Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has pointed to a raft of development programmes for her South West St. Andrew constituency including additional housing and training for employment in logistics operations and port services, as well as to start micro businesses as barbers, hairdressers and chefs.
Addressing a meeting at the Caribbean Palms community centre on Spanish Town Road on Sunday, September 14, the Member of Parliament told residents that additional housing was being provided at Majesty Gardens and White Wing in the constituency. She noted that this was in addition to the first phase of the Majesty Gardens housing development which was recently completed, the Caribbean Palms development and other housing developments at Palm Court and Delacree Park Phase Two.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the provision of decent housing was empowering residents of the innercity communities of her constituency to live in dignity and with personal and community pride. While timelines for the new developments have not yet been made public, designs are now being done for new low cost housing at Majesty Gardens, White Wing and Back-To.
Health facilities across South West St. Andrew are also slated for upgrading with discussions underway for the upgrading of the Hagley Park and Oak Glades health clinics.
The Member of Parliament said collaboration is being worked out with the Caribbean Maritime Institute, through the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and the HEART Trust/NTA for the training in logistics and shipping operations to be done at Caribbean Palms and Oak Glades community centres in the inner-city areas of the constituency.
The Oak Glades Centre is to also to be refurbished and transformed at a cost of some $14 million, into a HEART Trust/NTA Community Training Interventions Centre for Hairdressing; Barbering and Food Preparation. At the end of the course participants will receive certification at National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) Levels 1 & 2.
In this community approach, training programmes are directly related to community and industry demand. The NVQ-J at Levels 1 & 2, is widely accepted in Jamaica, CARICOM countries and all Commonwealth Nations of the world. The procurement process for Contractor selection is now taking place.
Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that skills training is vital to the economic independence of the residents.
In keeping with this, an Information Technology Community Access Point will be opened at the Caribbean Palms Community Centre later this week.
Meanwhile Mrs. Simpson Miller said education spending from her Constituency Development Fund allocation is a priory with $8 million spent last year and $8 million being spent this year to finance education for young residents, particularly for those attending university.
She also announced plans through a private public partnership for the construction of a new state of the art infant school in the constituency.
She pointed out that her main strategy as a Member of Parliament for more than 38 years, and as a public servant for more than 40 years, has been to invest heavily in the development of people, so that they will have the tools they need to build a profession, to start businesses, to succeed in life and to help lift others out of poverty. “My life’s work is about ensuring that all my constituents, starting with the children, have the opportunity to be all that they can be and to make the most of their lives,” the Prime Minister said.