Community Economic Development
Promoting self-sustaining communities.
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A major focus of our CSI programme is to assist communities in becoming self-sustaining. As a part of this mission, NGC has helped provide communities with both facilities and training to assist in their economic development.
There are two major components of our Community Economic Development programme: Skills Trianing and Facilities Development.
Skills Training: An important aspect of promoting national development is providing the opportunities for community members to develop specialised skills. As a result, NGC has sponsored numerous programmes which provide skills training for residents across Trinidad and Tobago.
From the very start of NGC’s structured CSI programme in 1992, we have emphasised building community capacity through skills training.
Over the years, thousands of persons have been trained in a range of skills. These skills were selected based on the needs of specific communities such as welding, building construction, boat engine repairs, process plant operations, plant maintenance and food preservation.
NGC has always included Tobago in the scope of our CSI programme. However, the recent construction of a natural gas pipeline to Tobago and the related receiving facility has brought new opportunities for us to widen the scope of our CSI programme. As a result, our recent skills training programmes have focused on that island.
Tobago Plant Maintenance Scholarship Programme:
In collaboration with Metal Industries Company Limited (MIC), NGC is sponsoring the Tobago Plant Maintenance Scholarship Programme. It is a year long, full-time training programme for up to twenty Tobagonians between the ages of 17-25.
The programme will also include an apprenticeship component which provides hands-on, cutting-edge industrial and plant maintenance experience. This will prepare trainees for potential job opportunities at NGC’s Tobago Onshore Facility at the Cove Eco-Industrial Estate and Business Park at Lowlands, Tobago. NGC will also benefit from this programme as it will create a larger applicant pool to for any plant maintenance opportunities that may arise at Cove.
Tobago Building Construction Technology (BCT) Programme:
NGC has carried out two cycles of a BCT Programme in collaboration with the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) and the Division of Education of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
The programme was aimed at providing up to 40 Tobagonians between the ages of 17-25 years with the necessary practical and theoretical training to find and support employment in the construction sector.
Tobago Outboard Boat Engine Repairs Programmes
Together with the National Energy Skills Centre (NSEC) and the Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries, NGC sponsored two Tobago Outboard Boat Engine Repairs Programmes in Goldsborough and Buccoo. The programme targeted some 40 boat owners, sailors, fisher folk and other persons who were interested in learning the fundamentals of outboard marine engine repairs and maintenance.
Bethel Empowerment Skills Training (BEST)
The BEST agricultural programme seeks to impact the economy of Trinidad and Tobago by reviving Tobago’s local agriculture industry. It also aims to develop Tobago’s youth by fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. A one-year programme at Sherwood Park teaches short crop production to 50 trainees who will produce crops that are in demand by the hotels, restaurants and markets of Tobago. Another site in Plymouth was equipped as a processing centre for fresh seasoning, tomatoes, sweet peppers and other produce from the Sherwood Park site. NGC and NEDCO will provide training to fill any competency gaps that may exist in the group.
Facilities Development: Recognising that the availability of community infrastructure is critical to development, NGC actively promotes the construction, maintenance and upgrading of a variety of facilities within local communities.
NGC continues its programme of constructing, renewing and upgrading facilities in communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago. NGC’s construction and refurbishment works have focused on facilities used for education and training, the arts, recreation, community gathering and social services.
In most cases, the projects are carried out in collaboration with national and local governmental agencies and other stakeholders in the community. In 2012, five projects were undertaken. These were:
- The construction of the NGC Couva Joylanders Pan Theatre, Railway Road, Couva;
- The upgrade and extension of the Caldrac Recreation Club, California;
- The upgrade of the YTC Gymnasium, Arouca;
- The refurbishment of the Leo Thompson Recreation Ground, Gasparillo – Phase 1;
- The construction of temporary accommodation at the Operation Smile Orphanage in White Lands, Poonah, lower Williamsville.
- In 2013, more attention will be given to recreation, social and cultural facilities in keeping with an objective to improve the quality of life in communities.