HEART first came into being at an inaugural meeting on July 23, 1982.
That meeting was hosted by Seaga with the leadership of Dr Joyce Robinson, Steadley Webster, Dr Winsome Gordon, Quince Francis,
Gloria Priestly, Ronan Critchlow, Leonard Henry, Lionel Robinson, G R Kirkpatrick, Leon Gordon, J.E.N Stephens, Geoff Messado,
George Phillips, Mike Fennell, Henry Lowe, and Geoffrey Brown. Dr Robinson was later appointed managing director, and Webster was appointed
chairman of HEART.
In August, Seaga tabled the HEART Act of 1982 in the House of Representatives, aimed at reducing unemployment and, on September 1, 1982,
the HEART Act
came into effect.
The preparations for this Government-spearheaded institute came to a climax on November 4, 1982 when the HEART Programme was officially
launched at the National Arena.
By January 1984, the success of the programme resulted in the opening of HEART’s first Academy – Stony Hill Academy, now a campus in the
HEART Eastern TVET Institute. The academy started with 150 trainees and began offering courses in stenography, typing, accounts,
book-keeping, data and word processing, production and stock control. The School of Cosmetology, now the HEART College of Beauty Services,
was also opened in January 1984.