Student participants of the recently concluded Caribbean Cement Company Limited work exposure programme, CEMEX Campus 2021, have lauded the initiative, which sought to acquaint them with the cement industry.
For the past five weeks, the 42 final year students from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona and University of Technology (UTECH), Jamaica, were exposed virtually to cutting-edge research and development in the cement industry, state-of-the-art technology, and the operations of a multi-national company.
Leaders and technical experts of Caribbean Cement Company delivered presentations specific to their areas and provided coaching to the students.
Final year student of UWI, Mona, Lesmar Murray, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering described the programme as eye-opening, explaining that she was able to garner hands-on experience about the cement-making process.
“Right now, I am doing my final project, which focuses on high-performance concrete. During the programme, I was given some great and useful information, which has guided me along the way in the project,” she said.
Ms. Murray was speaking following a brief ceremony to hand over certificates to students who participated in the programme, at the Carib Cement’s Sports Club in Rockfort, Kingston on May 19.
The 22-year-old said she was “definitely passionate about” working in the industry.
“It is from this staging of the virtual CEMEX Campus that I also gathered information in how to further my studies in the area of concrete and it is something I will be looking into,” she pointed out.
Ms. Murray indicated that she would also recommend other engineering students to participate because of the wealth of knowledge that was made avaliable.
Final year UTECH student, Shaneque Edwards, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, said the programme taught her both the technical and non-technical aspects of running a cement business.
“This is something that will come in handy, irrespective of the programme we are in and I believe that it has allowed us to be more open-minded even after our journey at university has ended,” she noted.
Ms. Edwards said that a bonus of the programme was being able to draw parallels in other manufacturing businesses in Jamaica, which would prepare her for employment in other sectors.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Caribbean Cement Company, Yago Castro, wants to see more students enrolled in the programme and encouraged the participants to spread the message of CEMEX Campus to others.
“This is about the future of the country. The role of cement is important especially in creating more resilient infrastructure in Jamaica. Help us to convey this message to all your colleagues. We are trying to create that critical mass of people that can be a part of our company in the future,” he said.
Chairman of Caribbean Cement Parris Lyew-Ayee, for his part, described the programme as successful, noting that the second staging will open up to students from other universities such as the Caribbean Maritime University as well as to include our companies in Bahamas and Trinidad.
“I think it was a success and the co-ordination and the working was good. I have been getting inputs from the professors who note that the feedback from the students are highly appreciative,” he said.
Launched in March for the first time in Jamaica, the CEMEX Campus 2021 is another of CEMEX’s youth development initiatives.
This also includes the CEMEX Professionals in Development (PDP) programme.