USAID backs project to upgrade tech manufacturing skills

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered with the ICCP Group Foundation, Inc., a non-profit affiliated with an economic zone developer, to improve the skills of the Philippines’ technology manufacturing workforce. 

USAID and the UNILAB Foundation signed a memorandum of agreement with the ICCP foundation to carry out a five-year Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development (AMDev) program. The program is ongoing and runs through September 2027.

“The project aims to strengthen the workforce through the development of an industry-led technical education system with better-defined, harmonized skills as well as qualifications descriptors and competency and training standards,” the ICCP Group said in a statement on Monday.

The foundation is the social development unit of the ICCP Group.

The AMDev program, which was among the initiatives announced by US Vice-President Kamala D. Harris in her recent visit, seeks to “create a highly skilled and adaptive workforce that meets the evolving requirements of the high-tech manufacturing sector.” 

Under the agreement, the ICCP foundation will join the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Council, which will “lead the effort to define and harmonize standards and qualifications for the workforce and identify strategic priorities. It will have three core functions: human capital development; policy, research, and advocacy; and stakeholder engagement among government, industry, and education sectors,” the ICCP Group said.  

“Specifically, (the foundation) shall lead in the skills gap and training needs analysis through the conduct of surveys with locators within industrial zones towards the development of a competency framework for the advanced manufacturing workforce,” it added.

The foundation will also help in the delivery of a training curriculum for the current and future workforce co-developed by partner firms and schools.

The ICCP Group owns and operates the Science Park of the Philippines, Inc., which operates ecozone estates in Cabuyao and Calamba, Laguna; Sto. Tomas and Malvar, Batangas; Hermosa, Bataan; and Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave