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Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Date:  7/7/2016 
Workforce Development

“To strengthen specific public policies and programs for young people with a view to striving to halve by 2025 the number of young people neither studying nor working, through ongoing technical and vocational education and training, promotion of scholarships and academic mobility, and by fostering human talent through new pedagogies influenced by the arts, innovation and entrepreneurship to help enable them to successfully transition from school to the work place.” (Prosperity with Equity:
The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas 2015 Mandates for Action; Education,
“To design and implement or strengthen public policies to improve economic and social conditions to generate more and better opportunities for advancement of our populations, particularly young people, through the development of human talent, the creation of more and better jobs, the stimulation of the productive sector, access to credit, and improved citizen security, among other factors, so that the decision to migrate can be taken freely and voluntarily.” (Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas, 2015 Mandates for Action; Migration, 1)

Workforce Development Programs

Achieving regional stability and long-term prosperity in the global economy depends on preparing youth with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century workforce. More than 70 active IAF grants totaling $17.6 million to civil society organizations in the Americas are dedicated to supporting alternative or supplemental education programs, microenterprise development and training in vocational, technical, leadership and life skills for marginalized young people. Since the crisis of unaccompanied minors began in 2014, the IAF has continued to shift resources to Central America for programs that improve economic opportunity, citizen security and civic participation. In FY15, 45 percent of the IAF’s activity in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras benefited young people directly. Grantee partners are working to create employment opportunities and teach children and adolescents skills that match the labor market and help them become engaged in community life.

During his remarks in Jamaica directly prior to the 2015 Summit of the Americas, President
Obama announced $68 million in new funding aimed at improving education, training, and employment programs for youth that provide at-risk youth with the skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st century. These programs include:
•?USAID: A $35 million USAID regional workforce development program designed to strengthen the capacity of technical training institutions to provide market relevant training for disadvantaged populations in Central America and the Caribbean was awarded to FHI-360 in September 2015. The target countries for the program include Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica. The program builds off of the $50 million 2009 Summit initiative Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED). USAID has signed a cooperative agreement with FHI-360 to begin implementation of the program, which will take place in Guatemala, Honduras, and Jamaica. A work plan for key life of project activities is being finalized, and the implementer has already begun vital country-level analyses, including labor market assessments and mapping of technical training service providers. In Suriname, the USAID Youth Development and Juvenile Justice project works at preventing at-risk youth involvement in crime and violence. Over 2,000 youth have participated in the project, over 400 found employment and an additional 26 have started their own businesses. The project's success is based on two complementary approaches: providing youth linkage to employment, vocational education and related opportunities; and supporting a stronger juvenile justice system that is more responsive to the rehabilitative needs of youth offenders.
•?Department of Labor (DOL): A $13 million DOL program in El Salvador and Honduras to build partnerships with employers to provide market-relevant skills training to approximately 5,100 at-risk youth. Participating youth will receive an extended period of follow-up support to help ensure they obtain and retain jobs, or can pursue opportunities for self-employment or further education. In its first seven months of implementation, 15 different sites have been selected where services will be offered to youth in low-income areas of San Salvador and Santa Ana in El Salvador, and San Pedro Sula, Choloma, and El Progreso in Honduras. A market study of entry-level employment opportunities for youth has been completed and will be published in the coming months.

Since the 2015 Summit of the Americas, DOL has also participated in youth employment exchanges to include site visits with counterparts from Colombia. The exchanges took place in Washington, DC, and Cartagena. Additionally, in April 2016, DOL received a request for bilateral cooperation from the Ministry of Labor of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the area of youth employment and employment services. Subject to the availability of funding, DOL will support a 2-5 day youth employment exchange with Saint Kitts and Nevis to take place in Washington, DC in the summer or fall of 2016. Organizations in the Bahamas, Mexico, and Jamaica have also reached out to DOL about future cooperation.

The DOL is also working with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to prepare for a regional youth apprenticeship conference to be hosted by the IDB in September 2016 in Washington, DC. The IDB plans to invite the Vice Ministers of Labor from the Americas region to participate. A site visit to a local apprenticeship program will also take place in close consultation with DOL.

•?Millennium Challenge Corporation: A $20 million education project under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) threshold agreement with Guatemala to improve the education quality, equity, and relevance of secondary education to better prepare youth to succeed in the labor market. The MCC program will also support efforts to mobilize additional resources from the Guatemalan government that would allow increased public funding for education. The program entered into force in May 2016 and, to date, MCC has worked with the government of Guatemala to recruit project staff and prepare the procurement documents for the program, which will begin implementation later this year.

In addition, MCC’s $100.7 million Human Capital Project under the El Salvador
Investment Compact will focus on preparing the people of El Salvador to better meet the demands of a global economy. The MCC will invest in approximately 350 schools in the coastal zone of El Salvador, focusing on grades 7-12, where dropout rates are the highest.
MCC will also support reforms in technical and vocational education and training to ensure an integrated system that better matches the skills delivered by education providers with the demands of the private labor market. Since the 2015 Summit, MCC, through the local accountable entity responsible for the implementation of the compact, has entered into an Implementing Entity Agreement with the Ministry of Education that will ensure that the project is developed and implemented jointly with the government and people of El Salvador in a sustainable and efficient manner. In a similar way, the
Technical Secretary of the Presidency and the Ministry of Economy have joined with the accountable entity in the elaboration of a strategy to actively engage the private sector in the reform of the technical and vocational education and training system.

Paragraphs: - Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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