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The Runaway Bay HEART Academy commenced operations in November 1986. This institution was established with the objective of satisfying the demand for skilled workers in the hospitality industry. The first batch of eighty trainees commuted daily to the Academy from various communities in the parish of St. Ann. Another group of one hundred and twenty trainees started their courses in March 1987, and this constituted the first residential batch. The training programs at that time consisted of six months of theoretical training and six months of practical experience in a hotel, where trainees were allowed to serve guests and carry out other customer service base duties. The original complement of courses was Front Office Operations, Food & Beverage Service, Housekeeping, Food Preparation, Hotel Maintenance and Landscaping, which were augmented by the introduction of the Villa Training course in 1987