U.S. supports GenSan youth to complete technical-vocational training, find employment 

USAID Philippines Senior Education Adviser Mirshariff Tillah (second from left) joins TESDA Sarangani Provincial Director El Cid Castillo (second from right) and SK Federation President of General Santos City John Salvador D. Demdam (right) in awarding certificates to the TESDA Online Program completers.

The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has helped more than 1,230 Filipino out-of-school and unemployed youth gain much-needed technical-vocational training in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), local government units, and private sector partners.

In General Santos City, 89 USAID-supported youth completed technical-vocational training last month, with almost half immediately securing full-time employment with private sector partners.

Through its Opportunity 2.0 and YouthWorks PH programs, USAID supported General Santos City youth to complete TESDA courses in housekeeping, electrical installation and maintenance, computer servicing, and cookery.

“It is always amazing to me what youth can achieve if they are just given the opportunity and support they need.  This program has been a success mostly because of the resilient spirit of the youth.  But this would not have been possible without the partnerships that support these young people,” said USAID Philippines Senior Education Adviser Mirshariff Tillah.  “Because of the sustainable alliance in your city, it is easier to connect upskilled youth to local opportunities in academia, business, and entrepreneurship.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID collaborated with TESDA on restoring access to technical-vocational training in safe and inclusive ways through TESDA Online Programs.  Partnerships with local industry, including some of General Santos’ largest corporations, such as Alsons Group and KCC Group, provide the trained youth with a pathway to employment.

USAID also helped set up the General Santos City Youth Development Alliance, which connects youth to local businesses for employment, and to other organizations for further education and entrepreneurship opportunities.

For the past 60 years, USAID has partnered with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than Php247.5 billion ($5.1 billion) to support the Philippines.