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Four firms fund new $3.5m careers centre at Bermuda College

A new $3.5 million career development centre at Bermuda College is to be funded by four reinsurance firms, it was revealed yesterday.

Athene Holding, Athora Life Reinsurance, Aspen Insurance Holdings and Catalina Holdings teamed up to make the multimillion-dollar donation to the Bermuda College Foundation for the centre’s construction.

Duranda Greene, the president of the college, said: “This is an historic investment for Bermuda College and speaks volumes to the confidence the corporate community places in Bermuda’s students, in our local community and in the island’s future.”

Bill Wheeler, the president of Athene, said: “Athene and our insurance colleagues in Bermuda are fully invested in doing all we can to bolster our economy and help Bermuda’s young people reach their full potential.

Huge step: Bermuda College president Duranda Greene

“Athene’s donation to support the creation of the Career Development Centre builds on our deep commitment to education-based initiatives that are designed to help close educational gaps in our communities.”

He added: “The centre will be an excellent resource for students and residents and we are excited to watch it foster ideas and grow exceptional talent for many years to come.”

Amy Ponnampalam, the chief executive of Athora, added that the centre was “a major accomplishment for the Bermuda College Foundation” and that its construction lined up with “Athora’s commitment to caring about the local communities in which we operate”.

She said: “We are delighted that Bermuda College is gaining a contemporary space that allows it to further its mission to provide the community with innovative programmes, training, support services and access to partnerships that lead to local and global success.”

Christian Dunleavy, the chief executive of Aspen Bermuda, added: “Aspen is delighted to support this vital project to support the next generation of Bermudian talent.

“Ensuring our young people achieve their full potential is critical and this new centre will play an important part in developing and strengthening the Bermuda economy for the benefit of all long into the future.”

Chris Fagan, the chief executive of Catalina, said: “We are delighted to help launch the Career Development Centre to empower Bermudian youth through access to innovative programmes and training.

“The centre will provide the education needed to equip young people with the tools to succeed both on the island and beyond.”

The centre, announced as a key ambition by the Department of Education, was proposed to provide better access to workforce training, professional development and state-of-the-art technology.

It will also provide training services to the public as well as to Bermuda College students and staff.

The centre will also have workforce development programmes with a capacity to take almost 2,500 students a year.

Construction for the centre is expected to start early next year and is hoped to be completed before the start of the 2021 autumn semester.

Dr Greene said the career development centre would help the college reach one of its 2018 to 2023 strategic plan goals to “maintain and be known for having a modern campus that is safe, comfortable, technologically relevant and environmentally sustainable”.

Dr Greene added that the centre would be “a tremendous step in the right direction”.

She said: “Students and users of the centre will be immersed in vital business trends such as fintech, the internet of things, machine-learning activities and more, using cutting-edge technology.

“We are deeply grateful for the largesse of our donors and are especially indebted to the remarkable work of the Bermuda College Foundation on behalf of the college and its students.”

Ralph Richardson, the acting executive director of the Bermuda College Foundation, added: “The new Career Development Centre at the college will create a centre of excellence for a wide array of career development and employment opportunities.

“This is truly a major investment in Bermuda that will produce unprecedented returns.”

Diallo Rabain, the education minister, said last night that the Government was “most appreciative” of the donation by the four international companies.

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Published October 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Updated October 13, 2020 at 12:18 pm)

Four firms fund new $3.5m careers centre at Bermuda College

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