BWI Board chair challenges graduates in furniture making
Jackson P. Paye, chairman of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) Board of Governors, has challenged members of the maiden class of 31 trainees who graduated on Tuesday in rubber furniture making to become job creators.
Paye is also Deputy Public Works Minister for Community Services.
The three-month intensive training was funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Tuesday’s program held on the BWI campus in Kakata, Margibi County coincided with the dedication of the newly constructed Domestic Science Department building.
“The way forward now is for our graduates and trainees to be innovative, possessed with marketable skills such as domestic sciences and other vocational training to create their own jobs,” Paye told the graduates.
Twenty-five (25) of the trainees included carpenters from rubber producing counties, including Margibi and Montserrado.
They were trained in wood preservation, logging (flat sawn wood, quarter sawn wood), technical drawing, and calculations (metric system, English system, volume and cylinder, template for mass production and cost analysis). The training also included converting cubic meters to cubic feet when measuring preserved wood for furniture making.
Based on the training, Paye said skills such as carpentry, masonry and plumbing, which are taught at the BWI, will go a long way to encourage the trainees to set up their own workshops.
Before cutting the ribbon to the new building, Paye said, “The magnificent class of the art facilities will add value to the learning process of Booker, thereby advancing the government’s dream of making the institute a center of excellence.”
The Domestic Science Department building and the training in rubber wood furniture making align perfectly with the goal of empowering Liberian youth to be self-sufficient and create employment opportunities for themselves and their dependents, said Paye.
The keynote speaker, Kerstine Kageni, UNIDO Program Coordinator, reflected on how a large percentage of Liberia’s current generation has been unfortunate in either missing or not benefiting from education and other personal and career development opportunities for the most part of a decade and a half (from 1990-2005).
“But their ages were not waiting for a return to what is referred to as normal days, because those days are gone and can never be recovered,” Kageni said, adding that as a result, the world is moving along with socioeconomic and technological development, and “Liberia needs to wake up to the reality and face the current challenges with valor, unpretending.”
BWI Principal Harris Fomba Tarnue’s remarks focused on how the institute on Tuesday made another milestone in its efforts, in collaboration with partners, to fulfill the institute’s mission as mandated by a legislative enactment to provide education and training for young people to become self-reliant middle level technicians and professionals in Liberia and beyond.
“Since the institute was established in 1929, BWI remains steadfast and committed to contributing meaningfully to the growth and development of the Liberian society and the world at large. This is being evidenced by the overwhelming numbers of trainees and graduates the institute puts out every year that are successfully giving back to their respective communities,” Tarnue said.
The well attended program was climaxed by invitees touring the newly dedicated facilities, including the Domestic Science Department building, the Biology Laboratory, the UNIDO/BWI Advance Carpentry Training Center in Rubber Wood Furniture Production as well as viewing the trainees’ products.