The Thomas Foundation has donated tools and equipment to the Dominica State College as the institution continues to make strides to reintroduce the Building Trades Programme. 

Manager of the Foundation Ken Thomas says the purpose of the foundation is to give back to his country, Dominica. Thomas says the tools were donated by the United Kingdom population.

“After Maria happened, the organization that I work for recognized that there was a significant need to support Dominica going Dominica. And we were giving an opportunity to acquire through that organization a significant amount of the tools and equipment they have in their apprenticeship centers across the United King. And they basically said to me that because they no longer need it due to the company going through liquidation, if I needed it I can take it and give it to people of Dominica,” Thomas stated.

He expressed his gratitude to ace solutions who aided in shipping the equipment to Dominica.  

President of the Dominica State College, Dr. Donald Peters expressed his appreciation to the Thomas Foundation for its donation.

“This is a unique occasion for us because this is a symbolic handing over of tools donated by the foundation. And it is critical in that this is the appropriate time for us. So first let me say thank you to the Thomas Foundation. I heard that of the process in getting those tools and getting them ready to be shipped to the Caribbean, to Dominica. So I know that must have been a human task and with little help you got it done, and we are very thankful and appreciative for the effort, and I can assure you that we will do everything in our powers to make sure that not only the programme continues but the tools are cherished,” Dr. Peters stated.

Dr. Peters went on to stress the importance of technical education in building a nation.

“This is a unique opportunity for the college to lead. We would like to lead the country in technical education, and these tools are critical to that effort. The Government has informed us that they are applying to China Aid to repair two of the major buildings which is the building Trades Facility and the Auto-engineering Facility which also houses Mechanical Engineering. We are also getting aid from other areas of the world, mostly Canada, and of course the Thomas Foundation, and the objective of this is to bring back the building trades,” Dr. Peters stated.

Dr. Peters went on to add with the continuous donations from these organizations, the building trades will soon be introduced back in the college programme.

“For those who came to the State College, you know that carpentry has been dead for almost ten years and now with these tools, and the tools that we are getting form Canada, I can assure you that carpentry will be back as a major part of the program. The building trades program will be a two year program and students will do courses and be certified with competence in masonry, carpentry, roofing, refrigeration, air condition and all of the areas that impact the building trades,” he further added.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mandra Fagan noted that the donation will contribute to Government’s effort to achieve the sustainable goal.

“This donation will further assist in Government’s goal to substantially reduce the proportions of youth not in employment, education or training BY 2020, while substantially increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills including technical and vocational skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship by 2030. I note that among the items being donated as shovels, cement mixers, wheelbarrows, step ladders, construction tools and safety equipment,” Fagan noted.  

The symbolic handing over of the tools and equipment were presented to the permanent secretary.