LG AC Academy Holds Graduation Ceremony.
The first class of 20 youth graduated from the Jordan Career Education Foundation (JCEF)'s innovative three-month program that provides youth with vocational and "soft skills" training previous to placing them in guaranteed jobs in the field of air-conditioning. This program, which will train a total of 100 youth ages 18-21, is made possible by support from the United States Department of State's Office of The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), www.mepi.state.gov. The JCEF is the Jordanian affiliate of the U.S.-based non-profit Education for Employment (EFE) Foundation, which operates MEPI-funded programs in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen. EFE's goal is to give youth with limited prospects hope and a stake in their own and their country's future, by providing them with cutting-edge professional training that leads directly to job opportunities.
The graduation ceremony took place at the LG AC Academy under the auspices of His Excellency Basem Khalil Al Salem and in the presence of Mr. Michael Hager - President of the EFE, Ms. Mayyada Abu-Jabr- CEO of the Jordan Career Education Foundation, Mr. Kevin Cha - General Manager of LG Electronics Amman office, Mr. Issam Samara - General Manager of Al Asalah Electromechanics - LG's exclusive agent for Commercial Air Conditioning systems in Jordan, Mr. Yasin Sarah - General Manager of Al Asalah academy - LG, in addition to representatives of the local media.
In his speech at the graduation ceremony, Jordan's Minister of Labor, His Excellency Basem Khalil Al Salem recounted how, during his earlier meeting, His Majesty King Abdullah II emphasized the importance of vocational training programs in Jordan. His Excellency stated that he is proud of the achievements of this initiative.
While university graduates constitute the highest percentage of unemployed youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, there is an overwhelming need to provide vocational and technical training for at-risk youth. The educational marketplace is skewed toward university graduates, rather than in-demand vocational technicians. In a fast-changing technological world, teaching without reference to what businesses need, if equipment is obsolete and curricula out-of-date, graduates will fail to meet the basic needs of employers.
In his speech, one of the program's young graduates, Mr. Mohammad Bargash, said, "My personal experience, in the technical and vocational training, which was empowered and completed with the 'soft skills' Workplace Success training, has created a solid foundation for me to start my future. Here we are all in front of you, ready and prepared to embark on our journey in life and enter the workforce, and here we are, promising you to be a role model for the other vocational groups that will follow us in the program, as we will continue to blossom on the road to success. I would like to thank the Jordan Career Education Foundation and Al-Asalah Pioneers Technology Academy for opening new doors of opportunity for us, and for enabling us to learn a new vocational skill that would clearly benefit our future, and Jordan's future.
This program is divided in two parts: First, EFE/JCEF's Workplace Success Program is an intensive, interactive 60-hour training course. Unlike the widespread, generic soft-skills programs, Workplace Success has been translated to Arabic and customized for the Jordanian vocational workplace. Students receive dynamic, practical, hands-on training in communications, customer service, leadership, successful business behavior, and teamwork; they are also guided in overriding principles, such as work ethic and self-confidence. Second, the vocational "hard skills" training is provided by LG AC Academy (Al-Asalah Pioneers Technology Academy- APTA) in Amman. APTA was founded in March 2007 by entrepreneur Mr. Issam Samarah. With this unique two-part program, the perception of vocational employment is transformed as students learn not only cutting-edge technical skills but also a mandate to achieve professional excellence -- thereby raising students' and society's perceptions of vocational professions. Mr. Issam Samara added that LG and Al Asalah's vision has always been to play an active role in the community. "It is this vision that in turn had steered us towards providing both financial and moral support for both the Middle East Partnership Initiative and the endeavors launched by the Education for Employment (EFE) Foundation. On this occasion I would like to thank both the Middle East Complex and LG Electronics for their support throughout this program, for it is their support that had enabled us to successfully implement our project"
Through its "private diplomacy," EFE/JCEF brings educators together with business leaders and government officials in charge of vocational and technical training. With experience training youth for employment in various industries, the JCEF is well positioned to pioneer additional vocational and technical training courses at the diploma or polytechnic level. As Ms. Mayyada Abu-Jaber, CEO of the JCEF, addressed the audience, "JCEF focuses its efforts on giving equal opportunities to various communities in Jordan as part of the community outreach initiative, targeting poverty pockets so that our graduates could aid their families after graduation and during their job placements."
JCEF has identified a winning combination: a high-growth career field in need of workers, skills training essential to getting a job, and access to a brighter future for disadvantaged youth. Work confers dignity, hope and purpose. By opening doors to job opportunities, EFE and its affiliate foundations are turning unemployed young people in Muslim-majority countries into active, vibrant citizens, ready to make a positive contribution to their society. As EFE's president, Mr. L. Michael Hager, told the audience, "This training program could not have happened without the generous fellowship support from the United States Department of State's Office of The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), www.mepi.state.gov. In blending hard and soft skills training, we have together equipped these graduates to work with both machines and people."
[c] 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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|Date:||Apr 8, 2008|
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