One of the most effective ways to reach objectives and overcome problems is to unite efforts for a common goal. In this spirit, Honduras has developed a partnership for education and workforce so that key actors, such as the Secretary of Education, USAID and the private sector, could come together through seminars and workshops to improve the quality of education and labor insertion in Honduras.
As part of this effort, the Advance Program held workshops in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula with more than 50 representatives of the private sector, carried out through the coordination between USAID and the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility (FUNDAHRSE). At these workshops, the Advance Program had the opportunity to share the work being done with tertiary technical education in Honduras and what opportunities exist for a “win-win” relationship between academia and the private sector. These opportunities were grouped into four categories a) sharing private sector expertise, b) creating employment, c) financial contributions and d) linkages.
The Advance Program met with company representatives to explore common ground and the overlap between the companies’ efforts related to education and employment and the program’s objectives. Together, the representatives and program generated expressions of interest to develop partnerships in various areas including: internship opportunities for students and externships for faculty, curriculum reviews and validation of the technical degree programs being offered in partner institutions, trainings on soft skills, support on financial education programs, developing specific technical skills required for the job, corporate volunteering, and establishing requirements for technical degree formation in the academic sector of Honduras.
As the Advance Country Director for Honduras expressed, “This is an opportunity for us to meet each other, get to know what we each do on an individual basis and understand how in a strategic alliance we can join efforts in favor of education and employment for youth, with evidence that one plus one will always equal more than two, especially when it is in favor of others.”
As an example of the process, at the workshops representatives of the Zamora Terán Foundation, of Banco Lafise in Central América expressed the need for youth to know about the Linux environment for the development of Corporate Social Responsibility activities. As such, the Advance Program and the Centro Universitario Tecnológico (CEUTEC) of UNITEC will develop a training for students from the Web Design & Development technical degree program so that future graduates can have more tools that are demanded by the industry. The Advance Program will be following up with the more than 20 companies represented at this event to continue the conversation around possible partnerships with target partner universities