Youth Career Pathway Launched in Monrovia

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The Liberia Career Pathways (LCP), a certified nonprofit organization, last Friday launched an employment initiative in Monrovia that focuses on youth career development in technical areas such as Biochemical technicians and those who can repair high-tech medical equipment.

The LCP is also an innovative public-private education initiative that is designed to support college and career readiness in targeted subject areas such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, its executive director Rev. Kenety Gee told the Daily Observer in an interview over the weekend.

“This was an effort to improve youth development and their employability in the country,” he noted. “This is an organization that wants to adequately improve the job market as well as help the youth to contribute greatly to their society.”

The LCP initiative is more focused on narrowing the mindset of advocacy started with the intervention of former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, who invited them to Liberia.

Mr. Gee said the LCP views its partnership with the Government of Liberia (GoL) as a two-way exchange of ideas and benefits to strengthen its Liberia’s work expose educators and students to agriculture and other subjects.

He indicated that the vision of LCP was to create more awareness about career development in order for the country to have a strong youth labor force where the young people will engage into different things and contribute to their country’s economy.

The program, according to Gee, began at three high schools: Tubman High, Booker Washington Institute (BWI) and St. Peters Lutheran.

Giving a background of the LCP, Mr. Gee said it began in April 2013, when a team from Illinois (USA) visited Liberia to meet with key public and private stakeholders and participated in a workshop to define objectives and strategies to move forward.

“Following the visit, a coalition of Liberian high level government officials and private stakeholders launched Liberia Career Pathways. This organization was formed as a Liberian nongovernmental organization,” he said.

Meanwhile, a team of Liberians later visited Illinois, to further define the partnership, strategies, and objectives for Liberia Career Pathways which resulted in the establishment of the Liberia Career Pathway Concept Paper.

“As a culmination of these local efforts, the Illinois team, with additional members, returned to Liberia in January/February 2014. During this visit, the inauguration of Liberia Career Pathways was hosted by former vice president Joseph Boakai. At this meeting, business, education, and government leaders were asked to support the effort to empower and support Liberian learners to progress and transition from high-quality education and training experiences into rewarding careers in critical industrial sectors for Liberia’s economic growth, commencing with agriculture,” Rev. Gee stated.

The Executive Director of Education Systems Center, in Northern Illinois University, and LCP Vice Chair of the Board Mr. Jonathan Furr also said the organization was formed as a Liberian nongovernmental organization to provide Liberian youth with opportunities to develop skills in key sectors like health, among others, in partnership with the State of Illinois.

“The education system in Liberia and America are more focused on traditional university education but are not focused on career development, so when we introduce career programs in a school, it will help those educated youth to understand what they are actually learning and prepare them practically for the job market.We don’t want educated people who can’t contribute to development and bring value to the country,” Mr. Furr said.

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