THE ROSE TOWN CONSTRUCTION INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
The Rose Town Construction Internship Program (The “RTCIP”) is a project of the GFF working with the Rose Town Foundation for the Built Environment (“RTF) that seeks to offer at-risk Jamaican youth between the ages of 16-24 skills training, mentorship, personal development, and employment opportunities.
HOPE Programme (2018-2019) – Cost: JM $725,012.83
While the main focus of the Gore Family Foundation has long been Early Childhood Education, we could not ignore the complex and pressing issue of at-risk youth in Jamaica.
The HOPE Programme was the Gore Family Foundation’s first programme geared towards assisting at-risk youth to reach their full potential.
We created a learning environment to train interns, hired a coordinator, and exposed interns to invaluable work experience.
One of the highlights of the Programme was a bus tour to BREDS Treasure Beach Sports Park where interns had the opportunity to participate in team-building exercises as part of the General Colin Powell Challenge Course.
We used many of our learnings from the HOPE Programme in designing the Rose Town Construction Internship Program.
The Rose Town Foundation had a town crier to recruit prospective participants. These individuals then did a diagnostic test. Based on the results of this test, individuals are shortlisted and then background checks are conducted on them. These measures are both meant to ensure safety and also ensure that the interns that are being considered for selection have the capacity to keep up with the program that we have designed.
Assessment of potential interns
(literacy and numeracy testing JM $548,016.00)
Background checks by a security firm
Selection of interns
Orientation and Workshop
Orientation is an important introduction to the Program for the interns as it signifies the beginning of this new and exciting chapter of their lives.
Our bus departs from the Rose Town Foundation at 8:30 am for Gore Developments Limited’s Phoenix Park site. Train Your Mind by Lebron James plays in the background on the bus for the journey, and our Assistant Intern Coordinator accompanies the interns on the bus.
When the interns arrive on-site, they are welcomed by our Director, Mrs. Christine Gore and a light breakfast is served. We then recite the Peace Prayer and sing the National Anthem as a group.
Our Intern Coordinators then divide the interns into two groups, the ‘Zoila Gore Group’ and the ‘Lee Gore Group,’ each of which contain a mix of interns from the north and the south of Rose Town as well as a gender mix.
One of the interns from year 1 then discusses his experience in the Program and how it changed his life before we show the new group of interns videos and a Powerpoint presentation that discuss the work of Gore Developments Limited, the Gore Family Foundation and the Rose Town Foundation for the Built Environment.
Each individual intern in the ‘Lee Gore Group’ is then interviewed by Mrs. Christine Gore and Ms. Ruth Jankee, the Executive Director of the Rose Town Foundation. While one intern in this group is being interviewed, the other interns in the ‘Lee Gore Group’ work with the Intern Coordinators to login to their Moodle accounts, sign off on their waiver forms, and listen to a presentation by an NCB Mastercard representative that will assist them with being able to access their stipend.
While the ‘Lee Gore Group’ of interns is going through this process the ‘Zoila Gore Group’ of interns does a site visit with one of the managers on site. The two groups then switch places and the ‘Zoila Gore Group’ of interns do interviews, login to their Moodle accounts, sign off on their waiver forms, and listen to a presentation by an NCB Mastercard representative, while the ‘Lee Gore Group’ of interns do a site visit.
At these interviews, Mrs. Gore hands out hats and uniforms to the interns, officially welcoming them to the Gore Developments Limited Family.
The Counsellor for the Program also sits in on these interviews to learn more about each intern because this helps in the process of him/her matching them with a mentor with a similar background and/or interests.
After the interviews are finished, the Counsellor then takes the interns through the Code of Conduct and the Intern Coordinators and other members of the team who are present break off into small groups with the interns to ensure that they understand its contents and the cases in which it will apply.
We then take group pictures, serve lunch, and conduct interviews with the press before the bus departs to go back to the Rose Town Foundation.
Our education specialist, Stephanie Hunte, designed the courses for the Program using Moodle.com, Alison.com, and the Open University of the United Kingdom – all free, open, online resources. The cost of the time spent to create the Program was JM $438, 447.68.
