NCB ICON Lab Kickstarts the First Cohort of Trainees in Jamaica

Introductory session of NCB ICON Lab
  • The purpose of the program is to encourage innovation, foster digital inclusion, and economic opportunities in Jamaica.
  • Training will focus on essential life skills, entrepreneurship, communications skills, and augmented reality.
  • In partnership with Human Elevation Lab (Helelab), The Trust will measure the level of skills acquired during this training.  

Washington, D.C. June 15, 2020.- The Trust for the Americas with kind support from the N.C.B. Foundation kickstarted today with the first cohort of trainees of the NCB ICON Lab in Jamaica.


The NCB ICON Lab promotes an entrepreneurial and learning mindset for Jamaican youth to become referents as well as becoming change agents in their communities. ICON is an acronym that stands for Innovative, Creative, Outstanding, and Nationalistic.


During April and May 2020, The Trust for the Americas carried out the "Train-the-trainers" (TTT) with The MICO University College. The Objective was to equip teachers with the tools they need to provide training to youth. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, The Trust and The Mico University converted the Lab's curriculum and training plan into an online model to meet social distancing standards.


A group of fifty beneficiaries, ages ranging from sixteen to thirty years old, will join the introductory session as the pilot cohort. Training will run from mid-June to August and will focus on teaching essential life skills, entrepreneurship, communications skills, and using the innovative approach of augmented reality to deliver content. Participants will also take part in online Ideathons and a Pitch Tank event that will be celebrated at the end of the training.

Nadeen Matthews Blair, CEO of the N.C.B. Foundation, stated that "COVID-19 has accelerated the digital divide at a time when digital literacy skills are needed more than ever to thrive in the new normal. This initiative is timely, and we are proud to play a part in preparing our youth with technical and life skills to impact their lives positively."


Also, The Trust for the Americas, in collaboration with Helelab, a consulting company that provides knowledge to organizations regarding the digital economy's impact, designed a plan to evaluate training' success.  The Monitoring and Evaluation methodological approach will focus on mapping the participants' Digital Skills "Genome" and tracking their evolution for the course's duration. Data will be centralized and analyzed in Helelab's specialized 'FutureSkills' platform to provide a more in-depth analysis of participants' digital and entrepreneurial skills.


Linda Eddleman, CEO of the Trust for the Americas, attended the introductory session to support the eager trainees and provided remarks regarding the importance of this partnership: "The Trust for the Americas is pleased to be part of this youth-driven initiative among the N.C.B. Foundation and the Mico University College. By working together, we can achieve the development of models that encourage innovation, foster digital inclusion, and economic opportunities in Jamaica."


Dr. Asburn Pinnock, President of The Mico University College also joined the session and commented, "The Mico University College is pleased to partner with the NCB Foundation and Trust for the Americas to empower and provide another pathway for our youths to gain relevant 21st-century skills.  We look forward to a rewarding training program as The Mico fulfills its mandate in presenting opportunities for Jamaicans.  We do it the only way we know how - We do it with our might."






About The Trust for the Americas: 

The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., Colombia, and Canada. 

More information:  

Facebook: The Trust for the Americas  Twitter:   @Trust4Americas 

About the N.C.B. Foundation:

Established in 2003, the N.C.B. Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the NCB Financial Group Limited. With its focus on three primary areas – Education, Community Development and Sports, and Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship—the N.C.B. Foundation embraces sustainable charitable causes, and contribute to the acceleration of national development. From investing in scholarships at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels and empowering youths with skills in leadership and entrepreneurship to enhancing trainees' lives through training in various skills-based programs. The N.C.B. Foundation is committed to elevating and empowering the people in the communities it serves. To date, the N.C.B. Foundation has donated over J$1.5 billion to various charitable initiatives, positively impacting the lives of over 250,000 Jamaicans.

Facebook: Twitter: @NCBFoundation

About Mico

Mico University College is the oldest and largest English-speaking specialist teacher training educational institution in the Caribbean. For 180 years, Mico University College has been at the forefront of efforts to improve access to quality educational opportunities in Jamaica. Mico University College has highly trained staff, with years of experience in the field of innovation.


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