Clarendon entrepreneur invests in at-risk youth
GLASSWORK DESIGNS operator Jason Hines knows what it feels like to be denied a helping hand in the start-up stage of his business. As a young entrepreneur trying to get his art and craft design business off the ground, he would see more closed doors than he would have liked as he reached out in the search for sponsorship.
However, he said not one to give up, he persevered until organisations started sponsoring him, one such being the Clarendon Municipal Corporation as he was one of the Youth In Business recipients.
“I made a promise to myself that anyone I see that would want to learn, I would reach out to them,” he shared with The Gleaner from his workshop in Spaldings, Clarendon.
Hines, who has now included window making, shower enclosures and other glass products into his repertoire, said he hardly have time now to focus on the art and craft segment he started off with.
However, regarding the promise he made to sew back into the lives of young people, he has so far invested in more than he can remember.
Sharing on his first mentee, Dylan Stewart, he said others have now migrated or have launched out on their own.
Hines shared that overseas recruiters reached out to him as well.
“Reason why I don’t leave, I have gotten the opportunity, but I have so much work out here, it’s like every time I get an opportunity, I always have work on work to do,” he shared.
Hines, who is a strong believer in volunteerism, said he is reaching out to fellow entrepreneurs to make it a part of their lifestyle as he said it can prove useful when just launching out.
“It will advertise you and bring networking opportunities,” he shared.
A past student of Spalding High School, Hines said glasswork was not on his agenda as during his high school years he did auto mechanic. After leaving school, he sent applications to several auto parts places and garages, scrap yards – all proving unsuccessful.
“So a say, mi a go try something different so mi start fi work at Patmore Hardware next door to where his workshop is,” he recalled.
George Riley, one of the managers at the time, said he taught him how to cut glass, and from then Hines said he took the training and started earning with it as he made picture frames, saving pan and jewellery box.
Now, 18 years later, Hines is a regular at schools’ career day sessions, reshaping the future of young men from boys’ homes as well as out of the penal institutions. As he look to the future, Hines said he would want to be able to sell raw materials to those who are learning the trade now as the materials can be very expensive for those who do not know the best dealers.