SMTF students and teachers posing with USLAUNDRY supervisor Ada Henriquez (second right).
CAY BAY–USLAUNDRY in Cay Bay recently hosted several groups of housekeeping students from Sint Maarten Training Foundation (SMTF) at its facilities in Cay Bay.
The visit was part of the Hospitality 360 course in which students learn about major areas of the hospitality industry. Housekeeping is the heart of the hotel business and professional laundry service is an essential part of housekeeping.
“The choice for visiting USLAUNDRY was a logical one, because they operate the only industrial-scale laundry facility with state-of-the-art equipment on the island,” said Hospitality Module Manager at SMTF Deborah Canale, who organised the trips.
“We are very appreciative of the management of USLAUNDRY and supervisor Ada Hernandez Simon for hosting all our students and giving them the opportunity to experience this efficiently run operation from close by. Most of the students had never been in a laundry before, or have seen the big automated equipment that is being used,” she added. “The laundry staff was more than happy to give the students hands-on experience by having them do the actual work.”
USLAUNDRY was, like many other companies in St. Maarten, largely destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Due to the irreparable damage, the service of this industrial laundry was forced to end. Despite many challenges and setbacks, the commitment of the owner and the workers paid off. With a lot of hard work and dedication, they managed to continue the activities of the laundry from a temporary building in Cay Bay.
The old location has now been cleaned and preparations for the construction of a new laundry are in full swing. The new laundry will be fully operational by June 2020, and will be able to compete with the world’s leading laundries in terms of safety, sustainability, hygiene and durability.
USLAUNDRY supervisor Ada Henriquez (centre) demonstrating the folding machine.
USLAUNDRY’s sustainability-driven mindset and state-of-the-art equipment will allow the laundry to meet all international regulations for industrial laundry operations. The Hospitality training programme is part of the Emergency Income Support and Training Programme (EISTP) which is financed by the government of the Netherlands, managed by the World Bank, and implemented by the National Recovery Programme Bureau (NRPB).
Besides hospitality training, SMTF also offers courses in Culinary, Construction, St. Maarten Culture and History (which is an integral part of hospitality and culinary), English as a Second Language, and Basic Literacy.
SMTF partners with University of St. Martin (USM) and National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) on some of the courses.
All enrolled students receive a stipend for attending classes and successfully completing the programme, as well as medical coverage through Social and Health Insurances SZV in addition to a small transportation allowance.
SMTF is located at Hillside Christian Schools’ Asha Stevens Campus in Cay Hill.