FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
M1 Enterprises USVI Achieves RTPark Milestone: First Full Repayment of VI Catalyst Fund Loan, Spearheading Innovative Workforce Development and Driving Economic Growth
St Croix, US Virgin Islands - The UVI Research and Technology Park (RTPark) proudly announces M1 Enterprises USVI's (M1) successful repayment of their VI Catalyst Fund loan within 90 days. This significant loan—structured as a line of credit—was utilized to boost healthcare training in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), played a crucial role in avoiding a potential scale-down of healthcare career training in the region.
The Virgin Islands Catalyst Fund Loan, a capital financing program administered by the RTPark, was instrumental in supporting the M1 Healthcare & Technology Career Training program, enabling the graduation of a total of 54 US Virgin Islanders who now hold certificates in high-growth, high-demand skills. Over the past seven months, M1 has conducted three (3) training cohorts while participating in the Department of Labor’s Workforce Development Training Program. The Catalyst Fund Loan Review Committee approved a line of credit, which provided up-front working capital, enabling M1 to conduct the training while waiting for payments from the Department of Labor. This is precisely one of the reasons that the Catalyst Fund was created—to assist new and expanding companies in the territory successfully navigate some of the obstacles that often accompany doing business in the Virgin Islands.
At the core of M1's vision lies the creation of a Healthcare & Technology Remote Workforce HUB in the USVI, promoting the opportunity for all Virgin Islanders to "Learn, Live & Work Remote in the U.S. Virgin Islands." In line with this objective, M1 has launched additional technology certifications to broaden career prospects and combat the challenge of brain drain in the region, which aligns with the RTPark's commitment to fostering economic development and creating a skilled workforce to benefit the USVI community.
Omar Jarvis, a USVI native, can be seen as a shining example of the success of M1's initiatives. Initially planning to move to the mainland for more career opportunities, Omar's interest shifted to the technology field after contacting M1 about remote work opportunities. M1 directed him to research AWS (Amazon Web Services - Cloud Computing), a career field that intrigued Omar.
When asked if he would stay in the USVI if M1 sponsored his training, Omar confidently responded, "Yes, this is my home."
M1 promptly provided access to training, and Omar successfully completed the entry-level course, currently preparing for the AWS Practitioner Certification Exam. Omar's journey exemplifies the impact of M1's independent funding initiative in fostering a skilled and empowered workforce in the USVI.
"M1’s support has been tremendous. The training provided has not only been versatile but engaging and on pace with industry standards," expressed Omar Jarvis, highlighting the effectiveness of M1's initiatives in providing quality training and fostering career growth opportunities.
The impact of M1's initiatives is evident, as the company has received inquiries from 367 US Virgin Islanders seeking remote workforce training opportunities. As a testimony to their commitment, Doug Rideout, CEO of M1, expressed, "Our goal is to continue seeking funding solutions to sustain the M1 remote workforce development efforts at any means necessary, to include private support, investment group support, student loan programs, M1 payment programs, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)-Equus funding, and RT Park funding."
M1 currently possesses the capacity to train 20 participants per month, amounting to 240 annually. Offering nine training programs, 65 participants are eligible for career training funding as of July 15, 2023, showcasing the demand for workforce development initiatives in the USVI. The company's capacity remains scalable to meet the growing demand for remote workforce training.
The Virgin Islands Catalyst Fund, created through USVI legislative act 8464 with an initial capitalization of $5 million, plays a vital role in supporting business growth, job creation, and incentivizing complementary economic development in the USVI. Managed by the University of Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park, the Fund provides loans to businesses that are eligible and receive approval from the Fund's loan committee based on a completed loan application and underwriting analysis.
"We congratulate M1 Enterprises USVI on their successful repayment of the loan from the Catalyst Fund," said Ronnie N. Johnson, the Chief Credit Officer of the RTPark Community Impact Fund, Inc., which manages the Catalyst Fund for RTPark. Their success demonstrates the positive impact of the Catalyst Fund and the value of good corporate partners like M1, who are utilizing the program to drive economic development initiatives in the USVI."
RTPark CEO Peter H. Chapman also expressed his enthusiasm for M1's accomplishments and emphasized the success of the Catalyst Fund program. "M1's commitment to providing remote workforce development solutions is commendable, and we are thrilled to see the positive outcomes they have achieved," said Chapman. "The Catalyst Fund was created with the express purpose of supporting high impact businesses that create job opportunities for Virgin Islanders and promote economic growth within the community. M1's success story exemplifies the effectiveness of the Fund in fostering a skilled workforce and encouraging businesses to invest in the local community."
For media inquiries, please contact:
M1 Enterprises USVI
Sydney Paul, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications
About M1 Enterprises USVI:
M1 Enterprises USVI is a veteran-owned company dedicated to providing sustainable remote workforce development solutions in the US Virgin Islands. With a focus on healthcare and technology training programs, M1 aims to create a skilled and empowered workforce, contributing to economic growth in the region. For more information, visit www.m1enterprisesusvi.com.
About UVI Research and Technology Park (RTPark):
The UVI Research and Technology Park plays a key role in fostering innovation, research, and economic development in the US Virgin Islands. Managed by RTPark, the Catalyst Fund provides patient and flexible financing to support high-impact businesses that create job opportunities for Virgin Islanders and promote economic growth in the community. For more information