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Board & Staff

Gary Robinson

Born and raised in Jamaica, Gary loved the outdoors and the huge farm that was his family’s home. Surrounded by produce, turkeys, rabbits, geese and peacocks, “There was never a dull moment,” he said. “And in the limited down time we did have, we played cricket or soccer.”

But it wasn’t all play in his spare time, and that was okay. “We were a practical family, and where it was possible to fix things instead of replace them, that’s what we did,” said Gary, who thinks of himself as a Jack-of-all-trades. “This was especially true when it came to electronic components or anything to do with automobiles. If the gear box, starter or alternator on a vehicle was broken, I’d help my dad take them apart and repair them.”

Like many of us, Gary remembers that one special teacher who had a positive impact on his education: His high school electrical teacher, Mr. Reed. “He was very inspiring, and the way he taught us made everything seem easy. This planted a seed in my mind that I wanted to be an instructor like him,” said Gary. He kept that thought in mind, and ultimately enrolled at the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) and was part of the first graduating class of Electrical Instructors. With the growth of the bauxite and other industries across the Island, there was a great demand for skilled workers, so Gary’s certification – built upon his practical experience – was put to immediate use.

And this is where the alignment between Gary’s teaching career and his current position at AmSkills would begin to take shape. “I started teaching at a technical high school, where we focused on students graduating with marketable skills, fully competent in the skill of their choice,” said Gary. Students went through a one-year introductory program that introduced them to everything from electronics and electrical installation to metal works, auto mechanics and business management. They would then decide their specific course of study leading to their graduation three years later. Not unlike AmSkills, the school partnered with industry which recruited and hired many of the graduates.

Gary had found his passion, and his love for teaching would carry him through the next seventeen years in Jamaica. “Not only did I get to do something I love, but I hopefully influenced and changed lives for the better,” he said. “I feel I am blessed with a unique ability to look beyond people’s circumstances and identify their true potential.”

Gary joined the AmSkills team January 2023 as Technical Instructor in charge of the Career Discovery Bootcamps. He introduces students to multiple hands-on projects including blueprint and precision measurement, soldering, electrical and mechatronics; guides their tours of local manufacturers; helps them to prepare and receive multiple nationally recognized certifications; helps assess their employability skills, and prepare them for job interviews.

“It is truly an honor to serve alongside such a professional and committed team, and I am grateful that AmSkills has rekindled my passion to serve,” said Gary. “Seeing people’s lives changed for the better – uplifting and empowering them in their communities through our workforce training and apprenticeship programs – is a rewarding experience.”