Each intern also has their own personal laptop and headphones, and Intern Coordinators assist them with getting through their coursework. The cost of the laptops was JM $1,385,140.05 and of the ICs for year one was JM $3,025,011.52
- Moodle – Moodle is an acronym for “Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.” It is an online educational platform that provides custom learning environments for students. Educators can use Moodle to create lessons, manage courses, and interact with teachers and students. Students can use Moodle to review the class calendar, submit assignments, take quizzes, and interact with their classmates. JM $72,147.43
- Alison – Alison has thousands of free, open online courses that are available for anyone to use. Experts in their respective fields design learning material that is comprehensive and broken down into manageable chunks. This allows students to work at their own pace to achieve desired learning outcomes.
List of courses
Coping Skills – Freedom from Stress and Pain: https://alison.com/course/coping-skillsfreedom-from-stress-and-pain
Introduction to Microsoft Word 2019/365: https://alison.com/course/introduction-tomicrosoft-word-2019-365
Succeed with Learning: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/education-development/succeedlearning/content-section-overview?active-tab=content-tab
Introduction to Personal Finance Management and Wealth Building https://alison.com/course/introduction-to-personal-finance-management-and-wealth-building
Everyday English 1: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/everyday-english1/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab
Everyday English 2: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/everyday-english2/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab
Succeed with Math: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/succeed-maths-part-1/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab
Business Etiquette and Professionalism: https://alison.com/course/business-etiquette-andprofessionalism
Soft Skills for Professionals: https://alison.com/course/soft-skills-for-professionals
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace: https://alison.com/course/conflict-resolution-in-theworkplace
Develop Your Emotional Intelligence: https://alison.com/course/develop-your-emotionalintelligence
Outdoor Recreation and Land Management – Revised: https://alison.com/course/outdoor-education-outdoor-recreation-and-land-managementrevised
Productivity and Waste Management: https://alison.com/course/productivity-and-waste-management-lean-and-environmentalperspectives
Fundamentals of Project Management: https://alison.com/course/fundamentals-of-projectmanagement-revised-2017
Construction Safety and Health: https://alison.com/course/construction-safety-and-health
Safety in Construction: Fall Hazards: https://alison.com/course/safety-in-construction-fallhazards
Introduction to Project Management: https://alison.com/course/introduction-to-projectmanagement
Customer Service Skills: https://alison.com/course/customer-service-skills
Introduction to Technical Drawing, https://alison.com/course/an-introduction-to-technical-drawing
AutoCAD: Beginner to Professional Training https://alison.com/course/autocad-beginner-to-professional-training
Diploma in Garden Design and Maintenance: https://alison.com/course/diploma-in-gardendesign-and-maintenance
Diploma in Carpentry Studies – Revised: https://alison.com/course/diploma-in-carpentrystudies-revised
Diploma in Plumbing Studies – Revised: https://alison.com/course/diploma-in-plumbingstudies-revised
Diploma in Electrical Studies – Revised 2017: https://alison.com/course/diploma-inelectrical-studies-revised-2017
Critical Facility: Critical Infrastructure: https://alison.com/course/critical-facility-criticalinfrastructure
Introduction to Masonry – Revised: https://alison.com/course/introduction-to-masonryrevised
Guest lecturers were selected because of their expertise in their respective fields. Their participation in the program enhanced the learning experience for interns, giving them exposure to different fields of work that they may be interested in pursuing once the program ends and introducing them to skills like customer service and proper etiquette that will serve them well as they move into the next stage of their lives. Groups of two interns are required to work together as a team to introduce each guest lecturer and then deliver a vote of thanks. This required them to conduct research about the guest lecturer and present to the group what they found, reinforcing skills that they had learned throughout the Program.
- Guest Lecture 1 – Ms. Doris Gross: Introduction to Construction
Doris Gross is one of the managing partners in Portico Architects. She has also played an integral role as an instructor in the Construction Project Management Course that GFF coordinates at Jamaica College.
- Guest Lecture 2 – Claire Sutherland: Introduction to Project Management
Dr Claire Sutherland is qualified and experienced in various areas of project and programme management in international, public and private sectors. She is currently Senior Director of International and Institutional Linkages at University of Technology, Jamaica, where we have a number of scholarships.
- Guest Lecture 3 – Robert Stephens: Land Management
Mr. Robert Stephens is the President of Pragma Consultants Ltd. He is a sustainable Development Consultant with over forty-seven years of experience in senior management, construction, and tourism project development. He has consulting experience in Jamaica and the Caribbean, as well as the World Bank in Ghana, Nigeria and Jordan.
