USAID workforce development program celebrates partnerships serving disadvantaged youth

By Ruth Chisholm

March 24, 2023


For immediate release

March 23, 2023

Passing the torch

USAID workforce development program celebrates partnerships serving disadvantaged youth.

March 23, 2023. Kingston, Jamaica— On March 23 the USAID Advance program celebrated the end of a bold journey to provide disadvantaged youth with new or better employment opportunities. This was done in collaboration with The Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica, the University of Technology, Jamaica and the Vocational Training Development Institute. With USAID support, these partnerships yielded six new and revised associate degree programs based on labor market intelligence, distributed over 200 scholarships to disadvantaged youth, and established four learning labs and resource centers. Advance also fostered partnerships between its partner schools and the private sector and implemented customized school-to-work transition activities to help prepare students for the world of work.

During the closing ceremony, the Honorable Minster of Education Fayval Williams added her appreciation for the Advance Program and commended Advance for its work done with teachers and pre-service teachers. According to the minister “Jamaica has been a grateful recipient of USAID interventions over these years.” She continued “… the bond between our governments and its people has grown significantly. Jamaica commits to being a dependable ally as we work with agencies like USAID to improve the educational outcomes and standard of living of our people.”

U.S. Ambassador N. Nick Perry applauded the program, noting “The United States is proud that Advance could support just such an effort. We look forward to seeing the higher education institutions continue to collaborate with the private sector, evolve to meet industry demand, and ensure that Jamaica’s youth have the skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce.

U.S. Ambassador N. Nick Perry gives special remarks during the Advance Program closeout event: The Advance Experience on March 23, 2023

Also implemented in Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, Advance partnered with higher education institutions to deliver market-relevant skills to disadvantaged youth. In Jamaica, Advance focused on the agribusiness, health and wellness tourism and creative industries and worked with its partners to develop technical and employability skills among youth. In addition to curriculum work, Advance also supported the partner institutions in professional development, social and emotional learning, as well as custom recruitment and access  activities to serve youth from diverse backgrounds.

As the program comes to a close, partner institutions are well-positioned to build on the resources developed, the technical programs provided, and the learning labs established, to further expand technical industry-driven training options to youth across Jamaica.

Advance is funded by USAID and implemented by FHI 360. For more information on the program visit


Contact: Cait-Amoi Goulbourne, Communication Specialist, Advance Program., 876-366-5779

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