Creation Of CRIWT Positions CFBC As a Regional Leader in Renewable Energy Education and Innovation

CFBC’s President, Mr. Andrew Abraham.

Basseterre, St. Kitts (CFBC): The creation of the Caribbean Center of Excellence in Research, Innovation, and Workforce Training (CRIWT) at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) has positioned the sole indigenous tertiary-level institution in St. Kitts & Nevis as a “regional leader in renewable energy education and innovation”, according to CFBC’s President, Mr Andrew Abraham.

Through the CRIWT, the CFBC will become the regional hub for training in solar PV installation and electronic vehicles (EV) maintenance and repairs and fill a significant gap in the region as there are no other institutions nearby that offer similar comprehensive training and services.

Speaking at the recent launch ceremony (April 9, 2024) of the CRIWT, President Abraham said that the College is living up to its motto “Always Striving for Excellence”.

“At CFBC, we have always strived to be at the forefront of innovation, anticipating the needs of our community and region. The launch of this centre of excellence is deeply aligned with our institution’s short, medium, and long-term goals, as well as our commitment to the core pillars of the CFBC Board,” he said.

“The latest statistics from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region reveal a growing demand for skilled professionals in this field, with a significant increase in solar PV installations in recent years. For example, in 2023 alone, the OECS recorded a 20% increase in solar PV installations compared to the previous year,” Mr Abraham added.

“By providing cutting-edge training and certification through NABCEP, we empower our graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the growing demand for renewable energy solutions in the Caribbean. Furthermore, this initiative fosters collaboration between academia, industry, and government, driving economic growth and sustainability across the region,” he said.

President Abraham said that the impact of the project will be far-reaching, extending beyond the college campus to St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean community in building resilience and prosperity. He said that the CFBC is committed to providing leadership by nurturing a cadre of skilled professionals and innovators in renewable energy to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.

“We recognize the importance of providing education and training that aligns with the evolving demands of the job market, mostly in sectors such as renewable energy, where there is a growing need for skilled professionals,” he said.

The CRIWT initiative was made possible through the generous support of the UNDP Small Grant Programme, in partnership with Green Solution International (GSI) SKN Incorporated. The training programme offers the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification. The project has an estimated cost of 116,900 USD or 315,630 XCD. The CFBC and GSI entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on November 20, 2023.

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