- Guest Lecture 4 – Mrs. Ann Marie Burke: Customer Service
Mrs. Ann Marie Burke is the Director of HR and Training at Sonesta Resorts, St. Maarten. Mrs. Burke has developed a reputation as one of the preeminent HR professionals, having overseen HR Operations at Air Jamaica, Melia Braco, and V.I.P attractions.
- Guest Lecture 5 – Mrs. Christine Gore: Real Estate Development
An Attorney- at- Law, Christine Gore, through her passion for philanthropy, has either helped to create or served on the boards of educational and healthcare foundations, notably: The Scholarship Fund, Tennis Jamaica, the Tryall Fund and The Tony Thwaites Wing (University Hospital of the West Indies). She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies and Master of Laws from the University of Sydney, Australia; going on to become a partner at the venerable Jamaican law firm of Myers, Fletcher, Gordon, before founding her own firms: Evans & Gore, to be followed by Christine Gore & Company. More recently, Mrs. Gore has spent much of her time and effort assisting Jamaicans, especially children, through education and sports.
- Guest Lecture 6 – Mr. Lanslot Raam Nary Singh: Landscaping
After completing his masters in integrated urban & rural environmental Management, Mr. Naraysingh specialized in courses such as Geographic Information system, Water Resource Management & Waste management systems. He gained experience with the Urban Development Corporation as a key team member in urban planning just working on the development orders for three parishes. When the opportunity presented itself to play an integral role in managing the World Netball Championship in 2003 held at the National Indoor Centre he took on the challenge successfully. Thus began his interest in facilities management. Later a feather in his cap was the management of Sabina Park for the 2007 World Cup Cricket Tournament.
- Guest Lecture 7 – Ms. Caroline Delisser: Special Paint Finishes
Ms. Caroline Delisser graciously took the time to give a lecture to the Rose Town Construction Interns on paint finishes, colour washes and murals. From the very beginning of Mrs. Delisser’s presentation, the interns could sense her passion for the visual arts because of the conviction and excited manner in which she spoke. She spoke about her beginnings in England and her transition to Jamaica, where she worked in King’s House. At first this was a daunting task, but she pushed through, overcoming her fear of heights and completing a breathtaking work of art. She gave the interns useful pointers on how to create various types of art using different paint mixing techniques.
- Guest Lecture 8 – Mr. Glen Ivey: Forestry and Composting
Mr. Glen Ivey has played an integral role at the Forestry Department, where he has worked for over 28 years. He is currently the Regional Forest Manager who oversees the northeast region. He gave an engaging presentation on forestry and composting. Mr. Ivey expressed great passion for forestry. He highlighted that composting at home allows us to divert some of the waste from landfills and turn it into something practical for our yards. He also mentioned that forests are vital to life on earth, as they purify the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and act as an important buffer against climate change.
Construction (Instructor – Mr. Simon Edwards)
Here the interns can be seen working with Mr Simon to build the community centre.
Landscaping (Instructor – Mr. Lancelot Raam Naraysingh)
The interns are seen here putting the skills learned in Mr. Naraysingh’s lecture on landscaping to use.
We found that having the opportunity to spend time outdoors and to see new places and have new experiences was something that was very meaningful and important to the interns. We also tied the field trips back to courses like Outdoor Recreation and Land Management to further reinforce what the students had learned in the classroom. One intern described the field trip to Hollywell as being both “fun and educational,” and he loved having the opportunity to be in nature while learning. While on these trips the interns learned about Jamaica’s history, landscaping and other valuable information.
15 individuals from various professional backgrounds who are passionate about giving back to Jamaica volunteer their time to be mentors to our at-risk youth in the Program.
Our mentors provide an additional layer of support for our interns.
The counsellor for the Program matches each intern with a mentor based on interests, age, background, and any other factors deemed to be important. These mentors include past Gore Family Foundation tertiary scholarship recipients, Gore Developments Limited employees, and others who graciously give their time to support these interns and ensure their success in the Program and in their personal lives in any way that they can.
