-job shadowing. Participants also visited job sites, where they got the chance to apply their knowledge to real work situations.

The programme's incremental learning pattern also ensured that participants who were unable to complete the entire programme received training and developed work skills to explore less specialised employment options.

Additionally, a life skills trainer was employed to provide introductory lessons in interpersonal skills (self-esteem, self-awareness, personal values, respect for self and others, communication, personal visioning); problem-solving and conflict management (problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution, anger management); effective workplace habits (how to be a good employer, team dynamics, workplace ethics and protocols); and entrepreneurship skills (who is an entrepreneur, entrepreneurship skills, principles, marketing, customer relationship management, financial fundamentals and planning). The training sought to reinforce the positive attitudes necessary for employability, as well as provide coaching on positive behavioural change.

The final activity is two months of paid apprenticeship. This is offered to participants who have completed all eight HVAC modules. Currently, seven participants have been assigned to CAC 2000 job sites and have been working to senior technicians. The additional participants are on track to complete their eight modules in another two weeks.

Notably, to promote successful entrepreneurial endeavours as new professionals in the field, enrollees who completed the technical training course received starter technician tool kits. Having completed the programme participants were paired with technicians and contractors from CAC 2000 Ltd who will provide long-term mentorship and support in industry operations.

Gia Abraham, CEO, CAC 2000 Limited, says the company is committed to the longevity of the programme. "The long-term vision is to transform the T-STTEP to a three-year programme, and to increase the number of participants to eighty by year three. This will allow more training opportunities to be extended to at-risk youth, and increase the possibilities for partnerships with other organisations," she explained.

The mission of the CAC 2000 Foundation is to achieve growth and equality in the lives of Jamaicans via the development of educational scholarships, skills training and creative programmes as well as fostering collaboration and partnership with organisations who share similar goals and values.

CAC 2000 Ltd is the parent organisation of CAC 2000 Foundation. The company is an industry leader in HVAC and AC installation and repairs, whose principals have combined more than 20 years of both industry knowledge and experience.

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