Caterpillar Foundation, Global Communities Partner to Improve Job Prospects in Middle East, North Africa

The Caterpillar Foundation and Global Communities, a Maryland-based nonprofit that works to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable, have announced a three-year, $4.4 million partnership to help improve job prospects for youth in the Middle East and North Africa.

Through its Middle East and North Africa Youth Empowerment Strategy (MENA-YES) program, Global Communities will focus its efforts on finding positions for youth between the ages of 15 and 29, placing special emphasis on disadvantaged youth, low- to medium-level skilled individuals, women, rural youth, and individuals working in hazardous environments. The program will work with the private sector and potential employers to determine the precise nature, scale, and timing of needed skills to ensure the placement of trainees.

Building on its eighteen years in the Middle East/North Africa region, Global Communities will provide up to 1,920 youth with demand-driven training to prepare them for employment opportunities in the global economy. At least 60 percent of those placed in internships and apprenticeships are expected to be on track toward employment or in a position to pursue additional training within six months of completing program activities. In addition, more than a thousand youth will receive training designed to help them develop entrepreneurial skills, with a quarter of those also linked to banks and credit opportunities.

"The Caterpillar Foundation is delighted to partner with Global Communities to address one of the most pressing needs facing the Middle East and North Africa," said Caterpillar Foundation president Michele Sullivan. "This is a forward-looking, regionally focused program which will leverage public and private sector expertise to bring about the greatest positive impact on community needs."