Project to expand job opportunities for at-risk Nicaraguan youth launches

By Gretchen Robleto

April 18, 2016


Managua – A new workforce development project that seeks to tie job training for at-risk youth with the needs of employers in Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast launched April 14.

Called the Technical Vocational Education and Training Strengthening for At-Risk Youth project, known in Spanish as Aprendo y Emprendo, the four-year project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development targets 14 to 29 year olds. It will be implemented by Creative Associates International.

Project Director Rose Mary Garcia spoke at the launch on April 14, noting that the youth involved in the project would be an “inspiration” to others. Photo by Gretchen Robleto.

“We seek to promote a comprehensive education model that combines classroom training and life skills with the private sector in the design of curricula, and promotes internships to obtain jobs and raise the profile of technical careers,” said Tim Gehr, USAID Nicaragua Director, speaking at the project April 14 launch at the Roberto Clemente Fe y Alegría school in Ciudad Sandino, Managua.

The project will also provide 1,000 young people with full scholarships for training.

The inauguration was attended by representatives of the private sector and government, as well as students and parents.

Cooperation with the private sector will be key to the project’s success, ensuring that trainees gain in-demand competencies that then lead to jobs, said USAID’s Gehr.

“The project will work to increase collaboration and the exchange of information with the private sector so that vocational and technical centers train the workforce with the skills” that the private sector requires, he said.

USAID Nicaragua Mission Director Ted Gehr (left) met with youth trainees at the project launch on April 14. Photo by Gretchen Robleto.

By equipping job seekers and entrepreneurs along the Caribbean coast with sought-after workforce skills, the project aims to improve the economic situation of the region and create more employment opportunities.

The project team will work closely with technical and vocational education and training centers and the private sector to promote positive references of and for youth from the Caribbean Coast, explained Rose Mary Garcia, Project Director and head of Community Economic Development at Creative.

These youth “will then serve as inspiration for others and lead the creation of opportunities and the development of the Caribbean Coast,” she said.

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