In a heartwarming display of corporate social responsibility, Rubis Turks and Caicos Limited has once again demonstrated its commitment to community support and educational development by inaugurating a state-of-the-art AutoCAD Lab at the Clement Howell High School.
The Lab was officially open on Tuesday, September 19, and was witnessed by Minister of Education Hon. Rachel Taylor, Speaker of the House of Assembly Gordon Burton and Education Officer David Bowen.
The project, which comes after two years of fruitful collaboration between the energy company and the school, aims to empower students and bridge the skills gap in the country.
Principal Shanta Seymour of Clement Howell High School expressed her gratitude for Rubis' involvement in the school's educational initiatives, stating that the company has translated its social responsibility concept into action.
"It is a great thing when the community becomes involved in education. It is a great thing when companies realize education is all of our business. And it is an even greater thing when they put this concept into action,"Seymour said.
The partnership between Rubis and the school began in 2020 as part of the "Rubis Care Campaign," which initially focused on providing relief to those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the campaign has evolved to support community engagement initiatives, with a specific emphasis on children, the disabled, and loyal customers.
“It gives me pride when others recognize the value of the school,” Seymour said.
Micah Knowles, Rubis Sales and Marketing Manager, highlighted the company's dedication to supporting the local community and educational development.
She detailed their ongoing involvement with the Clement Howell AutoCAD Programme, which includes providing printers, laptops, and sponsoring awards for the students. The total outfitting of the lab, according to Knowles, exceeded $20,000, which she said underscores Rubis' unwavering commitment to the growth of local education institutions.
Damion Williams, Head of the AutoCAD Department at Clement Howell High, praised the school's unique offerings, stating, "I think we are the only school that provides AutoCAD…Electrical Technology, Building Technology, and so forth. We are the only one running that programme. And so, we have students gravitating towards us. And as such, now we see the numbers growing."
While overly grateful for the new AutoCAD lab, Williams appealed for an expansion of the classroom, pointing out that there were more than 40 students interested in AutoCAD at the school, but the lab can only accommodate about 30 at this time.
Minister of Education Hon. Rachel Taylor commended Rubis for its dedication to the development of young people in the Turks and Caicos Islands, emphasizing that Rubis is not only in the region for profit but also to contribute to education and nation-building.
“Your efforts here today is indicative of your commitment and the interest that you have for the young people of these ‘Beautiful By Nature’ Turks and Caicos Islands,” she said. “You were resilient in your effort that you deliver on this AutoCAD project.
Taylor highlighted the need for engineering and architectural skills in the country, as identified in a recent skills gap audit, and expressed her enthusiasm for the emphasis on AutoCAD education at Clement Howell High School.
She revealed that the AutoCAD programme would provide students with valuable skills and an easy transition path to the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, where admission is free. She also mentioned the government's commitment to expanding technical and vocational education through the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programme (TVET).
The inauguration of the Rubis-sponsored AutoCAD Lab has been seen as a significant step forward in advancing educational opportunities and filling critical skills gaps in the Turks and Caicos Islands.