USAID Celebrates the Closing of Workforce Development Project

On May 17, 2023, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Community Support Program (CSP), held a closing ceremony for its four-year workforce development project in Lebanon. Since 2019, USAID invested $7.3 million to improve the skills of and employment opportunities for 1,087 unemployed or underemployed residents of vulnerable Lebanese communities.  USAID Lebanon’s Mission Director Mary Eileen Devitt, representatives from other donor agencies, technical and vocational education training (TVET) institution partners, and partner businesses attended the ceremony.

In her remarks, USAID Mission Director Eileen Devitt stated, “For years, we have invested in training and mentoring for students and young entrepreneurs here in Lebanon.  Whether through engaging them in municipal-community projects, or offering scholarships, or helping them achieve their business ideas, we are constantly striving to ensure that young Lebanese can access opportunities that can enhance their career prospects and allow them to contribute to the development of a strong and vibrant economy.”

During the event, participants reflected on project achievements, witnessed student testimonials, and held a panel discussion on recommendations for future workforce development programing in Lebanon. These included continued stakeholder collaboration to enhance TVET’s institutional capacity, sustained coordination to develop a national action plan to reform the TVET sector and investing in efforts to continue addressing the negative stigma associated with TVET education.

Through USAID’s workforce development project, CSP developed, adapted, and sought accreditation for five TVET curricula in three promising employment sectors: home-based health care, industrial repair and maintenance, and information and communication technology (ICT) in addition to a soft skills training course that was provided to all beneficiary students to improve their ability to compete for jobs. The courses are now available at CSP’s thirteen partner TVET institutes across Lebanon, where 1,055 job seekers aspiring to work in these sectors – primarily from the North, South, and Beqaa Valley regions of Lebanon – benefitted from scholarships. In addition to full tuition coverage, scholarship recipients received health insurance, a monthly stipend for transportation, and a computer or tablet to facilitate online learning. As part of its market-driven approach, CSP partnered with 48 private sector businesses and built linkages between them and the TVETs to facilitate graduates’ access to employment opportunities, resulting in more than 745 internship placements and full-time employment for 153 graduates. CSP also implemented an informative media campaign to raise awareness and improve public perceptions of TVET education which reached more than 1.5 million viewers.