U.S. backs Gen. Santos youth to complete tech-vocational training, land job

By Noralyn A. Macabalang

A U.S. Embassy-supplied photo showing some of the youth trainees receiving completion documents.

KIDAPAWAN CITY — The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has helped some 1,230 Filipino out-of-school and jobless youth gain vital preparation to find employment, in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), local government units, and private sectors.

In General Santos City, 89 USAID-supported youth completed technical-vocational training last month and almost half of them immediately secured full-time employment with private sector partners, according to a press statement from the U.S. Embassy in Manila. 

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Through its Opportunity 2.0 and YouthWorks PH programs, USAID assisted General Santos City youth to finish to finish TESDA courses in housekeeping, electrical installation and maintenance, computer servicing, and cookery, the statement furnished with the Philippine Muslim Today news said

“It is always amazing to me what youth can achieve if they are just given the opportunity and support they need.  This program has been a success mostly because of the resilient spirit of the youth.  But this would not have been possible without the partnerships that support these young people,” said USAID Philippines Senior Education Adviser Mirshariff Tillah. 

“Because of the sustainable alliance in your city, it is easier to connect upskilled youth to local opportunities in academia, business, and entrepreneurship,” Tillah was further quoted in the statement.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID collaborated with TESDA on restoring access to technical-vocational training in safe and inclusive ways through the TESDA Online Programs.  Partnerships with local industry, including some of Gen. Santos’ largest corporations, such as Alsons Group and KCC Group, provide the trained youth with a pathway to employment, the embassy statement said. 

The USAID also helped set up the General Santos City Youth Development Alliance, which connects youth to local businesses for employment and to other organizations for further education and entrepreneurship opportunities. 

For the past 60 years, USAID has partnered with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than Php247.5 billion ($5.1 billion) to support the Philippines, the embassy statement said. (NAM)

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