JCTI Career Expo Positions Over 700 Students for a Successful Career in Tourism

The Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) proudly celebrated the successful staging of its second Career Expo on March 15, 2024, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, marking a significant stride towards enriching Jamaica’s tourism sector with skilled professionals.

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, emphasized the significance of the event, boasting, “This expo brings to your consciousness the various career paths that exist within the tourism space and helps you to debunk the misinformation that tourism is a low-wage, low-skilled activity. We’re building the new workforce of which you’re going to be a part of on two critical factors. One is merit. Merit that is based on your certification and your competence. The other is equity. Equity says you will not be denied a career path in tourism.”

From the vibrant opening ceremony to the interactive sessions that spanned the day, the Expo was a hub of opportunity and learning. More than 700 students were able to network with the 15 organizations, which showcased the breadth of careers in tourism, from traditional roles to sectors not commonly associated with tourism, highlighting the industry’s diverse career potential. Students obtained the contact details of local companies while engaging with important company executives.

Carol Rose Brown, Director of the JCTI, shared:

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“By bridging the gap between education and industry, we’re not only supporting Jamaica’s tourism sector but also empowering our youth to build rewarding careers that contribute to our nation’s development.”

Carol Rose Brown (right), Director of JCTI; and Gis’elle Jones (left), Director of Research and Risk Management at the Tourism Enhancement Fund, presents Olecia Robinson of HEART College for Hospitality Services with the Jeopardy champions trophy and a tablet, as well as a check for $50,000 for her school.

The day concluded on a high note with a spirited Jeopardy-type game involving students from eight schools, showcasing their knowledge and passion for tourism. Olecia Robinson, a student of HEART College for Hospitality Services emerged victorious, winning $50,000 for her school and a tablet and trophy for herself.

The JCTI Career Expo has once again proven to be a pivotal event for students, educators, and industry professionals alike, fostering connections, and inspiring the next generation of tourism leaders in Jamaica. With more than 15,000 individuals certified through the JCTI, this year’s attendees are set to form the genesis for the next 15,000 tourism professionals to receive global benchmark certifications.

SEEN IN MAIN IMAGE: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, delivered the keynote speech at the 2024 JCTI Career Expo. – image courtesy of Jamaica Tourist Board

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Linda Hohnholz