A Private Sector Perspective on Public-Private Partnerships in Challenging Contexts for Workforce Development
August 18, 2009 – 3:30 p.m.
|Presenters: ||Margaret Bishop, CHF International/Haiti|
Will Duncan, Industry Services [TC]2
Patrick Bonnefil, Haytian Tractor and Equipment Co., S.A.
Brian Hays, Bèl Soley, Inc.
This session discussed the Konbit Ak Tet Ansanm (KATA) Program, funded by USAID and implemented by CHF International. The program is comprised of job creation efforts in three sectors: construction (training Haitians to operate heavy machinery), textiles (the creation of the Haitian Apparel Institute), and agriculture (the export of Haitian peppers and pepper products to the United States). Main topics discussed included program overview, ways to improve workforce development programs, and lessons learned.
Though the program described is relatively new, lessons learned were discussed. Business managers felt that working with international aid programs produced progress toward an overall goal that was worth the effort in the end. Presenters agreed that understanding local power structures as they relate to the project is also key so program effects match with the needs of the local environment. Decentralizing projects to rural areas was seen as a positive for rural participants, allowing them a chance to improve their economic situations.
Margaret Bishop of CHF International described KATA’s targets: over 7,000 people trained and the creation of over 4,000 jobs lasting six months or longer. All components focus on building opportunities for both short- and long-term jobs, as well as construction of buildings and soil conversation.
Patrick Bonnefil of HayTrac (Haitian Tractor) presented information regarding the construction services and heavy equipment sector in Haiti. With over 5,000 applicants in the program’s database, about 60 have matriculated into a job-readiness program with 40 having finished the program. Duncan discussed the operator training school, which trains sewing operators, as well as mechanics training, middle management and supervisor development, an executive seminar series, lean manufacturing demonstration, and a full package center. Additionally, Brian Hays of Bèl Soley described the program’s focus the value chain process and where for-profits business fit with regard to training for workforce development.
Key take away points from this session included the importance of training program participants for existing, available jobs, rather than for ideal jobs that do not yet exist, the importance of engaging the public sector and host country governments. Additionally, building relationships is absolutely critical to workforce development program and increasing the buy-in of USAID can help develop and engage the end market ultimately improving the success of a workforce development program. Lastly, understanding the environment is also necessary, as is dialogue between international agencies, business and government actors.