Baha Mar’s Vice President of Engineering, Marco Rupp, congratulates Richa Charlton of the Electrical unit, upon her successful completion of a short course offered by the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).

Photos: BTVI

The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Gape, presents Baha Mar carpentry employee, Dion Sturrup with his certificate of completion following a four-day training facilitated by BTVI. Shown in the background looking on is Baha Mar’s Vice President of Engineering, Marco Rupp

A small group of technical employees at Baha Mar recently completed customized training in welding, carpentry, painting, electrical and plumbing, which was facilitated by the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). The course ran for 16 contact hours over a four-day period.

The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and Baha Mar recently partnered to provide customized training to technical employees of the resort.

The disciplines included welding, carpentry, painting, electrical and plumbing. From learning about safe welding procedures and proper lighting and cutting techniques, to work ethics and safe work practices, the course ran for 16 contact hours over a four-day period, with sessions being held either before or after employees’ regular shifts.

Nine employees were a part of the first cohort including Brent Munnings, Christopher Darling, Fred Pierre, Quentin Hanna, Eric Lewis, Richa Charlton, Dion Sturrup, Austin Campbell and Justin Knowles.

BTVI President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, said the institution took pride in being afforded the opportunity to partner with Baha Mar.

“We see this as an investment and clearly, Baha Mar views it the same. With a world-class resort to run, there is no doubt you understand that trades are essential…while your guests see what happens upfront, there are those back-of-the-house workers – like those here today – who may not get up close and personal with guests, but they are your invisible heroes.  They freshen up the paint. They replace tiles and blocks. They replace broken fixtures. They build, install…maintain. They give attention to detail and have the patience and the steadiness of hand necessary in a technical world. They are essential workers to Baha Mar,” he said.

Dr. Robertson told the participants that the training was a teaser of what else is available to them. He took the opportunity to share that BTVI offers the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification. The certification efforts are led by Dean of Construction and Workforce Development, Alexander Darville. NCCER is U.S based, but taught in multiple countries including The Bahamas; it is a training, assessment and certification standard for construction and maintenance craft professionals.

“This training comes at a time when BTVI is doing its part to fill the skills gap – that gulf between available skilled jobs and qualified workers to fill them. We play a very important role in these economically challenging times, as we prepare graduates to be globally competitive and economically independent in an ever-demanding, ever-changing workforce,” said Dr. Robertson.

Baha Mar’s Vice President of Engineering, Marco Rupp, applauded BTVI for its training efforts.

“Your approach and vision to adult training and workforce development, I think, is perfect and what industry needs. The second thing we’re celebrating today is the start of a lovely relationship between the hotel industry, particularly Baha Mar and BTVI. We have partnered with a national agency to ensure that our training is on par,” said Mr. Rupp.

Mr. Darville too noted how important the partnership is between the two organizations.

“Your certification will follow you. And why we look at NCCER so seriously is because once you successfully complete a program, you would be provided with a card to present to an employer that has your number and name on it, you can go on to, put in your card number and it would actually tell you what levels of certification you would have achieved. That is important for HR departments and training organizations,” said Mr. Darville.

Meanwhile, Dion Sturrup, who works in the carpentry department, spoke highly of the customized training, stating that he appreciated Mr. Rupp believing in them.

“He believed in us and invested in helping us become better versions of ourselves by sharpening our trade skills,” said Mr. Sturrup.

He also spoke highly of the BTVI instructors, who included Electrical instructor, Gregory Curry; Plumbing, Maurice Cash; Carpentry, Charles Adams; Welding, Maverick Moxey and Painting, David Barry.

“You guided us, stood by us and inspired us. Your attendance at this ceremony makes us feel proud. We are thrilled about the opportunity to continue the next phase of our training under your tutelage. I am confident that the Engineering department of the Baha Mar team will be more dynamic because of our training, said Mr. Sturrup.

Richa Charlton of Baha Mar’s Electrical Unit said what she learned has been beneficial for her career.

“My experience has been memorable. Being a part of Mr. Curry’s Electrical class was always fun and interactive. I had the opportunity to understand what is current, what is resistant, voltage and other fundamental aspects of electricity. These experiences have strengthened our relationship as a team and today, we take the valuable memories of our training with us,” said Ms. Charlton.

 Dr. Robertson added that he trusts the initial training is the beginning of a strong partnership between Baha Mar and BTVI, serving as a springboard for workforce development opportunities for Baha Mar employees.