Rutas (2013-2018)

Rutas (2013-2018)_Image


Rutas, a pioneering initiative born from a collaboration between USAID and IYF, embarked on a transformative quest to reshape the technical skills landscape across Mexico. Initially, it encompassed the border states of Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon before expanding to Coahuila, State of Mexico, and Quintana Roo. With a primary focus on driving systemic improvements in upper secondary technical education, particularly to benefit students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Rutas transformed the landscape of youth workforce preparedness. Central to its success was the formation of powerful multi-stakeholder alliances, uniting public and private sectors in a collaborative and strategic approach to tackling the complex challenges of youth employment.

Program Results

Over the span of four years, Rutas consistently exceeded expectations, achieving all planned targets, and radically transforming the technical education landscape in Mexico. Its impact transcended mere numbers, influencing state and national policies to better align educational curricula with the ever-evolving demands of the workforce. By delivering market-relevant curriculum and life skills training, enhancing internship and job placement services, and creating a user-friendly job search platform, Rutas empowered youth with the tools and support they needed to thrive in the job market. Through innovative approaches to improve job placement and utilizing technology to provide students with real-time labor market information, Rutas impacted over 90,000 youth across five states. This impact stretched across 63 school campuses, positively touching the lives of countless young people. Moreover, the program's success garnered an additional $4 million in private sector funding, expanding training offerings at Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP) with support from valued partners like the PepsiCo Foundation and JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

Partnerships and Implementation

Leveraging strategic partnerships with educational authorities at local, state, and national levels, including CONALEP in Nuevo Leon and Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense Asociación Civil (FECHAC) in Chihuahua, Rutas spearheaded local implementation efforts. Furthermore, close collaborations with industry clusters facilitated the seamless alignment of technical and vocational education with the evolving needs of key sectors like aerospace, automotive, information technology (IT), clean energy, manufacturing, and hospitality. These powerful alliances played a pivotal role in integrating social-emotional skills and career guidance into the standard school curriculum, culminating in the development of an accessible online job search tool connecting students with local employers.

Rutas alliances IYF

Systems Change at State and National Levels

Rutas secured significant policy changes at national and state levels, ensuring sustained impact for future generations of students. At the national level, the program facilitated the adoption of five key systems changes:

  • Career Orientation: The Undersecretary of Upper Secondary Education made changes to the national career orientation strategy, being delivered in public secondary schools and upper secondary schools across the country. IYF provided technical assistance to both restructure the strategy and incorporate lessons learned from developing, piloting, implementing, and securing the national adoption of an IYF-developed curricular career orientation strategy, My Career My Future. In addition, the Undersecretary adopted the curriculum for use as part of the strategy. 
  • Curriculum Alignment: CONALEP established dedicated staff roles for its state and local school-business committees, which are their primary approach for curriculum alignment efforts. Previously, the committees were unstaffed, resulting in inefficacy because no one was assigned to prepare for or carry out committee decisions.  
  • Job Placement: CONALEP adopted IYF’s job placement strategy and curriculum as its official strategy and curriculum for use nationally.  
  • Graduate Tracking: The National Employment Service made changes to the national employment portal to add a graduate tracking system for TVET graduates.  
  • Learning Management System: CONALEP adopted a Rutas-generated learning management system as a staff training tool related to student recruitment and career orientation, internship management, curriculum alignment, and managing relationships with the industry.

Furthermore, CONALEP's adoption of a Rutas-developed learning management system embodied the program's unwavering commitment to driving continuous improvement in education and workforce development practices.

Rutas stands as a powerful beacon, highlighting the transformative potential of collaboration and innovation in shaping the future of Mexico's youth for generations to come. By effectively bridging the education-to-employment gap, Rutas has not only empowered young people but also catalyzed systemic change, laying a foundation for IYF to transform the workforce development pipelines across key Mexican economic sectors including IT, logistics, green energy, and others. 

Program Focus

  • Life Skills, work readiness and Job placement services


  • 2013-2018




  • Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, State of Mexico and Quintana Roo

Targeted Youth

Professional Field

  • Aerospace industry

Funding Partners



Miguel Armendariz , Country Director, Mexico , [email protected]

Funding Partners