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TSTT provides the ‘vehicle’ to re-awaken MLIO

The Morvant Laventille Improvement Organisation (MLIO) Auto Mechanic and Auto Body Repairs training program was given a timely and important jump from TSTT. The company presented MLIO with a refurbished Mazada stationwagon and a dis-assembled Toyota Pick-up, including the cab, tray, chassis, engine and transmission. One of the  vehicles will be used by MLIO for their transportation needs and the other will be used as a training model for students.

Over the past year TSTT has refurbished several vehicles, which were then donated to community-based organizations for use in charitable and social welfare programs. Such vehicles form part of the TT$3M TSTT annually contributes in money, services and equipment to help not for profit organizations achieve their mandate for improving life within the communities they serve. Putting its resources into these organizations has enabled TSTT to develop another avenue through which it can positively impact its customers. 

The MLIO has been in operation since 1986, providing vocational training and welfare assistance to out-of-school youths from Morvant and Laventille. In its heyday, founder and advisor Lennox Smith said MLIO trained up to 300 students annually. Young men and women between the ages of 15 – 19 years can enroll in programs to learn auto mechanics, auto body repairs, electronics, carpentry, house wiring, plumbing, welding and literacy skills.

However, according to Smith, over the past three years interest has dropped off because of limited materials and equipment needed for the training. About 60 students are presently enrolled in the training programs. As a not for profit organization, Smith says MLIO relies on the goodwill of corporate and private citizens, but has never come close to the $1.5 million dollars he estimates the organization needs annually. “For that reason MLIO is extremely grateful for TSTT’s timely donation. Auto mechanic and auto body repairs training continue to be the most popular programs we have to offer. The vehicles TSTT provided will help our plans to boost enrollment in those programs,” said Smith.

“MLIO wants to have more youths enrolled here and off the streets, because, based on our record, they would be set on the right track.” As part of their training, students also spend a portion of their time as apprentices in companies. Smith said that many have graduated and gone on to hold down good jobs in the Protective Services, the Port Authority, PTSC, Neal and Massey and TOYOTA and some have even started their own small business.