N.C.B. Foundation and Trust for the Americas Partner to Launch Digital and Innovation Centre
The NCB Foundation Digital Center will foster economic growth and citizen security through youth workforce development, technology training and leadership skills.
Kingston, Jamaica (03/09/2019) — Aiming to promote the generation of wealth, digital skills, and leadership, NCB Foundation partnered with The Trust for the Americas, a non- profit affiliated to the Organization of American States (OAS), to create the NCB Foundation Digital and Innovation Center in Kingston, Jamaica. NCB Financial Group Chairman Michael Lee Chin, OJ, NCB Foundation Chairperson Thalia Lyn, NCB Foundation CEO Nadeen Matthews Blair, OAS Secretary for Hemispheric Affairs James Lambert, and Trust CEO Linda Eddleman signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the initiative.
This Center will be part of the Trust’s larger initiative “Creating a Brighter Future for Jamaican Youth through Technology and Innovation,” which envisions to establish 11 technology centers and innovation laboratories across Jamaica to foster economic growth and citizen security through workforce development, technology training and leadership skills. The Trust for the Americas began designing the strategy in 2016 after receiving a generous grant from Citi Foundation to establish the first Innovation Laboratory in Jamaica, and additional support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“We live in an era that is driven by technology and innovation. By democratising innovation, we give everyone Jamaican the opportunity to create wealth” said Michael Lee-Chin, Chairman of the NCB Financial Group.
During the signing, Trust CEO Linda Eddleman said, “The NCB Foundation Digital and Innovation Center will be the first to provide skills for the jobs of tomorrow to at-risk youth. Every Center designed by The Trust focuses on different challenges and opportunities. This time we are working to promote STEM Education, Leadership and Job Readiness, combined with Innovation and Entrepreneurship readiness. NCB is investing in the future of Jamaica.”
In a one-year period, the initiative will offer 150 participants the opportunity to follow one of two tracks, Skills of Tomorrow, which includes Digital Skills, Coding, and Job Readiness, or Entrepreneurship, which provides innovation modules on business and opportunity to create micro-enterprises. N.C.B. Foundation Chairman, Thalia Lyn, noted: “As the digital economy continues to grow as a significant contributor to the global GDP, we anticipate that this initiative will help to position Jamaican youth to benefit from it.”
Nadeen Matthews Blair, CEO of the N.C.B. Foundation also noted, “The ultimate goal is to increase employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation among Jamaica’s at-risk-youth, which in turn will help to foster economic growth and crime reduction.”
For 27-year-old Bryanna Chang, a beneficiary of the programme, the benefits came from having all the tools needed to build a prototype for her innovation, as well as training on the business side of things. “While I’m a techie and I have the skills needed to build my prototype, learning about the business side of things and the legal measures I needed to take were a big part of the benefits for me. The programme really helped to broaden my perspective, and look at how I could grow my business through partnership, all while protecting my ideas from a legal standpoint.”
About The Trust for the Americas:
The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., Colombia, and Canada.
More information: www.trustfortheamericas.org
About the Organization of American States:
The OAS has 34 member states and it is the world’s oldest regional organization. The Organization uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes, based on its main pillars: democracy, human rights, security, and development. In Jamaica, the General Secretariat of the OAS, through is Department of Public Security, is implementing the project “A New Path”, which seeks to improve the lives of at-risk youth and youth in conflict with the law. A priority of “A New Path” is to offer support for youth to address their emotional, social, educational, and economic challenges. It works with key areas that can enable the successful economic and social integration of the youth.
More information: www.oas.org
About the N.C.B. Foundation:
Established in 2003, the N.C.B. Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the NCB Financial Group Limited. With its focus on three primary areas – Education, Community Development and Sports, and Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship—the N.C.B. Foundation embraces charitable causes that are sustainable, and contribute to the acceleration of national development. From investing in scholarships at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, and empowering youths with skills in leadership and entrepreneurship, to enhancing trainees lives through training in various skills-based programmes, the N.C.B. Foundation is committed to elevating and empowering the people in the communities it serves. To date, the N.C.B. Foundation has donated over J$1.5 billion to various charitable initiatives, positively impacting the lives of over 250,000 Jamaicans.