Diageo USVI to Invest $150,000 in Virgin Islands Workforce Development

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Diageo USVI to Invest $150,000 in Virgin Islands Workforce Development

Award to University of the Virgin Islands to Fund Scholarships, Technical Laboratory
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 12:05pm

CAMPAIGN: Contributions to the Community

CONTENT: Press Release

St. Croix, USVI, August 12, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Diageo USVI announced today that it is investing $150,000 in the University of the Virgin Islands Process Technology program, a part of the College of Science and Mathematics. The funds will be awarded as $50,000 annual grants over three years, with a plan to review the investment at the end of the term for renewal.

“One of the core four focus areas for our community engagement is Education & Workforce Development,” explained Colman Hanna, vice president of operations at Diageo USVI. Colman assumed leadership of Diageo’s St. Croix distillery last fall and is looking to increase focus on internship and similar programs. “We believe the University of the Virgin Islands Process Technology program is an excellent source for talented employees for the Territory. Whether or not we have a place at Diageo for the graduates we will support, we know helping to build a skilled workforce is good for USVI communities and the economy.”

The grant will include an earmark of $25,000 for annual scholarships. The remaining funds will be used toward projects dedicated to the support and growth of the Process Technology program.

“The viability and continued growth of the Process Technology program hinges on the type of collaborative effort and partnership established between Diageo USVI and the University of the Virgin Islands,” said Eric Douglas, UVI director of the Process Technology program. “In addition to financial support, Diageo USVI also offers internships to UVI Process Technology students – a very critical component of the program.”

Part of the donation from Diageo USVI will be used to partially fund the development and implementation of a Computer Process Simulation and Control Laboratory. This laboratory will provide students enrolled in the program with hands-on training that is critical for their success as process technicians. It will include a wide-range of process simulation modules including a distillation system process module and an ethanol plant process module.

This past spring, two UVI Process Technology students completed eight-week long internships at Diageo’s distillery to meet the final requirements for completing the two-year program. Students rotated through the plant, working and shadowing operators for approximately one week at a time across seven units.

“We know the importance of having hands-on experience to help translate some of the theory learned in the classroom into a real work setting,” said Hanna. “This extended commitment to the University’s process technology program is one way we are expanding our investment in students like our recent interns.”

In June 2008 the US Virgin Islands and Diageo USVI began a public-private initiative for the construction and operation of a high capacity rum distillery on St. Croix, USVI. This 30-year commitment is providing a major economic stimulus for the entire Territory of the US Virgin Islands. Today, all the rum used to make Captain Morgan branded products for the US market comes from the US Virgin Islands. Captain Morgan is a global leader among premium spirits and is the second leading rum in the world.

For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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Founded in 1962, the University of the Virgin Islands is a public, co-ed, land-grant HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in the United States Virgin Islands. Approximately 2,500 students are enrolled on the two campuses: the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and the St. Thomas Campus. The institution offers 39 undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs across its five colleges and schools.

UVI is dedicated to the success of its students and committed to enhancing the lives of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean through excellent teaching, innovative research, and responsive community service. UVI is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Erica J. Johnson
+1 (917) 330-6740
Diageo USVI
Tamika Thomas Williams
+1 (340) 693-1058
University of the Virgin Islands
Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Diageo | Education | USVI | University of the Virgin Islands | scholarship

CAMPAIGN: Contributions to the Community

CONTENT: Press Release