In Latin America and the Caribbean, one in five young people ages 15 to 24 is out of school and not working, and this number is projected to rise. To improve youth employability, the Advance project is strengthening the capacity of two- and three-year technical tertiary education programs to meet the needs of disadvantaged youth in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In each of the focus countries, FHI 360 engages stakeholders from the education sector and the private sector to make technical training programs more relevant to the market based on country-specific workforce needs. Building on initial crosscutting assessments in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica that help bridge the gap between existing technical education and labor market needs, Advance improves the capacity of target institutions in five key areas: (1) curriculum and pedagogy, (2) professional development of faculty and staff, (3) labor-bridging and career services, (4) admissions, recruitment and student support services, and (5) scholarships. Advance provides institutional strengthening support to three technical institutions per country over the life of the project.
Advance's theory of change suggests that if we reach upper secondary-aged youth in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica to help them understand their post-secondary choices, reach technical training institutions to build their capacity in specific programs and services, and reach employers in these four countries to better understand their workforce needs and how these needs align with technical education programs, then more disadvantaged youth will obtain better or new employment. Advance also promotes the exchange of best practices in technical tertiary education and workforce development among all countries.