We have an initial session with the counsellor and the mentors where we introduce them to the Program and give them tips on mentoring at-risk youth. At this session, we also walk the mentors through the Mentorship Guide (included under forms in Phase 7), a tool created to assist mentors in navigating their relationships with interns.
Early on in the Program we also look to organize an in-person ice-breaker activity where interns have the opportunity to meet their mentors face-to-face, and we aim to continue to do this periodically.
Over the first few months, the counsellor checks in regularly with both mentors and interns to see which relationships are working and which ones are not so that we can adapt and make any necessary changes.
Outside of this, we have found that each mentor/mentee relationship is different. There isn’t a set amount of time that we expect mentors to spend with their interns, but enough time as is required to develop a relationship with them and generally be there for them if and when things come up both related to the Program and in their personal lives.
We have found that it works best if each mentor/mentee has the opportunity to determine how often they speak, how they choose to communicate, how often they meet in-person, and the ways in which the support that is needed can be provided. We also have a WhatsApp group chat with the mentors, and frequently check in with them to get reports on how things are going. Lastly, when issues arise in the Program with an intern, we inform the mentors and ask that they reach out to their interns to provide them with the necessary guidance.
Sample application form
This is the application form filled out by prospective interns applying to the Program.
This procedure serves as a guide for interns in dealing with grievances that come up throughout the course of the Program.
Guidelines & code of conduct
The guidelines and code of conduct are signed off on by the Gore Family Foundation, the Rose Town Foundation, and each individual intern, and outline the expectations for participants in the program and the penalties associated with not meeting the requirements listed therein.
Sample weekly report
The Program’s Intern Coordinators draft a report similar to this one each week. This is meant to serve as an update to the Gore Family Foundation and the Rose Town Foundation teams on the progress of the interns and their attendance in the week prior.
Award criteria template
This form outlines various prizes that we award to interns who excel in different areas of the Program each month.
We designed this guide to assist mentors with navigating their relationships with interns.
“The Rose Town Construction Internship (RTCIP) is not just about getting up going to class, learning some courses and doing practical and going back home when its time to leave.The program is about us youths at risk getting the opportunity to leave our community and brought into a new and completely different environment from our home, where we feel safe, comfortable, and secure.
Furthermore it is a blessing to be in the (RTCIP) because it gave me a wide understanding that there are young men in the community that actually has dreams and drive and a passion to excel in life and I learned this through our interaction with each other even though we have our disagreements at time but we learned how to settle our difference with a valuable course called conflict resolution, which is 1 of 23 courses taught to us.
The program for me has been a blast, it’s not everyone is lucky like my fellow interns and I to have someone to pay our transportation , free breakfast and lunch and even stipend and last but not least the shirts to wear.
I would like to give a big shout out to The Gore Developments Ltd. Team, my teachers for always being there for us and guiding us even though we all gave teachers hard times but they never stop trying and guiding, and encouraging us to be well rounded individuals in today’s society I thank you.”
“This programme teaches essential skills to persons to help them work together.”
“The programme offers a variety of courses that I find very useful to personal life matters as well as the work environment.”
We have changed the outlook of the Program for year 2 as literacy and numeracy testing brought to light the need for a remedial plan to be put in place. The remedial plan that we will be using is directly linked to the assessment results and specifically targets the gaps and weak areas identified in the literacy and numeracy testing. The Program is individualized to each student and they will work on the areas identified until they achieve mastery. The cost of the Program is JM 301,421.46 and we will report back on our experience with using it as the Program progresses.
We also plan to explore the possibility of internships for our interns at construction sites overseas when they graduate from the Program and will report back when we have more information on the feasibility of this.
Example of literacy test result
Example of numeracy test result
Year 2 Budget
As the GFF seeks to build a better Jamaica, the GFF saw a clear opportunity to leverage the work done by Gore Developments Ltd. in giving the youth of Rose Town an opportunity to learn a useful skill in an industry that has proven to be resilient over time.
The 12 interns who graduated from the RTCIP are now either employed or pursuing further education thanks in large part to the Programme’s design, which emphasized the use of free, open, online courses from alison.com and the Open University of the United Kingdom. This allowed interns to work at their own pace and trained them in life skills – discipline and appropriate behaviour in a working environment, soft skills, business etiquette and professionalism, coping with stress, teamwork, and conflict resolution – that will serve them well in all aspects of their lives.