U.S. Ambassador MaryKay Carlson (third from right), Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual (second from right), Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. (rightmost), and Group President and CEO of United Health Group, Chairman of the Board of UNILAB, Inc., and Vice Chairman and President of Unilab Foundation, Inc. Clinton Andrew Campos Hess (fourth from right) lead government and private sector partners in inaugurating the Amherst Laboratories Training Facility in Biñan, Laguna, one of the facilities that will provide skills support and training for AMDev beneficiaries.
Manila, March 14, 2023—On March 13, the United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a five-year, Php 622 million ($10.6 million) partnership with Unilab Foundation to train Filipino workers to meet the evolving requirements of the high-tech manufacturing sector.
The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) aims to enhance the skills and resilience of the Philippine workforce, enabling workers to adapt to changes resulting from the adoption of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence in manufacturing.
Through AMDev, USAID and the Unilab Foundation will offer apprenticeships, immersion programs, and knowledge sharing to students and professors from a network of colleges and universities surrounding manufacturing sites in the country. The project will also push for the academic recognition of its training programs to enable participants to pursue further education.
“AMDev will improve young people’s ability to gain meaningful employment and contribute to building a peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous future for all Filipinos,” Ambassador MaryKay Carlson said at the launch ceremony held at the Unilab Pharma Campus in Biñan, Laguna. “We hope that this private sector collaboration will allow the Philippines to advance to ‘high middle-income’ economic status and strengthen its ability to increase sustainable, inclusive, and transparent economic growth in the broader Indo-Pacific economic community.”
“Unilab Foundation envisions to make an impact on the manufacturing sector by introducing industry-led programs that will sharpen manufacturing competencies and set higher standards of training,” Group President and CEO of United Health Group, Chairman of the Board of UNILAB, Inc., and Vice Chairman and President of Unilab Foundation, Inc. Clinton Andrew Campos Hess said. “We believe that meaningful partnerships are the key to affecting positive change in society.”
Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr., and USAID Philippines Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks also attended the launch.
Under this partnership, the United States government will contribute Php 311 million ($5.3 million) in development assistance while the other half of the project cost will be funded by private sector partners that include Unilab Foundation, Amherst Laboratories, Belmont Softgel Pharma, Fastech Advanced Assembly, Western Digital Philippines, Makati Business Club, and the Investment and Capital Corporation of the Philippines Group Foundation.
The U.S. government, through USAID, has invested more than Php 5.8 billion ($105.6 million) in higher education and workforce development in the Philippines, helping build research capacity and spark innovation in Philippine universities, as well as provide opportunities for out-of-school youth.