Dec. 21, 2004 St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
December 21, 2004
Thirty-one (31) residents of St. Croix recently completed all levels of training and received certificates in specific industrial crafts offered under the HOVENSA L.L.C. (HOVENSA) Craft Training Program: six (6) persons in the craft of Boilermaking, ten (10) in Instrumentation, and fifteen (15) in Millwright. These individuals were among a number of persons formally recognized during the Annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony of the HOVENSA Craft Training Program, which was held on Wednesday evening (December 15th) in the auditorium of the St. Croix Educational Complex. Special recognition and awards also were given to several persons who had perfect or excellent attendance during the year and to the top three winners in a recent welding contest. The master of ceremony for the evening was Dan McIntosh, Training Manager for Pinnacle Services L.L.C., the operator of the Program.
Several of the individuals who completed the Training Program spoke favorably about the Program and the training instructors during the ceremony. One of them, Kevin Fyfield, who completed the Electrical Craft Training Class, said that he sometimes found it difficult to attend class because he had just left a full day of work, "but I came because I knew it is worthwhile."
The Program is funded by HOVENSA and operated at the St. Croix Vocational School in cooperation with the Departments of Education and Labor. In his remarks during the ceremony Labor Commissioner Cecil R. Benjamin stated that he was pleased to see so many persons participating in the program. He commended those who completed the training stating, "This is a great achievement that you have made." He acknowledged the sacrifices that they made to accomplish this achievement.
Education Commissioner, Dr. Noreen Michael, stated that it is important for her department to continue to partner with HOVENSA, Pinnacle, and the Department of Labor to provide training. She said, "We must ensure that you have the best training possible to provide the skills needed." The Commissioner acknowledged the presence in the audience of the principal and assistant principals of the St. Croix Vocational School who have given their cooperation and support to the HOVENSA Craft Training Program.
HOVENSA President & Chief Operating Officer Lawrence J. Kupfer was the guest speaker during the ceremony. In his address he stated that there are approximately one hundred and sixty (160) persons currently enrolled in the Training Program and that HOVENSA has spent $2.5 million on this program to date. "Education and training are keys to a better life," Kupfer said.
Kupfer shared with the audience his insight that two things are important in order to be successful in the refining industry. He said the first thing is that employers are looking for people with a positive attitude. "A positive attitude is your ticket to a brighter future," he said. Second, he urged them to work safely. "If you're not sure how to do something safely, stop and ask your supervisor or your co-worker," Kupfer stated.
The thirty-one (31) persons who were honored for completing training in various crafts are:
Richard Gonzalez, Ainsworth Languedoc
Francisco Hassell, Lloyd Sadie
Mike Kalloo, John Victor
Ted Baltimore, Charles Krind
Justin Bannis, Osmond Leon
Edward Berry, Corona Nicholas
Bernard Christian, Jorge Rivera
Robert Crochet, Christian Simmonds
Leabelt Davis, Lana Taylor Sprauve
Christopher Henry, Isiah Williams
Anyuli Beras, Carlos Matos
Catherine Bonit, Ronald Maynard
Veron Christian, Michael Mendoza
Warren George, Peggy Noel
Christopher Henry, John Victor
Special mention was made of Christopher Henry and John Victor for their exceptional accomplishment in completing training in two crafts.
HOVENSA Spokesman Alex Moorhead said that in addition to Boilermaking, Instrumentation and Millwright classes the HOVENSA Craft Training Program provides training in civil, electrical, pipefitting and welding. The classes are held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. four nights weekly. Moorhead noted that the Program was recently re-accredited for three years by the National Center for Construction Education & Research. "As a result of this certification, all persons who complete training in the Program are issued a certificate which is recognized nationally in the construction and maintenance industry," Moorhead stated.
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