The state of Chihuahua, notable for its GDP growth and one of the highest rates of formal employment in Mexico, still presents a challenging employment landscape for marginalized youth.
The strong manufacturing sector’s multiplier effects create jobs in diverse sectors such as commerce and services. Yet, despite a high overall employment rate, 11 percent of young people are unemployed and either looking for a job or are not currently looking but are available to work. Many of these young people cite discouragement as the primary reason they are unemployed—they do not know how or where to seek work; believe there is no work in their field; or are considered too young by employers. Although employers have minimal formal education requirements for many positions, they do require relevant technical training and screen for life skills. Both specialized technical skills and life skills can be difficult for young people to develop without access to opportunities and proper guidance.
The En Trayecto program improves the employability of disadvantaged youth ages 18 to 29 living in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, by facilitating access to high-quality, relevant training that prepares them with the job-focused skills they need to secure employment. These young people may be in or out of school or work, facing economic obstacles such as poverty, poor understanding of the formal job market and/or lack of experience therein, and limited access to quality education and job opportunities; they may also be impacted by social factors such as gender, racial, ethnic, or migrant-based inequities. By delivering a second-chance, short-term training model combining market-relevant vocational and soft skills training and complementary support measures, IYF prepares these vulnerable youth to be work ready and to thrive in today’s rapidly changing world.
By building partnerships with local youth-serving organizations, the program has reached, to date, 239 young people (including people with disabilities, recovering addicts, and young women transitioning from foster care to adulthood), with 94 percent of graduates reporting an increased awareness of career and promising employment opportunities in the state of Chihuahua. In addition, five young DJN staff members have obtained their PTS® certification, demonstrating sound preparation, facilitation techniques, and interpersonal skills to train program participants.
The program aligns with Citi Foundation´s Pathways to Progress goal of connecting young people to opportunities to pursue their economic ambitions, while adapting to the realities of underserved youth in the state of Chihuahua.
INADET’s High Technology Training Centers (CENALTEC), a mainstay of high-tech training in the state of Chihuahua, provide tailored, accelerated training programs and are well-known for expertise in training needs in the state’s key industries. INADET-CENALTEC instructors deliver online technical training to participating young people.
Desarrollo Juvenil del Norte (DJN), a Juárez-based non-profit youth-serving organization, specializes in working among vulnerable populations in Juárez. DJN PTS certified staff deliver life skills training using a youth-to-youth approach, as well as employability training and wraparound services, such as psychosocial support and tutoring for program participants.