Plans by the government are in the offing to convert lands around Hope Gardens in St. Andrew into a technology park. Story Highlights Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry, Hon. Horace Chang confirmed that by the end of 2018, the first 300,000 square foot of space will be established to employ up to 6,000 individuals. The technology park is expected to provide additional spaces for the development of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) entities and feature a number of other high specification office spaces. Plans by the government are in the offing to convert lands around Hope Gardens in St. Andrew into a technology park.Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry, Hon. Horace Chang confirmed that by the end of 2018, the first 300,000 square foot of space will be established to employ up to 6,000 individuals.“We know that coming to this area, companies will want to employ graduates and even post-graduate persons at competitive salaries,” he said.Dr. Chang was speaking at a Business Process Outsourcing Career Fair, hosted by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), at the University of Technology (UTECH) in St. Andrew, on November 3.The technology park is expected to provide additional spaces for the development of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) entities and feature a number of other high specification office spaces.Through the Housing Act of 1969, the Government has been making available to developers, public lands to build out BPO spaces through public private partnerships.Additionally, Parliament recently approved the Special Economic Zone Regulations, which now enable licensed BPO developers to enjoy significant tax and customs benefits as they build out operations.“We want economic growth, we want industry and development and there must be job creation because the most important thing in overcoming poverty and realising prosperity is the creation of jobs and productivity,” Dr. Chang said.Meanwhile, turning to the need for more engineers, the Minister without Portfolio informed that the Government has already begun examining ways to ensure that all students of engineering graduate.“I have given a commitment to the Prime Minister that I will find the funding that all the current engineering [students] from the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus) and those at UTECH and the Caribbean Maritime University, who are having challenges to pay their fees, will be done,” he said.Beyond that, Dr. Chang noted that in the coming academic year the government is looking to find funding to ensure that at least “500 and ultimately 1000 students can apply to do engineering”.Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, in his remarks, informed that among the plans by the government, is the training of 10,000 students per year in preparation for the BPO industry.In furtherance of this plan, all secondary school students will be exposed to BPO fundamentals, “for customer engagement operations on a phased basis”.Approximately 2,400 students are currently enrolled in the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) in direct BPO and related courses, including: call contact centres, customer engagement operations, computer servicing and support, data operations and overall customer service.For her part, JAMPRO President, Diane Edwards, said the BPO Career Fair at UTECH is the first in a series of fairs being held and a second one will held be in Montego Bay shortly.She noted that the objective of the fairs is to help build an understanding of the BPO among young people looking for their first job opportunity; provide a forum for the 50 BPOs to speak to the youth about their ethos; and to open them up to potential job opportunities.At the career fair, students from a number of institutions were present. BPOs such as Sutherland Global, IBEX Global, Avasant and VXI Global Solutions were also present to share their experiences with interested individuals.
Researchers have found that taking hot yoga classes lowered the blood pressure of adults with elevated or stage 1 hypertension. While there is evidence of regular, room-temperature yoga’s positive effect on blood pressure, little is known about hot yoga’s potential impact on blood pressure, said researchers who presented the study at Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions in the US. “The results of our study start the conversation that hot yoga could be feasible and effective in terms of reducing blood pressure without medication,” said study author Stacy Hunter, Assistant Professor at Texas State University. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHot yoga is a modern practice, typically offered in a hot, humid atmosphere, with room temperatures around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. For the recently conducted study, the research team recruited 10 men and women, between ages 20-65 years. Participants had either elevated blood pressure (systolic blood pressure between 120 mmHg to 129 mmHg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg) or stage 1 hypertension (130 mmHg to 139 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg to 89 mmHg diastolic pressure.) Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe research team randomly assigned five participants to take 12 weeks of three times-weekly hour-long hot yoga classes and they assigned the other five to a control group of no yoga classes. They compared the average blood pressures of the two groups after the 12 weeks. The researchers looked at average 24-hour blood pressure readings, as well as perceived stress and vascular function of participants in both groups. They found systolic blood pressure dropped from an average 126 mmHg at the study’s start to 121 mmHg after 12 weeks of hot yoga. Average diastolic pressure also decreased from 82 mmHg to 79 mmHg in the hot yoga group. According to the study, average blood pressure did not change among the five adults in the control group, those who did not take hot yoga classes. Perceived stress levels fell among those in the hot yoga group but not in the non-yoga group, the research said.