Keyshan Bastian, assistant director of education, reminded recent graduates of the Core program of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) of their limitless potential, after they made a conscious decision to rewrite their own stories, and successfully completed the certification.
“Yes, some are not making it; yes, some are struggling; yes, some have lost their way but you have made a conscious decision to rewrite some things that have happened and rewrite your own stories,” said Bastian as the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) presented certificates to 58 graduates.
“Your potential is limitless. The opportunities await you to transform this country and change this world and I want you to embrace them.”
The graduates of Jump Start 2021, General Core 2021, Teleos Christian School and Over-the-Hill Cohort, along with their parents, sat in their vehicles on the grounds of Chapel on the Hill as they participated in the recent drive-in event.
Bastian urged the graduates to “soar” and to do so by seeking mentorship from the brightest and best people that will take them to the next level. Finding the people that will mentor them in the right things, with the right attitudes, and the right behavior that will get them the right opportunities to enjoy the right benefits.
Bastian encouraged the graduates to set personal goals and objectives, to know where they are going and the path that they would need to take to get there.
“Don’t be afraid to disassociate,” said Bastian. “Understand where you are going and don’t be afraid to go. Have aspirations. Rethink, refocus, realign and repurpose.”
NCCER is an internationally recognized accrediting body that has designed standardized training and credentialing programs for more than 70 craft areas.
The Core program is the pre-requisite for all other levels of NCCER craft certification and includes classes in construction site safety, construction math, construction power tools, construction hand tools, communication skills, employability skills, construction drawing and material handling.
Dr. Robert W. Robertson, BTVI president, congratulated the graduates and told them the core they completed was only the first in a series of steps to become a master craftsperson. He reminded them that there are other steps, and that there is help to get them through the remaining steps to ensure they attain master craftsperson status.
Kevin Basden, BTVI board chairman, urged the graduates not to settle with just the Core program, but to pursue advanced certification.
“By successfully completing the other levels of the NCCER programs, you can become a craftsman or a technician. This means not only a higher skill level, but also higher pay. NCCER is a training, assessment and certification standard for the construction and maintenance of craft professionals. This is needed at a time when locally, BTVI is doing its part to fill the skills gap,” said Basden.
Samita Ferguson, executive manager, Over-the-Hill Unit, Office of the Prime Minister, said organizations like the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative strives to make changes for the better of the community, which, no doubt, can impact the nation at large.
Ferguson said the concept of collaborating with NGOs, private partnerships and institutions such as BTVI will be the driving forces to help implement great change for the betterment of the country.