CAY HILL: St. Maarten Training Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization that served as a response to the hospitality industry and its employees post Hurricane Irma – completed its mission to provide training opportunities, industry certifications and other financial support, during one of the country’s hardest hit times.
SMTF has provided 5,184 certifications to more than 2,381 students over the course of its operations.
All students received a stipend while attending the courses, kept their jobs and benefits with their original employers, received medical insurance and a transportation allowance to attend classes, while improving their knowledge and skills. SMTF also offered courses to many individuals outside the hospitality industry who lost their job post Irma, providing an opportunity into a new career path.
SMTF was founded on December 22, 2017. The mission addressed the immediate concerns of lay-offs and the welfare of employees and aided the development of, and further advancements of professional skill sets.
The Government of St. Maarten supported the initiative via the Ministers of Finance, and Labor and Social Affairs, and the Dutch Representation. Subsequently, the initiative was financed via the St, Maarten Recovery Trust Fund.
The foundation ceased operations on May 31.