Bechtel is expanding its international partnership with Junior Achievement® (JA) to include a major new entrepreneurship skills training program in Gabon. The training program will teach important business education skills to some 300 young Gabonese in its first year and provide opportunities for Bechtel staff to serve as volunteers and mentors alongside their JA counterparts. The initiative builds on Bechtel’s ongoing work with the Government of Gabon to develop and implement the National Infrastructure Master Plan and support the Gabon Emergent strategy.
“We have established a five-year goal of helping a million African youth at all social levels gain access to information and resources, develop self-confidence, and build the self-reliance that they and the rest of Africa need to move forward. Partnerships such as this one with Bechtel are fundamental to achieving that ultimate goal,” said Sean Rush, CEO of JA Worldwide.
The training program will consist of two different courses. Each will use hands-on, action-learning methods of teaching to help nurture young entrepreneurs. The Junior Achievement ‘ITS TYME’ (Immersion Training Strategy: Targeting Young Marginalized Entrepreneurs) course will provide real-life business education, practical life skills, mentoring, and an understanding of access to finance to people in the program between the ages of 15 and 35. A second course, the ‘JA Company Program’, will promote entrepreneurship to high school students.
“We are delighted to be building on our existing partnership with Junior Achievement. Bringing a positive and sustainable legacy to communities where we work is integral to our business”, said Walker Kimball, managing director of Bechtel's infrastructure and aviation business. “This program will help young people gain the entrepreneurial skills and experience that will better equip them to forge their own futures, and contribute to the future success of Gabon.”
Bechtel’s partnership with JA is currently active in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. In addition to JA, Bechtel is partnered with Engineers Week®, Engineers Without Borders, FIRST® Robotics, and Ocean Exploration Trust to globally foster education and improve the quality of life for people through the company’s engineering and construction skills.
Junior Achievement (JA) is recognized throughout the world as the expert in providing business and economic education to young people. Since Junior Achievement was founded in 1919, its programs have served as a catalyst for bringing real-world business knowledge and hands-on experience to young people. Since its inception, JA has benefitted the lives of more than 125 million youth around the world, and last year alone more than 10 million young people were involved in JA programs. In 1979, Junior Achievement programs were first delivered in sub-Saharan Africa, and it now has operations in 16 African nations reaching more than 200,000 youth annually.